Minimal Incision Arm-Lift & Arm Lipo at AGE 53- with Daniel Shapiro
I've always been a slender build, small hips, legs...
It was an AWESOME Consult with Dr.Shapiro on November the 20th!
#1. I have minimal skin but more than enough to pull the skin up tight to my arm-pits, giving my full arms a tight, smooth look. He pulled my arm skin up and showed me!
#2. I have hardly any excess fat
#3. It was the lipo that I had done that accelerated the aging process of my upper arms.
#4. The past lipo did leave irregularities of the remaining fat on my arms along with some loose skin! But the arm lift should smooth out 90% of the ugly mess, if not more!!!
Overall, I'm so impressed with Dr.Shapiro. He does at least 3-4 arm-lifts per month and he was very confident and even drew a diagram of how he would cut the skin and then suture everything back together. The incision has to be cut in a zig-zag covering the full crease of my arm-pit giving me a full upper arm lift. Because the skin would be sewn in a zig-zag, the scar would initially have some crinkles in the skin but would smooth out as it heals...(this is the only thing that makes me nervous)!
#1. I have the wear a garment for 4-6 weeks
#2. I have to stay over-night in the recovery centre
#3. I must stay in Scottsdale for 7-10 days
#4. The surgery is performed under a General
#5. The Surgery will take about 11/2 to 2 hours
#6. The cost is reasonable!
I'm now just looking for a day to book this life changing operation! SOOOO excited! I'll keep detailed pictures as I progress through this minimal incision arm-lift journey.
Photo's from 7 YEARS Ago of Arm Lipo
I'm going to post another question..."Why is a Zig-Zag Incision used in a Minimal Incision Arm-Lift"?
I'm checking my calendar, to see when I can book this surgery! I've had it with these arms....but in the mean-time I'll keep researching and posting all of my findings! I'm hoping that my research can help other ladies out there decide if this surgery is right for them.
So....this the incision Dr.Shapiro wants to do!!!
I've set a DATE!
2 Week House Rental $1,300.00
Minimal Incision Brachioplasty $6,000.00
OR Fee $2,100.00
General Anesthesia $1,124.00
Overnight Stay $700.00
Total Cost $11,474.00 (includes $1,300 house rental)
In the mean time....I'll be working hard to develop great muscle tone and a great body skin care program to keep my skin in excellent shape prior to the surgery!
Started a Skin Care Program for my ARMS!
2. Celazome Body Lotion
3. Celazome Intense Penetrating Body Lotion (I use when my arms get irritated with the ZO
4. ZO Medical Brightenex every other night or as tolerated
After 4 months....I may finish up with Fraxel 1927(depends on my results with this system).
I've already had 3 rounds of thermage (last thermage was done 10 months ago).
Workout program is progressing extremely well!
Date Revised~Deposit has been PAID!!!
Minimal Incision Brachioplasty $6,000.00
OR Fee $1,088.00
General Anesthesia $ 651.00
TOTAL COST $7,739.00
Total surgery time booked 1.5hours
Since my last post, I did consult with another Plastic Surgeon, however, he felt I would not get a good result with a Minimal Incision Brachioplasty nor would I fair well with a traditional brachioplasty due to the fact that:
#1) I don't have any real loose or excess skin
#2) I haven't had any weight loss (just lipo)
One thing is for certain...your PS must be on the same page as you and feel confident in his procedures...obviously this PS felt that the Minimal Incision Brachioplasties don't really cut it! However, he did say patient selection for this procedure was critical! OK....can't say I'm not a little nervous.
I've decided NOT to do Fraxel on my arms until after my arm-lift...and I've been training pretty hard these past months. My arms have excellent shape & the skin tone is looking really smooth. I've been using tons of sun screen & wearing long sleeve shirts to avoid the SUN...as I don't want or need ugly sun spots!
So the countdown is on...and I can't wait to have this procedure! I'll keep every-one updated with photo's & results!
Moved Date of surgery up by a week!
70 Days to smoother & toned arms! Goodbye, lumpy bumpy skin!
Getting CLOSE to Surgery- Only in 7 Weeks time & BOY am I SO READY!
When I first had the lipo done my arms looked fantastic...then after the initial 3-6 months passed and here's what the end result REALLY looked like! However, I think they DO look a bit better than they did as I've had my arms thermaged 3x's. After the 3rd time and $7,500 later, I thought that's probably as good as they're going to get. Next option is a crescent arm-lift-where the incision is hidden mostly in the arm-pit. The long-scar arm-lift is completely out of the question & I really do think a traditional arm-lift wouldn't change much anyways...
As you can see on the last few photo's how I lifted up the skin and how it made a HUGE difference! If Dr.Shapiro can fix these arms...I'll be indebted to him forever! Fingers Crossed every-body!
Lastly, I merged my two reviews into one person Givelife & Freedom are the same girl...just in case some of my arm-lift sista's are confused:)
Less than 30 Days until my Arm Make-Over by Dr.Shapiro! Counting Down the Days!
I have an awesome PS here...but now I'm moving on to Dr.Shapiro because this is what he specializes in. My PS here wanted to do a full traditional arm brachioplasty and admitted he had no experience with the minimal incision arm-lift and advised me to seek someone who is confident in this particular procedure. Hence Dr.Shapiro!
Soooo ladies....I need the arms to match the rest of me! After I'm done my arm-lift I'm going to do a fraxel repair to even out the skin color. I'll check with Dr.Shapiro as to how soon I can do this following my surgery.
Attached is a few more photo's of me leaning over with my arms out stretched to the side. Sorry for posting all these gross pictures...but I plan on taking all of them again AFTER the surgery to see the improvements made. The more to compare...the better :)
This is now my final post until surgery...fingers crossed my arms will be tight & smooth!
Dr. Shapiro is a Keeper and I'll Explain why in tomorrows UpDate!
However, I want to thank you beautiful ladies for waiting, watching, reading and giving me so much support! I've waited a whole year for this surgery and now it's only hours away! I don't even have the words to express my excitement...with that said, I'll post once the surgery is complete!
Day of Surgery Pictures & my Experience with Dr.Shapiro & Staff!
My Monday pre-op appointment went smoothly! I arrived at 2:00p and was greeted by a lovely happy and smiling face. Her name was Anne. She thoroughly reviewed my procedures, and what to expect for recovery, etc; (all the usual). Then Miss Anne pulled out a list of all my prescriptions. OMG...my jaw literally hit the floor! Back at my Canadian home we are generally prescribed only two things. Those 2 items are: Pain Killer & Antibiotic. That's it...and then you just fend for yourself! I'd rate my numerous Canadian procedure(s) 3 out of 10. Here I'd rate Dr.Shapiro a 10 out of 10!!! No ands and if's about it!
Here's my Prescriptions:
1.Valium- taken night before surgery & 1 hour before surgery...NEW and AWESOME!
1. OXYCODON or known as PERCOCET (painkiller) Same Painkiller I had with my MMO back in Canada
2. ZOLPIDEM TARTRATE Sleeping Pill 9:00 (1 at NIGHT TIME ONLY) NEW! OMG sooo sweet!
3. CEPHALEXIN (antibiotic) taken morning/afternoon (SAME as Canadian Procedure)
4.METHYLPREDNISOLONE(antibiotic)-take ONCE EVERY morning!! NEW!
5.VALACYCLOVIR HCL take 1 tablet with water morning & night (for cold-sores) NEW!
Other things to take & ALL NEW to me:
1. 2 RUTINS every morning
2. ARNICA 5 every 3x’s per day morning/afternoon/evening
3. 2000 VITIMIN C once every morning
Once Anne finished going through all my meds...I was then greeted by Dr.Shapiro's Patient Coordinator...Leslie! So ladies I'm very much used to a sterile approach to surgery...rather cold and ridged. So we all know "US" ladies don't wear short sleeves, correct? Well, it's pretty HOT in Phoenix and I was super sweaty. So because of this, I immediately reached my hand out to shake Leslie's hand....but ohh no... she wouldn't have any part of that...she gave me an all out hug!! I was so embarrassed with all my sweat....but she was so cool about everything. She then proceeded to give me a full tour of the Surgical Center. Through this tour I learned that Dr.Shapiro is 1 of 2 other surgeons that own the surgical center!
Next: I was brought back to the reception area where another receptionist by the name of Carol made me a delicious cup of coffee until Dr.Shapiro arrived! Dr.Shapiro and I then covered an additional procedure that I decided to do (you can read that on my other review, if your interested) and then proceeded to take a last minute look at my arms.
DAY OF SURGERY- SEPTEMBER 23rd
I arrived at 6:30am...and the surgical nurse did the usual prep. Next came in the anesthesiologist who did the usual prep questions. THEN walked in Dr.Shapiro...so calm, sweet and CONFIDENT. As you can see he thoroughly marked my skin.
Sooo my lovely beauties...every-thing went as planned...EXCEPT Dr.Shapiro did Lipo on my arms, gulp! Plus of course, a really tight lift! I'm so freaked out about the lipo to the arms. There MUST have been a reason why he did this? BUT, I already see the difference to my arms with-in only 24 hours. My arms look fabulous and tight!
So, that's it! I'll post more pictures as the days roll by! My Post Appointment with Dr.Shapiro is September 30th...and boy oh boy...I have a list of questions for him :))))
TODAY's Pictures-24 Hours after
Day 2 Recovery from Minimal Incision Arm-Lift~So Far So Good!
I noticed that I have way more bruising on my right upper inside arm than the other. Not sure why.
Today, I HAVE WAY more pain! Especially the upper inside of my arms. Feels sensitive, tight and VERY achy.
My incisions are covered by very sticky terri-strips and I can't see what the actual incision looks like yet! Dr.Shapiro originally told me he'd be doing a Z-Plasty Incision. It almost doesn't look that way? I guess I'll find out soon enough what the incision looks like.
OMGosh...my sleeping is terrible! I have to sleep upright with my arms elevated heart level. I sleep for 2 hours at a time....on and off all night long. I'm also wearing 3 compression garments: 1 for my arms, 1 for my torso and stockings for my legs (precaution for blood clots).
Dr.Shapiro's Office called me today to ensure I was doing OK and if I needed anything to call.
Sooo, I've decided to stay at a Hotel not far from Dr.Shapiro's office (2minute drive) and they have been sooo accommodating for me & my daughter (who's taking care of me)! First off, there was a ton of blood & leakage from all the lipo sites...well the management assured me not to worry and they bring me these additional items FRESH on daily basis:
10 face clothes
10 hand towels
6 Bath Towels
Additional cups, soap and whatever I might need. They also ensured me that my room will be cleaned on demand...meaning I would call them and ask them to clean my room within 5 minutes. While they clean, I lay just outside my room at this Cabana. They change all the bedding & pillows from scratch & wash & vacuum the room. I feel so taken care of. When they're done the maid ushers me back to the room! So sweet!
Lastly, whew....I wish it wasn't so HOT here in Scottsdale!
DAY 3 Recovery-and today was pretty good plus a few more photo's!
Pain Level today: I'd say Level 2 at best!
The Arm-Pit Incision: So....it appears to me that the skin is bunched up (as Dr.Shapiro pre-warned me)
The under-arm tuck does appear to be a Z-Plasty Incision. I will confirm this next Wednesday at my Post-Opp appointment. See photo.
Lipo: I'm not sure if Dr.Shapiro did Lipo to my arms....I'm thinking he may have injected fluid into the tissue in order to undermine the arm skin....again...I'll get the details this Wednesday.
Mobility: EXTREMELY Limited. I would NOT even attempt to lift my elbows up and don't plan on it for a least 4 weeks! I guess we'll see how things unfold day by day.
Sleeping: Much BETTER than the 1st 3 nights! I'm getting about 3 hours in a row, but still sleeping up-right with arms elevated.
Terri-Strips: I removed them today in fear of promoting bacteria to the under-arm area. I had my second shower today and I noticed TONS of swelling around both elbows.
The Axillary Fat Pads: I think Dr.Shapiro did a lovely job in removing the puff of fat off each arm that always bugled out in the front & behind my bras!
Overall: Ok. So I realize a lot of swelling needs to come down over the next few weeks and my final result won't be seen until a solid 6 months has passed. However, so far I'm loving what I see. I'll keep all you lovely ladies posted as my results slowly unfold over the days & weeks to come :))
Recovery Day 5~Swelling & Bruising is at it's worst!
PAIN LEVEL: 1 at best...most the time at 0!
BRUISING: Feels like it's peeking...or at it's worst!
INCISIONS: Tender today....looks like RAW meat when I peak under there with the camera!
MOBILITY: STILL running around like a T-Rex (without the rage..lol!).
SWELL HEAVEN: Good thing I keep my CG on...sort of a pounding feeling in my upper inside right arm-pit. The feeling of when a blood Pressure Cuff is on your arm...inflated. I'm sure my arms would be swollen twice their size if the CG wasn't on 24/7, except for showers (of course). All this swelling is a great sign of lots of healing!
OVERALL: I'm pleasantly surprised in how easy the recovery is for an arm-lift. If you take all the precautions of Mobility, Cleaning, and Wearing your CG I just can't foresee wound separation problems. However, I'm only on Day 5...at this point. Even with ALL the excessive bruising & swelling, I know I got at least an 80% improvement and maybe more with this Minimal Incision Arm-Lift procedure.
Recovery Day 8~Today was an AWESOME Day!
Pain Level...0 about 99% of the time. Every once in a while I'll get a pounding feeling in my upper inside arms. Thank goodness that only lasts up to 5 minutes at a time...no more than a few times per day.
Mobility: Today, I can move my elbows up (forward only & definitely not to the sides) to slightly below my shoulders and that's it!
Bruising: OMG....absolutely NO CHANGE here. I'm simply....BACK & BLUE, however, I noticed a yellow tinge to the outside of my bruises. Two tone arms...lol!
Sleeping: YES, still up-right with arms on pillows. 8 days of this so far...ugh. Think I'll try & stick this out until Day 14...better for the swelling if I can endure this. However, I'm getting about 6 hours of sleep in a row now. So feeling pretty good.
Control Garment: Will wear this 24/7 (of course except during a shower) for 8 weeks or longer.
Swelling: I'd say...it's down a bit...
Incision: SO the incision IS NOT A Z-PLASTY. Dr.Shapiro decided against this. TODAY, is the 1st day I washed my under-arms with soap & water. Feel nice & fresh!
Pain Medication: Not taking anything now, except Tylenol at bedtime.
Back Tracking to Yesterday Day 7:
Soo all my lipo sutures were removed yesterday...and OMG on my right elbow the suture was holding back fluid in my elbow....and once the suture was removed I drained about another 1/4 cup from that elbow. Thank Goodness because it felt a little wiggly.
Today-Day 8 Post Appointment with Dr.Shapiro and what a fantastic appointment is was...
At my Post-Op appointment today Dr.Shapiro explained this to me...YES, he HAD to do lipo on my arms to free up the skin & to even out the previous BAD lipo job that was done 8 years ago. Once he did this, he then preformed an aggressive crescent arm-lift by cutting out a fairly large and long piece of skin, he then pulled everything up and stitched the underarm back together. Because of the lipo, I MUST wear the CG for 6 weeks. I choose, however to wear the garment 8 weeks or longer. I really want that skin to bind to my muscle and help to give my arms a lovely contour.
Lastly, today I felt so good I ventured out to Fashion Square Mall & actually tried on a few tops (carefully) and then headed to Starbucks for coffee, sat outside under the misters...was pure heaven!
I've been in Scottsdale now for 12 days...and I'm headed home to Canada tomorrow. What I'm most nervous about is handling my heavy luggage between Calgary & Kelowna as this is as far as my daughter will be traveling with me.
My next Post-Op appointment with Dr.Shapiro is January 28th...until then I'll keep posting my progress and results :)) But so far....lovin this procedure!
Recovery Day 12~Progress can be seen...
The journey back went fairly smooth, however, my darn Control Garment didn't like the scanner thingy I walked through in both airports, Phoenix and Calgary. The first time the alarms went off they didn't ask me if I'd prefer a pat down...they just sent me into this rotating scanner and OMG they asked me to put my arms up over my head..ahhh. I just bent at the elbows (like a hands up position) and in no-way did I attempt to reach over-head, even tho the gentleman kept saying, "Arms over the head like the picture"! So, when I reached Calgary Airport and went through customs and back through security, sure enough I had to repeat this rotating scanner. I asked for a pat down and that was way better. Problem solved.
Since my return home...I've been a bit more active with my arms such as doing a little cooking, picking up a few groceries, did a bit of laundry and made a few cups of tea. Later (after this post is done), I'm going to cook dinner, simply because I hate eating take out food and my husband is a lousy cook.
So here's the inside scoop on my healing up until Day 12:
PAIN LEVEL: I's say 0 most the time...but last Friday when I got home...OMG my right arm was pounding and I seem to be super sore around my right elbow. I had to take a pain killer that evening...but overall, just taking Advil went needed.
MOBILITY: Can't believe how much this has improvement in 4 short days. I'd say I could now move my elbows slightly up above my shoulders and I can also move my raised elbows slightly out to the side.
BRUISING: I'd say this has improved by about 50%! So hard to see the results of my arms when everything is SO purple.
SLEEPING: Still up-right, arms on pillows. No change.
ARM-PIT INCISIONS: My incisions look a little better and not so raw. Overall, the incision looks so bunched up and bubbly looking. The incisions certainly cover from one end of the arm-pit to the other! Dr.Shapiro went as far as he could with this.
CONTROL GARMENT: The CG is fairly tight and YES it rides right up my arm-pit. However, it doesn't seem to be rubbing the incision too badly. Every once in awhile I need to adjust it by pulling it down a tad. I've decided I'm going to wear my CG up-until mid December. That might be over kill, but I want the best outcome possible.
CLEANING: I've been washing the incisions with Hibiclens every day now during my shower routine. Just want to be super cautious of getting any sort of infection.
Sooo all the fuss I kicked up about this whole Z-Plasty incision and then it turns out Dr.Shapiro didn't even do one! Go figure. Plus on top of it all Dr.Shapiro lipo'd my arms...it's a good thing I was a sleep because I would've torn that lipo wand right out of his hand and beat him with it! Are you kidding me? However, sometimes the BEST way to fight fire IS with fire and so that's what Dr.Shapiro did. He said he had to re-lipo my arms...they were just to messed up. I had tons of irregularities (pockets of fat left everywhere) and horrible scarring that was binding my skin to the muscle leaving lumps & bumps. He said he HAD to start over but with better lipo tools that never existed when I had my lipo done 8 years ago. Once that was done he decided against the Z-Plasty incision because he could tell I would have tons of excess skin. Dr.Shapiro actually sat down beside me and drew out a picture of the operation showing me how & where he removed a long crescent shape piece of skin, he then said he got very creative in how he closed up the incision to give me the best lift possible (I was thinking...were you dreaming of clam fishing when you got creative)? I lost about 1/2 of my axilla (arm-pit) Less to shave!
Hope that answers some of the questions..."What happen to the Z-Pasty Incision" and "Why Lipo"?
Overall, I feel the healing is progressing slowly. Since I had that extra fluid sitting in my right elbow for 7 days (after surgery) I feel that the skin is very loose there BUT I also feel my right elbow is achy & swollen...STILL. I have a good 4 months of healing before I see Dr.Shapiro again, and I'm certain I'm going to see lots & lots of progress with-in that time frame. One thing is for sure:
#1. My Arms are OVERALL smoother
#2. My Arm skin IS tighter
#3. My Arms now HAVE a better tone to them
Ladies...this ALL I could've asked for! I didn't expect them to look like a 20 year old arms...I just wanted them to look beautiful & smooth in a tank top or lovey Christmas dress because after all...I'm am almost 54 years old...and we do age and loose elasticity in our skin....but I also knew that my arms just didn't look right after my first round of lipo 8 years ago :))
As the bruises fade and swelling slowly dwindles...I'll keep posting my after results! I must say this...I'm very excited to finally have the freedom to show bare arms for 2016!
Recovery Day 13~Remember the 1st photo that grabbed the attention of so many other women? Kiss those arms good-bye!
These photo's were taken in the same room, same lighting at ALMOST the exact same time of the year (first photo taken on October 18th, 2014).
My VERY pleased with my Arm-Lift! My arms finally look NORMAL!
Thank You Dr.Shapiro for giving me back my LIFE! I'm glad that I trusted my little inner voice that whispered that you WERE the one when other Plastic Surgeons said I was silly and nothing more could be done! Really? Well take a look at this...
I've waited long enough because today...I'm writing my DOCTORS REVIEW...and I can't wait to post it!!
How to care for your Minimal Incision Arm-Lift & Arm-Lipo…at 3 weeks post!
BRUSING: Bruising from the surgery & lipo is almost completely subsided…not that it matters because my arms are covered all the time with my CONTROL GARMENT. But at least I can see my results a little better with the bruising now gone.
MOBILITY: Overall I’d say my mobility is at about 40%. Funny enough it’s hard for me to reach directly forward, otherwise the skin pulls very hard on my inner arms and of course I can not reach overhead AT ALL.
SLEEPING: I’m sleeping sort of up-right (2 pillows) 90% on my back and about 10% on my side. Side sleeping is difficult because it does cause a lot of discomfort on my arms…I think this is in part due to the lipo that was done on my arms.
CLEANING ARM-PIT INCISIONS: For the first week I didn’t wash the incisions directly. For the second week I began washing the incisions daily with Hibiclens. Shortly after my last post I began covering each arm-pit with gauze held in place with surgical tape. I would then re-place my CG over the gauze. The gauze helped to whisk away moisture from the incisions and also preventing unwanted bacteria growth under those arms. The gauze also helps to buffer chaffing from the CG. I’ll continue to change the gauze daily up until week 4.
Shortly after week 2, I noticed I had a small yellow spot on my left incision. I placed polysporin on the spot twice a day for 3 days (until it was gone). I also feel the gauze helped to prevent excessive moisture therefore speeding up the healing process.
WOUND SEPARATION: Due to the fact that the minimal incision arm-lift is all placed on a moveable joint, wound separation was always on my mind and one of my biggest worries. Because of that…I’ve been super diligent in caring & cleaning my incisions. I think the 1st 2 weeks are CRITICAL and then the next 2 Weeks are of upmost care (I’m on week 3). Once your incision begins to form a tight scar (around week 6) your chances of wound separation decrease dramatically! Spitting stitches can create wound separation…so I’m keeping my eye on a few that I feel I might have.
CONTROL GARMENT: I’m wearing it around the clock…now with gauze up until week 4 then without the gauze until week 12!
LIPO: So far so good! No lumps or bumps to report. However, I believe the first time I had lipo…lumps began to appear at about 8 weeks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
SKIN QUALITY: I’m noticing ripples and bands on the inside of my arms that run from my incision downward only in certain positions…especially when I reach my arms forward. It’s as though the skin is pulling super hard. I’ve seen this effect on some Tummy Tucks. However, I feel that this will smooth out once the incision forms a flat scar. My under arm skin seems super fragile…like it could tear easy if I wasn’t careful. I feel the skin hasn’t fully attached to the muscle YET.
STITCHES: Soo when I wash under my arm-pits, I’m noticing a few sharp poky spots. It feels like a few stitches are sticking out. (Remember to get yourself a hand-held mirror so you can clearly see and inspect your arm-pit incisions daily). However, when checking the incisions, I can’t get a visual on the poky stitch. I’ll give it a week or so and if it persists, then I get my husband to try and find the stitch with tweezers & remove them.
WORK: First day back at work was on Tuesday, October 13th. Three days in…and all is good!
OVERALL: Was such a busy 10 days since my last post. We just finished our Thanksgiving Weekend…and OMG cleaned the house (my husband did the vacuuming, because I can’t reach my arms forward) I did the whole turkey dinner and washed all the dishes! I was so worried about overdoing it…but in the end everything turned out just fine and my results weren’t set back in anyway, except that I was totally exhausted.
My husband finally had a good look at my arms today and was totally amazed at how smooth & firm they look. Fingers crossed…I’ll continue to improve! Time tells everything!
Ok. Ladies…that’s it for now! I’ll keep taking photo’s and documenting my progress for the next weeks to come. I’m looking forward to reaching that 6 week mark with better mobility of my arms and a nice smooth FLAT scar!
Made it…today is 1 MONTH Post!
MOBILITY: I seem to be a little more mobile over last week for sure. I can comb my hair easier and actually put a hair clip in without having to hang my head down between my legs to do it. I can almost stand upright with elbows up. However, I CAN NOT reach my arms overhead AT ALL. I’m completely restricted in this position. Basically, I must always be bent at the elbows. I can stretch my left arm directly to the side but NOT MY RIGHT arm as the skin feels super fragile in the upper inside of my arm. I’m hoping my overhead mobility increases SOON…
ARM-PIT INCISIONS now referred to as SCARS (starting next post): Sooo wound separation was and STILL is on my mind. As soon as my surgical incisions heal up COMPLETELY (week six) then I can happily call them arm-pit scars as scars generally don’t tear or separate after 6 weeks.
At about 2-1/2 weeks, I noticed a tiny pinhole in the incision on my left arm…this spot actually looked a little yellow at about 10 days after surgery and I think it was due to constant moisture under the arms, hence why I started placing daily fresh gauze to keep my arm-pits dry. I also applied polysporin night & day for 3 days and that pretty much cleared things up. At week 3 there was just a tiny spot open and today the spot is almost closed. Along with constant arm-pit moisture there is also a tremendous amount of tension on the incisions. In fact, so much that my biceps & forearms are constantly sore. I also noticed that my tendons in the inside elbows are very tight and it could be due to the fact that I haven’t been able to stretch my arms out straight (yet) so muscles & tendons are tightening up. I also feel as the incisions slowly form scars, the scars are pulling even more on my skin. As I improve my mobility….skin, muscles & tendons should begin to improve.
At 4 weeks Post, I stopped using the gauze and have NOW switched to Silicon Tape.
On Wednesday, (week 4) I’ve just begun wearing Mepiform Silicon Tape. I was going to apply the Silicon gel in fear of the tape falling off but I had a whole sheet of this tape left from my BLA & TT that I did a year ago and decided to give it a try. So far, it’s been on for 3 days and it feels pretty stuck on. I’ll remove the Silicon tape each week to wash with Hibiclens and reapply up until week 12! Hopefully the Silicon Tape speeds up the flattening of the arm-pit scars.
CONTROL GARMENT: I’m now only showering every 2 days, instead of daily. On the 2nd day I remove my garment & wash it. Other than that…the CG is ALWAYS on. Sooo 4 weeks down and ONLY 8 weeks left!
SPITTING STITCHES: So remember last week when I was all freaked out about poky stitches? Well, YES, there were a few poky stitches, BUT that’s because they weren’t fully dissolved yet. Over the last week…they’re now dissolved and everything feels smooth under my arms. Whew…and I was so worried about that. I didn’t call Dr.S about it…I just used my common sense with it. Once I reach 6-8 weeks post…the stitches should be (on the most part) healed internally.
SLEEPING: OMG what a friggin fiasco every night! I actually feel like a 25lb frozen turkey fumbling around. I’m sleeping about 75% on my back and now 25% on my side(s). The problem is…I can’t tuck my under arm under my pillow because of the pulling it creates on my arm-pit skin. I can only sleep short periods of time on my sides before rolling onto my back…then the other-side, ugh.
SKIN QUALITY: I see that my skin is looking less traumatized and more smoother.
POST VITAMINS: Still taking:
2000mg Vitamin C
3xs a day 5 pellets 30c Arnica Pellets
Arinica Cream every other day on arms
WORK: Can’t believe it…made it through yet another week.
OVERALL: I just can’t wait to feel normal again and begin my training. I was hoping to start training November 16th even if everything is modified. My energy is really great…I just feel restricted all the time.
I’ll do my next update and photos at 6 weeks and hopefully by then I’ll be able to sleep comfortably on my sides and be able to reach overhead (a little). Other than those few things…I’m so very happy I did this surgery, the results (so far) have been amazing…
6 Weeks Post...OMG~Music to my ears!
So, since my last post...little bit by little I was able to reach arms up & overhead. For example, I don't have to stand on a step stool to get dishes or food out of the cupboards (but still do for good measure) and I can actually stretch my arms up when I wake up in the morning...BIG PROGRESS in this area!
So most of the time my scars don't bother me anymore...or I'm not aware that my underarms were sliced open & stitched up only 6 weeks ago. And the scars so far are NOT WIDENING! They are staying tight & narrow. Because I don't want to risk over-stretching the scar, I'm trying not to over reach. I'm still using my step stool to retrieve items over-head.
I'm still using scar tape and will continue doing so until the 12 week mark (I change the tape weekly).
I'm now finished the Hibiclens soap and using Dial soap under my arms when I shower.
So...I think I might be out of the woods in this area, however on my left arm pit (towards the back) I have a very sensitive hard spot right on the scar. I'm thinking this might be a stitch trying to work it's way out. If it is...it'll probably show up as a sore over the next few weeks. Usually the stitch then becomes visible. I'll keep everyone posted...but hopefully my body absorbs the stitch.
So, I very much now feel naked without my CG and I don't feel so restricted as I did just a few weeks ago! As soon as I'm done my shower (I wash my CG while in shower) I immediately put it back on. Of course...it's off during my photo session! I plan on wearing my CG up until week 12. So...6 weeks to go! Also, when I compete in lifting, I always drop 5lbs to weigh in at 48kg. To ensure my arms hold-up to any weight fluctuations, I plan on wearing my CG next February/March during my dieting.
I'm pretty excited to start my Gym Training next Monday! I'll be able to do everything with the exception of reaching arms overhead with weights. I'll keep everyone posted of how my training went.
Slowly, my sleeping is improving due to the fact that I can roll over in bed and actually lay on my side! I'm sleeping 50% back & 50% sides. I image this is my normal sleeping ratio:)
I see my skin is getting nicer & nicer as the weeks progress. Be exciting to see my arms in 3/6/12months from now. However, the whole backs of my arms are still numb from the lipo. Feels really weird when I shower (almost can't feel the water run down my arms). I'm also finding that the upper inside of my arm skin still feels fairly fragile...STILL. As the weeks pass, I'm sure the skin will thicken up as it binds to the muscle.
Lastly, I recently just added in dry brushing to my arms prior to my shower (every other day) I'm hoping the dry brushing will increase circulation to my arms helping my skin to bind to the muscle quicker.
POST VITAMINS: Still taking:
2000mg Vitamin C
3xs a day 5 pellets 30c Arnica Pellets (another week of pellets left)
I just recently finished:
Arinica Cream and Rutin. Not sure if any of that actually helped?
Of course I'm pretty ecstatic with my overall arms. They are without a doubt, smoother and tighter. My energy is fantastic and I see no reason to begin gym training starting next week! Waahoo...
I'll do my next update at 2 months post. Hopefully, I'll be able to complete my gym training as planned...
Bonus Compare Picture!
7 Months Post Results of Minimal Incision Arm-Lift by Dr. Shapiro!
My full mobility of my arms began to return just after Christmas. I was able to hang from a chinning bar by the end of January bearing all my body weight on the incisions. My full work-outs were in full swing by February 1st (4.5 Months Post)
As you can see in my photo's the arm-pit scars stayed VERY tight and thin. The purple color is now beginning to fade more and more. There are only spots on my left arm-pit where it's a bit red on the scar in places. I'm hoping by mid summer the scars will be absolutely white. I'm extremely HAPPY with the incisions Dr. Shapiro did!
That annoying Spitting Stitch resolved it-self by the end of February (6 Months Post) before everything felt smooth & soft.
I wore my Control Garment right up until January! So a full 12 weeks...I was trying to wear it until February, but I felt that my skin was no longer benefiting from the compression, as the garment began to feel baggy and loose on my arms.
My full GYM activity returned to normal as of February 1st (4.5months Post). This included lifting heavy load overhead, hanging from a chinning bar, etc;
I was fully sleeping on all sides, arms up overhead by 3 months post (mid to late December)
My skin is slowly getting smoother & tighter. When I reviewed my operative report Dr. Shapiro removed 125cc of FAT from each arm. I realize this was a very small amount of fat, but non the less I was very concerned. The back of my right arm remained very numb and is JUST now returning back to a normal sensation. At about week 10 or 2.5 months post (once the swelling subsided) I noticed that my arms began to get lumpy. I also noticed that there was a tremendous amount of scar tissue that was forming. However, I wasn't worried about it, as I just am now seeing that the scar tissue is beginning to soften and my arms are beginning to smooth out...whew!
Well. I'd say after 7 months since my arm-lift these are the TOP 3 changes I received:
#1. 75% Improved Upper Skin Texture!
#2. 50% Smoother Upper Arms with less lumps & bumps!
#3 Upper Arms are more defined & contoured
With all that said...I noticed that my elbows remained wrinkly. Soooo on Tuesday, April the 26th I underwent:
Thermage to my Elbows and Arms and full Fraxel 1927 to both arms! I'm only 4 days post from those two procedures...and I just can't wait to see the outcome in a few months time! My skin responds very well to thermage and I'm hoping I'll get a good result from the fraxel as far as: reduction in age spots & increased skin tightness. I also feel that training hard in the GYM, eating good nutrition and letting mother nature do her healing is a big part of good recovery from this surgery. I feel this surgery would not benefit a lady, if she had heavy upper arms. My overall measurements of my arms remained unchanged...the reason I decided to do this surgery was to smooth out & tighten my upper arm skin. This surgery does NOT give you a 100% improvement...you'll still have less than perfect arms but I was only expecting 50% improvement and that's what I got plus a little more :) OVERALL I'm very happy with my result thus far and expect that my full result will be seen between 10 to 12 months time.
Hope these pictures and information helps you to decide if this surgery is right for you...I'll do my next up-date at 12 months post :)
Have a fabulous summer ladies and don't forget to wear your sunscreen on your entire body :)))
A Video Up-Date that was done at 6 Months Post!
Dr.Shapiro gave back my Arms & Freedom to wear T-tops! When I explained to Dr.Shapiro how my arms got this way (bad lipo job 8 years ago), and I asked him what could be done? He listened and then proceeded to show me by drawing out on a piece of paper what the surgery would entail, where the incision would go and then said, I’d get a beautiful result with the minimal incision arm-lift. Sooo that was then and this is NOW! MY RESULTS TODAY: Dr.Shapiro is the artist I was always looking for…he saw what I saw and he was realistic with me about what could or couldn’t be done! He doesn’t hold anything back when he speaks. He’s intelligent, has a wonderful sense of humor. I trust what he tells me because he knows & loves his job. The staff support and help to guide his patients before & after all procedures. Dr.Shapiro runs a ship and fantastic crew that all are synchronized together. Dr.Shapiro in my eyes, is like the great artist that I come to love and admire. His work IS outstanding and breathtaking in every sense! I highly recommend Dr. Daniel Shapiro for any procedure that you maybe considering! He has aced my: Minimal Incision Arm-Lift & Arm Lipo, and Face Fat Transfer. Thank You once again Dr. Shapiro for changing my body image and confidence!