As others say, after spending a year following...
As others say, after spending a year following this website I feel like I should share to possibly help someone else.
I've been hiding my arms for 30 years. In my case, they were ruined by the age of 12, this is what 30 year old stretch marks look like after weight loss. I struggle with clothes, tops have to be larger than needed or way too tight on the arms, the fabric must stretch and the sleeves must come to at least the elbow to hide the flapping crepey skin. The technician at my last mammogram actually said "OMG, what happened to your arms". Cosmetic surgery was never on my "to do" list but I've finally realized the only way I'm going to be comfortable with myself, and the only way to fix this is with surgery.
5 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
The nausea is the worst part right now. I won't be removing gauze to see anything until Sunday.
Forgot a pic
5 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
I can't seem to edit to the prior post.
Difficult to look at
I know it will look good eventually, but I'm having trouble stomaching what it currently looks like. It's very tight, was afraid to move it around too much when I showered.
Still very tight but getting better. Taking pics is a bit difficult.
If your having this procedure I'd recommend you buy compression sleeves in multiple sizes. Mine no longer fit, all I can do is wait for new sleeves to arrive at this point. Once the swelling goes down I'll revert back to the original smaller size.
It feels weird, numb and tight, with limited range of motion.
Most of the arm lift reviews I've read on realself are easy peasy, couldn't be happier at two weeks. You see some with complications but you don't expect it will happen to you.
I received my properly sized recommended garment on day 7. This garment was sleeves that hook to each other on your back. I do not recommend a garment like this to anyone who has incisions through the armpit. After a day and a half I developed a tension sore in my right armpit from the garment irritating the incision. For days later the left armpit started with the same issue. Doc says no big deal, it's a common occurance. The recommended treatment is silvadine cream which I cannot use because it is sulpha based and I'm allergic to sulpha. The sore starts as a white spot and then grows each day. It looks like it has a white puss on it but I would describe it as the skin breaking down and turning white and mushy. It's really very painfull too.
I googled and what I found is that this happens to about 25% of arm lift patients. So my instructions are, keep it clean, keep it covered and be patient.
My swelling remains the same and my left hand has resembled a balloon glove for the last four days even with a substantial amount of ibuprofen. Showering, dressing, driving and working my desk job is still difficult.
I purchased and returned about ten different garments. This is the only one I found acceptable http://nouvelleinc.com/convertiblecompressionarmsleeves.aspx
Trying to be patient...
One month today
Still swollen. The stitches came out after these pics were taken. Right side tension sore isn't oozing as much, left side hasn't caught up to right yet.
I have no luck
I've been informed that my surgeons office is closing. Finding him was the hardest part of this whole process. I need revisions, and not sure he will do them. I've been informed by his nurse that he can only do them if awake and in office and before the close date of 11/10. I will discuss it with him in a few days when I go back. I'm attaching pics of where the incision ends below the armpit, it is not smooth and has holes/indention area. This didn't seem like a big deal until I found out that I might not be able to get a revision. It does cause an issue with wearing sleeveless since you can see it if I pick up my arm, and being sleeveless was the whole reason I did this. So very disappointed that I'm losing this doctor.
6 weeks today
Went back to doc. today. He will be doing an in office revision on 9/30 to smooth out where the incisions end under my arms (mentioned in previous post). I will try to take some new pics tomorrow. It's been two weeks since I added pics, figured out this morning that what I thought was scabs was actually glue and now that I've removed all that glue the arm incisions look much better. Still just as swollen unfortunately.
Had the revision on the 30th but no idea what it looks like due to the many steri strips. I only have to wear sleeves 8 hours a day now, that's a relief. The opening in the right armpit has closed and the left is shrinking. Swelling in the left arm went down a little but the right hasn't changed yet. I was nervous about having the revision while awake in office but I didn't feel a thing.
16 Oct 2016
2 months post
The revision area looks much better, no more folded/creases area at the base of the incision. I've switched from the nouvelle sleeves to a pair of mastectomy sleeves which I feel provide better compression around the elbow area. I still have swelling. I have puffed out areas at the base of each incision near the elbows, hoping the change in sleeves will help that even out. I've been using maderma on the healed areas but am not allowed yet to use it where the openings were, down to the revision area.
10 week comparison
16 Oct 2016
2 months post
Used the photo grid app...
31 Oct 2016
2 months post
I was using maderma but have been advised that silicone tape and sheets are better. I found this on amazon, it was the cheapest option with good reviews. It said you can remove and reuse it, I'm skeptical on that but will let you know in the future how that works out for me.
I'm three months out and this really is a long healing process. I still have swelling and shooting pains from nerves mending. The openings are closed but the skin in the armpits is still very tight and limits range of motion. The areas of the openings keep shedding very dry skin. I've given up on the silicone tape, it stuck well but was very annoying having tape on all day long.
Just about 4 months
30 Nov 2016
3 months post
I'm supposed to be done with the sleeves now but I'm still wearing them at night because I swell without them. Still have some numbness and occasional sgooting pains. The openings keep flaking up and skin peeling off. The opening area on the right is ahead of the left, I can fulling extend the right arm iver my head but not the left. Technically, I could fully extend the left but it would cause that dried area to crack and hurt.
Going to need another revision
25 Dec 2016
4 months post
My doc closed his practice so I'm going to have to pay someone else to do this. It's been almost five minths so I don't think my elbow areas are going to smooth out. When I bend my arms I get folds...
I still get numbness and tingling. Swelling still comes and goes. The elbow area is too full, the skin folds when I bend my arms. I'm hoping to get that fixed soon. Still better than they were before though.
One year today
A year ago I was saying "omg, what have I done". Today it's "I'm so happy my arms don't look like that anymore. I added my surgeon's pre op photos, and photos from today. I still need a revision in the elbow areas. I also still have random swelling and numbness but I'm ok with it, you get used to it and it's less bothersome than the loose skin swinging back and forth prior to surgery.