Minimizing Scarring after Arm Lift Surgery
By Constance M. Barone, M.D. on November 15, 2016
An arm lift can eliminate excess fat and skin in the upper arms to create better tone and definition. As with any surgical procedure, however, you will likely experience some scarring following surgery. By using advanced surgical techniques and providing detailed post-operative instructions, Dr. Constance Barone helps to minimize the amount of scarring after arm lift surgery that patients experience at our San Antonio, TX, office.
Advanced Surgical Techniques
To minimize the visibility of the scars after your arm lift surgery, Dr. Barone creates incisions along the inside of your arms, as well as in the armpit. The total size of your incisions will depend primarily on the amount of excess skin requiring removal. If your skin still has good elasticity, liposuction may be performed to remove excess fat and contour the arms. This involves much smaller incisions near the armpit, making the incisions extremely discreet. If you require the removal of excess skin, the incisions may extend down the arm toward the elbow.
Caring for Your Incisions
While Dr. Barone’s surgical techniques help to minimize the overall visibility of scars, how you care for your incisions after surgery will have a significant impact on your results. Dr. Barone and her team will provide you with detailed instructions regarding your post-surgical incision care. Following these instructions will help ensure your scars heal and fade, making them as discreet as possible.
If Dr. Barone places drains at the incision site, you must make sure you clean and empty them regularly. You should also change your bandages and clean your incisions on a regular basis. This will help to prevent infection, and will also help your incisions heal properly. Other post-operative instructions you will need to follow to minimize scarring include:
- Apply topical creams or ointments such as an antibiotic or moisturizer as directed
- Sleep with your arms elevated for the first few nights
- Avoid lifting heavy objects as instructed by Dr. Barone; doing so could result in reopening the incisions, which could worsen scarring
- Prevent unprotected sun exposure for several months
- Always use sun protection, even if your exposure will only last a few minutes
Most incisions follow a particular timeline after surgery:
- Inflammation: In the first week or so post-op, you will experience swollen and sore incisions.
- Suture Removal: You sutures will either dissolve on their own, or Dr. Barone will remove non-dissolvable sutures within 10 to 14 days of your procedure.
- Healing: The healing phase typically begins around the same time your sutures are removed. Your blood vessels supply nutrients and new skin begins to form. You may see scabs during this time. It is important to avoid itching or picking at scabs, as this can worsen scarring. After scabs have subsided, your incisions will appear red and then pink.
With proper care, your incisions will eventually fade. It is important to have patience with yourself and your body because the healing process can take a year or more.
If you have questions about the healing process after arm lift surgery, please contact our plastic surgery office for information and guidance.
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“Rating our experience with a perfect score is not enough. The care and attention we received from Dr. Barone and her team was as close to perfection as one can ask for.” Jacqueline W.