I'm 11 days out from my brachioplasty
(no lipo). I have to say it's been by far the easiest of all of my plastic surgeries (I've had a tummy tuck
, breast lift
, and breast augmentation
also). I took one pain pill the day after surgery and didn't need anything after that. Which almost makes it harder because I feel good and feel capable of doing whatever I want, but I'm forced to loaf around uselessly and rest.
The swelling is noticeable around my elbow at the end of the day and I did have a lot more bruising in my left arm than my right. I'm a bleeder though so that's expected. The pictures look heinous because of the bruising but it's not painful in the least. A little tight feeling, yes, along with a bit of itching. But no pain.
My picture album is public and I will update it every 5 or so days for the next little while. It is here: http://www.makemeheal.com/pictures/brac ... sty-a14196
TIPS SO FAR:
-Move your microwave down to waist-height. Same goes for a supply of cups, dishes, etc. It's a pain having to ask people to get these things all the time.
-Have your food in the fridge on the lowest shelves. No reaching up!
-Take a stool softener (like docusate sodium) every day if you end up taking pain medications for more than 1 day. This is NOT the same as a laxative, it just smooths the way, so to speak. Constipation is SO not fun. Also have some senna tea (smooth moves) or dulcolax in case you do get constipated. If you don't go for 3 days, take care of it. Seriously.
-Do you have a comfortable recliner? Sleep in it. Put 2 pillows on it, one on each chair arm, so you can elevate the arms while you sleep. This way you won't roll over in your sleep and pull on the incisions. I also slept with one of those airplane neck pillows
instead of a normal one, because it stayed behind my head. ALSO try not to let your upper arm slide off the pillows, if only your hands stay elevated you will get swelling in your elbows because they will be bent all night.
-If you're like me and get cold hands, have a pair of gloves to sleep in. With the arms elevated, even less blood is flowing to the fingers and they FREEZE at night. I slept with heavy socks on each hand as a substitute.
-Eat low sodium. No soup or other salty things. It helps with swelling.
-Put crystal lite, emergen-C, or some other flavor into your water. It helps you drink more fluid, which also helps with swelling.
-You can cut the toes off of compression stockings or pantyhose and try that as a compression garment
!! My PS sent me home with ACE bandages that were bulky and provided uneven pressure. I had worn some knee-length compression pantyhose type stockings during the surgery (disposable ones, provided by my PS) and still had them. Rather than order a compression garment I cut the toes off the stockings, and they were PERFECT. I used about 12" of the larger end of the stocking
(upper part). Bunch it all up, bring the whole bundle to right below the start of the incision at the elbow, and then *carefully* unroll it up the arm, taking care not to pull. Do not tug these on like you would socks! This may or may not work depending on the size of your arm vs size of the sock. My size medium stockings work great. It's worth a try, I saved $60, and they're way more comfortable than the ACE bandages. I rinse em in soapy water in the sink every few days and hang dry (doesn't take long) to get rid of bacteria. I cut 3" square nonstick medical pads in half and put them lengthwise over the incision before pulling the stocking on, as a layer of protection. You can also use pantyliners.
-Button-up shirts! You'll be living in these for about 4 weeks. Go to the thrift store or somewhere cheap, if you don't have many.
-It is helpful to have a front-closure bra. I cannot reach behind me all the way to hook my bra so I've been living in my only front-clip bra.
-No lifting heavy pots and pans. Have someone else cook for you, or make a bunch of stuff beforehand and freeze it. I made a bunch of burritos and froze them individually.