Post Op Instructions for Brachioplasty
Plastic Surgery Instructions (Brachioplasty):
-It is important to only lift your arms less than 90 degrees at the shoulder for the first 10-14 days to minimize tension on the suture line. Sleep with your arms on 2-3 pillows to minimize swelling. This will improve the quality of your scar.
-Please wear your arm compression binder continuously for 2-3 weeks. You will likely be able to take it off to shower on day 3 or 4 after your first follow up visit with Dr. DePerro.
-Do not lift anything heavier than 10 lbs for 3 weeks. It is good to walk for 15-20 minutes 2-3 times per day. Do not run, lift weights, play tennis, or golf for 3-4 weeks. (Keep your heart rate under 100 for 3 weeks.) You may begin swimming 4 weeks post-operatively.
-Do not take ibuprofen, aspirin or products containing aspirin for 3 weeks after surgery.
-No showering until cleared by Dr. DePerro. This usually occurs after your first post operative visit around day 3.
-When showering you can hold your drains, pin them to a belt around your waist, attach
them to a lanyard or string around your neck, or a partner/family member can hold them. Do whatever is easiest for you.
-Leave all surgical tapes in place. You may change the gauze pads (4×4’s) or ABD pads around the drains or over the incision but do not remove the tape that is covering the incision.
-Strip your drains at least 3 times per day. If you use a small amount of soap/water or hand sanitizer it makes the process easier
-Record the individual drain output daily. Bring the record to your follow up appointment.
-Keep your drainage bulbs collapsed and please record the amounts of drainage over a 24-hour period. All patients heal differently according to many factors. Dr. DePerro will make the decisions regarding drain removal and necessity of office visits. (Generally the drains will be removed when the drainage is 30cc or less in a 24-hour period, which usually occurs in 5-7 days.)
-Do Not apply a heating pad or ice to your incisions, After surgery you will have decreased sensation and heat/ice can result in a burn/frost bite without you feeling it.
-Take your pain medication with food. This can be with as little as a few crackers. This will help prevent nausea.
-Do not drive for at least 7-10 days, until you’re off all pain medication, you can safely control a car, and you feel like you have full mobility to react quickly and appropriately in the case of an emergency.
-Moderate swelling of your arms is to be expected. You may find that your clothes may not fit as easily as before. Be patient. The swelling will gradually subside and you will be back to normal in a few months.
-Because of the removal of tissue from your arms, there is a certain amount of tightness that is to be expected. This will slowly relax within 3-6 months.
-Infrequently after surgery, you may have fluid in the arms after the drains are removed. If this happens, please contact our office, as Dr. DePerro will want to see you to remove the fluid.
-You can expect swelling of the surgery site. If the swelling is definitely more pronounced on one side than the other side, or if you are having pain which is NOT relieved by the pain medication, call Dr. DePerro’s office.
-All incisions will be extremely sensitive during the healing phase. Direct sun is to be avoided. When going out, even on cloudy days, use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater for at least 1 year that has both UVA and UVB protection.
-Smoking causes multiple wound healing complications. It is very important that you do not smoke and you are not around people that smoke for at least 6 weeks after surgery. Second hand smoke is just as harmful as if you were to smoke.
-It is important to get out of bed early and often after your surgery (with assistance) to prevent postoperative problems. Be sure to walk at least 300 yards daily. This can be broken up in multiple short trips. It is OK and recommended that you walk more than the minimum of 300 yards. This will help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT’s/Blood Clots) and Pulmonary Embolisms (PE’s).
-If you develop a fever (oral temperature greater than 101 degrees), redness, or increased pain or swelling at the surgical incisions, please call your doctor.