Length of operation: From 2 to 3 hours
Type of Anaesthesia: General
Length of stay in hospital: One night
Time off work: 1 to 2 weeks after operation
About arm reduction: Arm reduction surgery helps contour the arms, giving them a more streamlined appearance.
Suitable candidate: If any of the following conditions trouble you – flabby upper arms, loose or hanging skin of the arms, full arms or arms that are large compared to the rest of the figure – you would then be an ideal candidate for arm surgery. This may involve liposuction or skin and fat excision.
Reasons not to go ahead: Patients on blood thinning medicine, active smoking, overweight patients and those who do not want any scarring.
Pre op: You can discuss your expectations, learn about the surgery and or clarify any doubts during the consultation. The surgeon will perform an examination in order to be able to assess your individual needs and discuss the results in length with you.
On the day: If you decide to go ahead with the procedure, you will receive advice about what to do and what to avoid, prior to surgery. Plastic tube drains may be inserted under the arm skin to remove any excess blood or fluid for the first 24 to 48 hours. These drains are removed before being discharged home. The incision site will be covered with tape and the arm bandaged with a firm, elasticated bandage that helps proper healing. Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to best care for the bandage and how to position yourself while sitting or lying down to help ease pain. Most patients are discharged the following morning from the hospital. An appointment is made for removal of sutures a week following surgery and for a review in two weeks after surgery.
Post op: The skin feels tight and numb for the first few days after the operation and this will soften and normal sensation will return gradually. The bandage must be worn constantly for the first 2 weeks. Patients are encouraged to exercise after the first couple of weeks.
Convalescence: Within a week or two of the procedure, swelling and bruising will begin to reduce. It may take between three to six months for the swelling to settle and to see the full results of the procedure.
Risks and complications: A small percentage of patients can have complications just like for any surgical procedure.
Infection – can be usually readily treated with an antibiotic.
Haematoma (blood clot under the skin) or bleeding – a re-visit to the operating theatre may be necessary.
Delayed healing of the wound – particularly true in case of diabetic patients or those who smoke. This needs to be discussed with the surgeon during the consultation stage.
Scars – scarring will normally heal well, but will differ from patient to patient. There is a risk of hypertrophic ( thick and lumpy) scarring.
Effects of the procedure: Your arms should remain firm for many years. If, after a period of years, you again become dissatisfied with the appearance of your arms, you may choose to undergo a second procedure to restore a more streamlined body contour.