Arm Lift Surgery Procedure

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Most clinics will have a policy that requires them to wheel you into the operating theatre on a trolley (although if you are having a local anaesthetic then this will be different). You will be given the general anaesthetic through a cannula (a tube that has been inserted into your arm with a needle) by a trained anaesthetist and this will make you feel extremely sleepy very quickly. Going under anaesthetic is not painful and simply feels like you are falling into a deep sleep and most clinics will ask you to count backwards from 10 or answer a simple question in order to see when you fall under (i.e. when you go to sleep). It is your anaesthetist who is responsible for making sure that you are under the influence of the anaesthetic before they allow your surgeon to start making incisions. In addition, your anaesthetist will be the one who monitors your vital signs throughout the procedure to make sure that you stay stable throughout.

Making the incision

Your surgeon will begin to make the incisions to remove your excess skin in a number of stages to ensure that it is done accurately and neatly. This is important as an inaccurate or untidy incision will leave you with a more visible (and potentially much larger) scar. In addition the surgeon may have to roll you over a number of times in order to access different areas of your arm. Whilst being “rolled” does not sound very dignified, you should be assured that your surgical team will take the upmost care not to hurt you during this process and there are always numerous nurses and assistants on hand to help the surgical team. However, in general most (sometimes all) of the operation will be carried out with you lying on your back.

Cutting out your sagging skin and stitching it back up again

The surgeon will generally cut out your sagging skin in a triangle shape as this shape minimises scaring. Most surgeons will then use biodegradable stitches although some still use the more traditional stitches that need to be removed once your wounds have healed after surgery. Biodegradable stitches dissolve as your wounds heal which means that you do not have to have them removed (which is a procedure that some people find painful). If your surgeon uses these biodegradable stitches then you might have most of your stitches located underneath your skin. If this is the case then you might be surprised not to be able to see stitches around your wound! However, your wounds will be bandaged for the first two weeks immediately after the surgery which ever type of stitches are used.

Bringing you back around from the general anaesthetic

Once the stitching has been carried out by your surgeon, your anaesthetist will begin to give you oxygen in order to bring you round from the anaesthetic. This will cause your body to “wake up”, but you will usually remain asleep. Your anaesthetist will continue to check all of your vitals until the effects of the anaesthetic have completely worn off and you have come back around. You should expect to remain asleep for a while after your arm lift surgery as the anaesthetics will have made you really drowsy. Due to this fact you will probably not wake up until you have been wheeled back into your original hospital bed on the trolley (so you should not expect to wake up on the operating table once your surgery is over).

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