Brachioplasty/Thigh Lift

Leading Up To Surgery

MEDICATION & SUPPLEMENTS

Stop taking Aspirin, products that contain Aspirin, and all other supplements two weeks before surgery. This includes:

  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Anacin
  • Bufferin
  • BC or Goodies powders
  • Excedrin
  • Fish oil
  • CoQ10
  • Weight loss medication
  • Vitamin E
  • Herbal supplements
  • Meal replacements or protein shakes

PRESCRIPTIONS

Please make sure to get your prescriptions filled prior to your surgery date. You will be expected to bring your prescriptions with you the day of surgery. 

The pain medication that is prescribed can cause constipation. You can start prevention as early as two days before your surgery by taking Colace, or Activia yogurt. After your surgery, you can have things like MiraLAX or Milk of Magnesia, but these should not be taken before.

If you become ill or have to postpone your surgery for any reason, please notify us as soon as possible. 


Day Before Surgery

You will receive a call and email the day before your surgery with instructions regarding where and when to arrive.

This will include instructions regarding medications. 


Day Of Surgery Instructions

FOOD AND DRINK

Do not eat anything after midnight the night before your surgery. 

  • You can brush your teeth, but do not swallow any toothpaste or liquid.
  • Do not consume candy or gum.
  • You may drink water or Gatorade (any flavor except red) up to four hours before your surgery.
  • Do not drink coffee or tea day of surgery. 

CLOTHING

Do not wear jewelry or make-up to your surgery appointment. Wear loose, comfortable, and warm clothing. A top that zips or buttons up is preferred. Please wear glasses instead of contacts if applicable.

Sweat or Pajama pants are preferred. No yoga pants/leggings.

Fingernails must be short. If polished, it must be clear.  

A responsible adult must take you home. You will need someone to stay with you for the first night after surgery.

Note: If you are a minor, a parent or legal guardian must accompany you. 

No Taxi Cabs, Lyfts, or Ubers as your transportation home.

If you need transportation/help after surgery, the team at Metro’s Other Woman, https://www.metrosotherwoman.com/raleigh-nc, have helped our patients with care, housekeeping, dog walking, taking children to soccer practice, and everything in-between.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Once you arrive in our surgery suite, the clinical staff will discuss the details of your procedure and ask you to sign an informed consent. If applicable, you will take a pregnancy test prior to surgery.

You will speak with your anesthesia provider prior to your surgery. They will go over your history with you one last time before we get started and tell you what to expect when you are in the operating room. 

From there, your surgeon will come in, discuss the procedure, and create his markings before we get started. 


After Your Surgery

What to Expect Physically

Pain and discomfort accompanied with swelling and bruising to surgical sites.

The bruising may travel/migrate down to other areas due to gravity.

The bruising usually lasts for 2-3 weeks.

You will have areas of numbness especially at your incision line. This will gradually improve over several months post-operatively.

Your skin and incision line will feel very tight that may make it hard for you to move.

What to Expect Visually

The first thing you will see is the garment. You will be wearing a compression garment to the site.

  • All brachioplasties will have an arm garment.
  • Thigh lifts will have a garment that extends from the abdomen to below the knee.

You will have red/pink drainage for the first 1-2 days post-operatively.  It looks like blood, but it is just blood tinged fluid. This comes from the fluid used prior to suctioning.

Directly beneath your garment you will see foam padding and chux pads that are placed there to help with swelling and drainage.

You will have an incision with all absorbable sutures that will be covered with tape.

You will have compression stockings on after surgery. Please leave these in place until you take a shower to help with circulation while you are not moving around as much as you normally would be.

Care Instructions

You are going to have to take it easy after this surgery, especially the first week or so. Please make sure to make a conscious effort to move around throughout the day. We want you to get up at least every couple of hours while you are awake to help in blood circulation.

Wear your garment except while in the shower. If you do need to wash it, you can do so, please wash this in cold water and dry on a low setting.

You are allowed to take a shower 48 hours after your surgery.

  • The chux and padding should be removed and does not need to be re-applied after, only your garment.
  • Please leave the tape applied directly to the site in place.
  • Do not wash the incision line directly, it is ok if the areas get wet. After your shower, gently pat the incision site dry. 

You can start to work out again 6 weeks after surgery.

  • Ease yourself back into things.

No smoking or being around anyone else who smokes for 4 weeks after surgery.

No lifting anything greater than 10 lbs for the first 4 weeks.

No housework until cleared by your doctor.

Pain Management

Do not use heating pads to help with pain as this could cause a burn.

Resume your normal activities as you feel comfortable. If it hurts don’t do it, if it doesn’t it is ok to do.

You may take up to 1000mg of Tylenol (2 tablets of Extra-strength Acetaminophen or Tylenol over-the-counter) and 600mg (3 tablets of 200mg over-the-counter) Ibuprofen in-between your pain medication doses to help make it easier to move around.

Medications

Avoid Aspirin or Aspirin containing products for 2 weeks after your surgery.

Do not use alcoholic beverages while taking pain medication.

You will be prescribed 4 different medications:

  • Pain medication –Oxycodone
    • Take 1-2 tablets every 6 hours as needed for pain.
  • Anti-nausea medication to be taken prior to surgery- Zofran or Ondansetron
    • Take 4 tablets 1 hour prior to your surgery.
    • After surgery take 1 tablet every 6 hours as needed for nausea.
  • Anti-nausea medication for extreme nausea- Phenergan or Promethazine
    • Take 1 tablet every 4-6 hours as needed for extreme nausea. This may cause drowsiness.
  • Antibiotic
    • Please start the day AFTER surgery and follow the instructions provided on the prescription.

When To Call The Office

Call the office if you have a fever over 101 degrees, experience any sudden increase in swelling (especially on one side), or notice redness around your incision sites (especially if it’s warm to the touch).


Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to take off work?
10-14 days

How long does the procedure last?
About 2.5 hours

How long will I have to be in recovery?
At least 45 minutes

When can I drive again?
When you are no longer taking pain medication and feel comfortable driving again. Always consider that you would need to be able to react in case of an emergency.

When can I start exercising again?
6 weeks after surgery you can start to ease yourself back into things. 

When can I get in a pool/Beach/Lake?
3 weeks post-operatively

Can I go to a tanning bed or get spray tanned after surgery?
You can get a spray tan 2 weeks after surgery, but make sure your incision line is protected/covered. We do not advise patients to go to the tanning bed until 6 weeks after surgery.

What can I do for scar care after surgery?
You will be given a scar gel from, Skin Medica, at your 6-week post-operative appointment.

How long does the swelling last?
You will have the most significant swelling within the first 6 weeks of your surgery then will gradually improve with time.

Will I have drains?
Usually you will not have a drain for either of these procedures, but it is possible.