Significant swelling after brachioplasty

MissNexxie
on 10/29/17 6:49 am
VSG on 04/30/14

Hello all I am 10 days out from brachioplasty and UBL. No complications with incisions and am managing pain with T3s and wearing long sleeve compression bolero, no ace bandages or drains. But, I have significant arm and body swelling. I am up 14 lbs from before surgery and my usual size 8 thighs are about a 16 now with very little dissipation of fluids.

Is this normal? When does it go away? DOES it go away? Dr says its not typical but feels normal (not hard). And I am aware of post surgical swelling from past surgeries but this seems so bad.

Any advice or experiences you can share? I admit my eating has been off plan as I dealt with my period during first 7 days plus eating the pain but not 14 lbs worth. Just need to know if its normal and requires patience or when it typically goes away. Thanks!

Surgery: April 30, 2014: HW: 288 SW: 250 CW: 149, Achieved Goal (155 lbs): April 8, 2015

Gwen M.
on 10/29/17 11:10 am
VSG on 03/13/14

I'm sorry - swelling is crummy.

My surgeon has patients take arnica which supposedly helps with swelling. I've also been using bromelain powder in my shakes (it's a pineapple extract) which supposedly helps with swelling - but who knows if these things actually do help. Hydration will help. Are you ingesting more sodium than normal? Since liquids follow the salt, so that might be a factor.

I feel like Deanna had good luck with heat for swelling? Hopefully she'll chime in or you could look through her posts or message her.

My arms still swell off and on now and it sucks because it's super uncomfortable, thankfully it's rare!!

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Plastics with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL&brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL&mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 40 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

Check out my TrendWeight

Sharon0055
on 10/29/17 1:51 pm - PA
RNY on 12/22/14 with

I had my arms over my head alot for the first 2 weeks - I really was hardly on computer at all. Anything to help the fluid out of my arms. Are the bolero sleeves tight enough. I wore mine for 6 months.

I did use compression garments on my thighs ( I had lipo on my saddlebags but my whole thighs swelled up, it took 1-2 months for the thighs to get back to normal. I did not weigh during that time - why drive myself crazy - focus on eating right and the scale will take care of itself in a month.

Sharon  SW:267    GW:165    CW:145 

MissNexxie
on 10/29/17 4:04 pm, edited 10/29/17 9:05 am
VSG on 04/30/14

Thanks for all the replies. I have ingested more sodium lately than I should have so that's likely a contributor. A little too easy going and obeying the cravings. I'm back on my eating plan so hoping that helps the food related fluid leave in a few days. I'm still sleeping in the office chair and maybe I need to move to the bed to try and get my arms the proper elevation for the next week or so. They are on pillows while I sleep but not above the heart, maybe parallel to it. How to keep them raised without opening an incision? Increase flexion but limit daily movements/lifting/stuff. Gah - who's crazy idea was this surgery thing?

Bolero is snug everywhere except where it touches the wrist area and I'm ok with that. First days after surgery it was tight all over. I do have swelling on top of my left hand but not on the right. Left is also where they placed the initial IV. But it lessened about 3 days out and was good for a day or two and now is puffier than the right, which was gross the first 3-4 days and is normal now. I will have to get that left hand up. In fact, my whole right side was much worse first few days but seems lesser now. Doc said it's because when they had to do the position change during surgery it was over my right side. I don't even want to know how they managed that.

I'm also being quite restless and moving about more than I should, probably. Have had a couple incidents in last couple days of incision pain under the arm from over-extension or over-reaching - I sure hope I didn't open anything. Hubby checked and says garment is dry with no stains and bandages appear the same as always. Am stuffing gauze pads in my underarms to stop the garment rub. Back incisions are dry, too.

Note to everyone: if having UBL, do your best to avoid hiccups, coughing and sneezing. For same reasons as you have with abdominoplasty. Dayum!

Perhaps patience is the key. I tried to put on my hip/thigh compression garment but along with the support hose and compression bolero I felt like a sausage and quite encumbered. Right now, have on the abdominal velcro binder because it helps my abdomen feel less puffy. Even my old abdominoplasty incisions were aching and itchy.

Have been eating pineapple but not taking bromelain. I could only find one instance of it and it's a bromelain+turmeric vitamin. Do you think that will be ok?

Drinking tons of water and herbal tea, taking my colace and have just started back on my Vyvanse and iron pills. I shall see how this all unfolds. Thanks, everyone, for the support.

ETA: fix spelling. Thanks T3s

Surgery: April 30, 2014: HW: 288 SW: 250 CW: 149, Achieved Goal (155 lbs): April 8, 2015

Gwen M.
on 10/29/17 6:35 pm
VSG on 03/13/14

I think the idea is to sleep propped up and then prop your arms up with pillows. (I didn't do this, though.)

One of my problems with the UBL/mastopexy is that I felt GREAT, so I know that I moved too much since I didn't feel like I was "only x days out from surgery." :P

I use this -- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DXVK74/

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Plastics with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL&brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL&mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 40 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

Check out my TrendWeight

MissNexxie
on 10/29/17 7:15 pm
VSG on 04/30/14

Thanks for that. I'll check it out.

Surgery: April 30, 2014: HW: 288 SW: 250 CW: 149, Achieved Goal (155 lbs): April 8, 2015

×