Brachioplasty Post-Operative Instructions
WHAT TO EXPECT
You can expect to have a feeling of tightness to the skin with mild diffuse swelling to the arms and hands. You can expect general soreness to moderate pain. You may have increased pain with movement. You may have bulb drains – they should have watery pink to red drainage.
WHAT TO DO
Take frequent short walks to help your circulation and to decrease the risk of blood clot formation in the legs. Walking also helps your breathing. Take frequent deep breaths. You should be getting up to walk every hour when you are awake during the day. When resting, elevate your legs when possible.
Drink abundant clear fluids. You may increase your diet as tolerated to regular foods. Do not take your pain medication on an empty stomach. Eat a light snack, such as crackers, about 30 minutes before your take your medication.
Pain medication and general anesthesia can cause constipation. It is helpful to start on a stool softener, such as Colace, a few days before surgery. If constipation is a problem after surgery, you may take a glycerin suppository or Fleet enema.
If you have drains, keep track of the drainage by charting the volume; empty and compress bulbs after recording volume. Apply antibiotic ointment to the drain skin exit sites three times daily (Polysporin, Neosporin, or Bacitracin).
You may reinforce or change the dressings if there is drainage from the wounds. You will have compression sleeves on after surgery to help keep the dressings in place and to hold general compression to the area.
OK TO DO
Using your arms for activities of daily living: eating, drinking, washing, light movements in front of you.
No extreme arm motion or stretching.
No heavy lifting (>25 lbs), vigorous activity, or straining for three weeks.
No tub bathing until cleared by Physician
No use of heating pads.
WHEN TO CALL
If you develop severe shortness of breath or chest pain – call 911, then notify physician.
If you run a fever, or have chills – call our office.
If you have markedly increased pain, bruising, swelling or bloody drainage– call our office.
If you develop leg swelling or pain – call our office.
If you have persistent nausea or vomiting – call our office.
If you are uncertain about a medication or treatment – call our office.
If you are experiencing any adverse symptoms or changes that you do not understand – call our office.