Many people who have had an arm lift surgery are worried about how the incision scars will look. These scars are typically well hidden by clothing and can make a huge difference in how you confidently present yourself to others.
As per the studies, 20-30% of people who have had arm lift surgery continue to get self-conscious about their scars. Although the arm lift procedure significantly reduces the arm volume, the scars incision is generally linear and heals with a well-defined border.
Typically, scars after any surgery are irregularly shaped and slightly raised scabs. These will fade over time to become almost invisible; for those concerned about their incision scars, it is good to know that there is nothing to worry about as there are many things to do to minimize the visibility of scars.
Therefore, in the following article, a few things that can help you minimize the visibility of your incision scars are discussed.
What Is An Arm Lift?
The arm lift procedure has a long history and has been performed for various cosmetic reasons. It is also called the “silhouette lift” and involves making an incision on the outer edge of your arm, peeling off excess skin, and working to create a more refined shape by moving from underneath the skin up to your armpit.
Various cosmetic plastic surgeons perform arm lift surgery on their patients for various reasons. These include lowering the appearance of sagging skin, improving the definition of an area, eliminating scars, reducing elbow and bra line, or reducing some bulkiness from a large Asian or mixed body type.
The arm lift procedure is a simple operation that does not require general anesthesia. Still, it does involve making an incision on your outer edge and then removing excess skin to reshape your arms.
In addition, the procedure mostly leaves a linear scar along the edge of your arm. The incision of the arm lift surgery is usually curved and not straight, which means that it will not be evident on certain parts of your arms.
It is especially true if you carry some extra weight around your arms, and this excess skin tends to stretch downwards, so it can make it hard to see the scar itself. Moreover, scarring is entirely subjective and varies from one person to another.
What Is The Recovery Timeline Of The Arm-Lift Scar Post-Surgery?
The recovery timeline will be different for everyone who has the arm lift surgery, but it generally takes a few weeks to feel normal again.
To be specific, after three days of your surgery, you should feel well enough to move around and do things at home. In addition, you can expect your scar to take between 8-12 weeks for it to fade before you can fully see its results, which is why the timing of your surgery is important.
The recovery process will be more or less the same for everyone. However, certain factors on which the recovery timeline may vary are mentioned in the following points.
The age of the patient will affect their recovery timeline. As the years go by, your skin starts changing and becoming thinner, which means you will need less time to recover.
Older people have less collagen in their skin to use as a scaffold to support new tissue growth. Therefore, keeping this in mind would be suitable for deciding your arm lift.
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
Having a higher body mass index or a higher degree of obesity may affect your recovery timeline. For one thing, you will have less fat to remove from your body, which means that you won’t need as much time to heal.
In addition, if you have too much fat in your arms and the size of your arms is disproportionate to the rest of your body, it will make it difficult for the scars to fade and become invisible.
- Frequency of Wound Care
The frequency of wound care is affected by how well you take care of yourself and your healing scars. The recovery timeline is also affected if you smoke or use alcohol, as smoking will make your scars take longer to heal and avoid using alcohol.
- A history of raised scars or keloids
The scars that were raised after surgery are called keloids. They are not common, and people who get keloids might need additional treatment to fade their scars. Therefore, the amount of collagen in your skin can affect the scarring history, so you should consult a doctor before this procedure is done.
Things To Keep In Mind To Minimize Scarring Immediately After The Arm Lift Treatment
Scars after any surgery can be a significant cause for concern for most people. The scars are caused by trauma to your skin and the collagen underneath. Therefore, it is essential to take precautions to avoid this.
You must take good care of your body after having arm lift surgery. It would help if you did certain things to avoid any possible complications and ensure a faster recovery with minimum chances of scarring.
- Avoid excessive exercises or sports that can harm your arms, especially in the delicate post-operation phase.
- Ensure that you are not picking up anything heavy which could injure your incision.
- Do not cross your arms over the chest, as this will cause pressure on the incision and may hurt you.
- Rest is advisable to help your body recover after surgery, so it is recommended that you spend most of the time in a recliner or lying down.
- Do not place any medication without consulting your doctor.
The Management Of Scarring After The Arm Lift Surgery
Suppose you are concerned about the scarring after this surgery. In that case, it is very important to understand that there are various things you can do to minimize the visibility of your scars. Many studies have shown that most scars fade over time, so it is not a concern for most people.
Firstly, the most crucial factor that affects the appearance of the scars is location. The positioning of your scar will influence the way it looks. For example, if you have a scar on your chest or back, it can be visible through clothing. However, if the scar is positioned somewhere underneath some other part of your body, it is usually less evident and hidden by clothing.
Therefore, it is crucial to discuss this issue with your surgeon in advance so that he can plan your surgery accordingly to minimize the visibility of scars. Secondly, the type of scar formation will also determine the appearance, depending on your surgery’s complexity.
For example, if you have an open, vertical incision, it can be very visible with a well-defined border. Additionally, if you have to remove some extra skin during surgery, it can look like a more significant scar that requires more care and attention.
Although, the good news is that wound healing is a dynamic process that goes on for 12-18 months following the surgery. During this time, scars can undergo significant remodeling and become less noticeable. It’s essential to ensure a few things for this duration to minimize the visibility of scar:
- Maintain proper nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and exercise for a fast recovery.
- Protect your incision against harmful sun exposure to avoid discoloration of the scar.
- Using techniques to decrease the tension on the wound closure, examples include:
- Steristrips; are self-adhesive plastic strips that help to hold your wound closed
- Silicon scarring sheets; a silicon sheet is fixed to the incision and helps to decrease the tension on the wound closure
- Compressive support devices; are worn to compress the incision and help with tension. Along with proper care, these things can help you heal faster and minimize scar visibility.
4. Use topical or systemic agents (such as antibiotics) to prevent soft tissue infection. It will help the healing process by minimizing the risk for infection.
5. Some patients might also develop hypertrophic scarring, which can be relieved by steroid injection in some cases.
6. Even scar revision surgery can be done at any time if the scars are too visible or bothersome.
After two years of adequate care of your incision, you will notice a significant decrease in the appearance of scars. Although it is not possible to completely hide all scars, many techniques can help with minimizing their effects. However, you may also consult your doctor to find the best treatment for your particular scar types.
How To Choose The Medical Tape For Arm Lift Scars?
Many arm lift patients have scarring after surgery, so selecting the best kind of medical tape for those who have undergone an arm lift surgery and want to use bandages to cover the scars is important.
In general, medical tape is made from a single layer or double layer of unique adhesive fiber. It is used for multi-purpose for the medical, industrial, and household. There are many kinds of tape in different uses, such as hypoallergenic and transparent tapes.
Selecting the best type of medical tape for arm lift scars can help you minimize the visibility of those scars. Some things you should consider while going for a medical tape. They are
- The medical tape should be safe for the skin, especially in the nearby surgical incision.
- It would be best to choose medical tape with a suitable adhesive that holds strong, even under unforgiving environments.
- Despite its strength, it should also be gentle on the skin. It should not irritate or damage the skin. The medical tape should be zinc oxide-based as it removes cleanly and easily during dressing changes.
- The medical tape should have the ability to provide sun protection to your incision and prevent discoloration of the scar.
- The medical tape should be hypoallergenic without latex or plasticizers that can irritate skin or aggravate allergies.
However, when you choose medical tape for arm lift scars, make sure to choose those features that are important to you. Additionally, it is advisable to talk with your doctor about the best choices.
Arm lift surgery is a great way to deal with sagging skin and excess fat in the arm area. It is not only for those women who are already overweight but also for those who have lost a lot of weight.
However, it is essential to note some possible complications in arm lift procedures. As mentioned above, the main thing to keep in mind is the possibility of poor scarring formation. Scarring can only be minimized, and it is necessary to ensure that you take the proper care of your incisions for two years.
To conclude, it is essential to take the right steps after arm lift surgery to help scar and minimize its effects. Understanding the possible risks, taking care of your incisions, and selecting appropriate medical tape can help you reduce scars after arm lift surgery and have a great result in the end.
Can the type of procedure selected contribute to poor scarring?
Yes, it can. The type of procedure is the first factor contributing to poor scarring formation, the more complex the procedure, the greater the chance for poor scar formation.
Is there any difference between the scars of the upper arm lift and the underarm lift?
There is not much difference between scars of the upper arm lift and underarm lift. However, if you have undergone the upper arm lift procedure, you might have more complications when it comes to scarring than that of an underarm lift.
It happens because the incisions of the upper arm lift are deeper than the underarm. The deeper scar might be more visible after surgery.