Procedure: Arm lift. Surgeon: Dr Jalil. Hospital: Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

My best friend and I flew to Malaysia on a Friday evening just before Christmas 2017.  I was booked in for an upper arm-lift the following Wednesday.  We were terribly excited, a little bit apprehensive, and A LOT tired!!!  It’d been a busy year.

We arrived in Malaysia around 7am Saturday.  Were picked up by Augustine from Gorgeous Getaways and taken to our hotel.  We got settled into our room before taking the walk to the local mall (which was amazing, by the way).  We had an early night and slept for 12 hours! Monday was my consultation with the surgeon (Dr Jalil).  He was very kind and his confidence was reassuring.  He looked at my arms and had no concerns about performing the surgery 2 days later.  So we had a bit of time to see some of KL, which we did.

Surgery day arrived.  Amazingly enough I did not feel any apprehension.  I met Dr Suzie, the anaethetist.  She was just lovely.  I took the pills they gave and fell asleep, waking an hour later thinking the whole thing was over – but nope!  Just a nap.  Not long after, the nurses came to take me to theatre.  Still I felt great.  (I’m a claustrophobic person who doesn’t like lifts, small spaces, and not being in control.  But…throughout this whole experience I felt calm and at ease – due, I think, to the confident medical staff around me.)  I was put sleep, and trusted in the hands of those caring for me.

Bruising directly after surgery, then 3 weeks afterwards.

My surgery lasted around 4 ½  hours.  When I woke up I was not in any pain, and was quickly cared for by the nursing staff.  Dr Jalil called in later to check on me – but as he said I’m ‘strong’ and a ‘good healer’ so everything was going to plan.  I stayed in the hospital one night, and the next day, after my shower, I was ready to go back to the motel, so I did.  No worries.  Kumari (Gorgeous Getaway’s Nurse and all-round people person) came and picked me up and made sure I was settled into room.

I had no bandages on my arms (Dr Jalil believes it’s best to leave the scars open to the air if at all possible).  After the first night I realized I needed something under my arms so that the sheets didn’t get covered in blood etc.  I used a couple of hand towels for a few nights until there was no more oozing.  It was fine – just put them in the wash each day. I had a follow-up visit with Dr Jalil a few days after my surgery.  He checked his handiwork, and declared all was going good.  The amazing thing is that my arms were 5cm smaller than pre-surgery, so I was really happy.

Pain and Movement:  Before going to KL I had viewed a number of videos of people who had undergone the same surgery.  Each one mentioned the limited movement they experienced (unable to lift their arms above shoulder height), and so I was expecting to have the same problem.  But that wasn’t my experience at all!  I could easily reach above my head and put on my tops.  So that was great!  One thing I did experience though, was the feeling of a thousand rubber-bands pinging in my arms if ever I stretched too far.  I soon learnt just how far I could stretch my arm before that pain occurred.

It’s now 5 months since my surgery.  I’m really happy with my arms.  The scars are huge – but I knew they would be.  It’ll be interesting to see how they are in another 7 months.  I’m hoping they lessen in size (width-they’ll always be long) and colour, but am ok with things if they just stay as they are.  I’ll learn to hide them perhaps with foundation.