If you have lost a large amount of weight, it is most likely that your skin will lose its elasticity and you’ll need an upper body lift. The loose sagging skin around the upper back and side of the chest will no longer conform to its original size.
Body Lift Surgery After Weight Loss
This will lead to folds of skin that hang from your body. They are painful and leave you embarrassed. These rolls of tissue cannot be treated by diet or exercise. But don’t worry there is a solution: body lift surgery after weight loss known as upper body lift!
What Is an Upper Body Lift?
Upper body lift surgery is a body contouring procedure that reshapes the lax skin above the waist. It is an upper trunk surgery that involves excess skin removal from the upper body that will correct sagging breasts, upper abdominal bulges, and pockets of fat. It may consist of one or many procedures like breast lift, arm lift, and back fat roll removal (back lift).
Upper body lift procedures can tighten the loose skin of the back dramatically. It is most commonly performed with a chest contouring process for men and breast lift in women. This gives the entire upper body a rejuvenated and attractive appearance. It also helps in the way clothes fit and appears in your body. You will have newfound confidence and self-esteem after an upper back lift!
Am I a Good Candidate for Upper Body Lift Surgery?
People of any age with loose skin on the back can consider getting an upper body lift. However, you are most likely a good candidate for the procedure if:
- You are in good physical health and have had a stable weight for at least six months. You should not be expecting to lose weight further. It is best if your massive weight loss was about two years back. This will give you optimum results.
- You do not have chronic medical conditions like diabetes, lung, kidney, or heart disease. You should be cleared by your primary care physician for upper body lift surgery.
- You are in good mental health. You should have a positive attitude toward recovery and should have realistic expectations from the surgery.
- The layers of fat below the loose skin are relatively thin.
- You do not smoke, as smoking delays the healing process.
What are the Benefits of an Upper Body Lift?
- An upper body lift removes the wrinkled shrouds of loose skin and fat from the lateral chest and the back. These areas do not benefit from a lower body lift.
- The loose skin is prone to health issues like chafing, redness, and skin infections. An upper body lift will eliminate the problem.
- An upper body lift improves the fitting of bras and removes the discomfort associated with loose skin in the lateral chest.
- It gives you a firm, toned, and youthful appearance that will highlight the success of your weight loss.
- It will give you a wider variety of options for clothing.
- An upper body lift improves your self-image and confidence.
Upper Body Lift Surgery Before and After Photos
See more real patient before and after photos performed in Melbourne by Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Patrick Briggs.
What To Expect During The Upper Body Lift Procedure?
During your initial medical consultation with Dr Patric Briggs, you will be asked about the areas that you would like to be contoured. You will be given before and after photos to see the results of the procedure. Your surgeon may also draw lines on your body to demonstrate the possible improvements.
Upper body lifts are performed by Dr Patrick Briggs under general anesthesia. Sometimes sedation combined with local anesthesia may be preferred. It is generally done as an inpatient procedure. The upper body lift procedure typically takes 4 to 5 hours.
You will be given medications that will help you relax during the procedure.
If you are undergoing an upper arm lift, your surgeon will make an incision at the back of the arm, or underneath the armpit.
For a breast lift, three incisions will be made: one around the areola, the other extending down from the areola to the breast crease, and the third underneath the breast crease.
To remove the back fat rolls with a back lift, the surgeon will make an incision near the bra line or on both sides of the mid-back.
Through these incisions, the doctor will remove the excess skin and fat. The wound will be closed with glue, tape, or absorbable sutures.
What is the Difference Between an Upper Body Lift and Lower Body Lift?
An upper body lift is exactly what it sounds like: contouring the upper parts of the body which includes the arms, chest, breast, upper back, and armpits.
A lower body lift likewise is contouring the lower parts of the body, below the waist. This includes the buttocks, thighs, hips, and stomach.
The key difference between the two procedures is while the skin in the upper body lift is stitched back up, it is pulled and tightened and then stitched back up in a lower body lift.
Your Recovery Journey After Upper Body Lift Surgery
Upper body lift procedures may have an extended recovery period. You can go home on the day of surgery if you have a skilled nursing staff to help you. As an upper body lift is an extensive surgery, a no-fail support system should be established at home for your recovery period.
Expect the following in the recovery period:
Immediately after your surgery, the surgeon will place a drain to remove the fluid that may accumulate within the incision.
You will be given compression garments that must be worn at all times. This will control the swelling, smoothens and flattens the skin, and supports the suspended tissues.
You will be placed in recovery for a few hours after the procedure. The drains will be removed before you are discharged, which takes a day or two.
The first week of recovery is the most crucial period. Aim at getting as much rest as possible. It is also important to move around slowly to prevent blood clots.
Swelling and bruising will continue till the second week following surgery. It will subside significantly by the 3rd to 4th week.
You can return to work after the 4th week.
Five to six weeks post-procedure you will begin to see the results of the body lift. Wounds will heal and swelling will reduce completely.
After the 6th week, you can start exercising.
Minimising Scars after Body Contouring Surgery
It is important to remember that all surgical procedures leave scars, including ‘so-called’ scarless methods.
Experienced plastic surgeons are extremely careful about scar placement and minimisation, with surgical scars generally fading over time with most scars being barely visible after 12 months.
Download the Guide to Arm Lift Surgery by Dr Briggs
Upper Body Lift Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
What does an upper body lift include?
- An upper body lift is a customizable procedure that can include one or a combination of breast lift, arm lift, and back fat roll removal (back lift). Tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) and upper body liposuction may also be combined if necessary.
What is a Torsoplasty?
- Torsoplasty is a contouring procedure that reshapes the back (torso). It removes excess fat and skin from the back.
What is an upper body lift called?
- An upper body lift is also called a bra-line lift or a back lift. An upper arm lift is called Brachioplasty. A breast lift is also called mammoplasty. A 360 upper body lift is done circumferentially which involved removing excess fat and skin around the entire upper body.
Does an upper body lift include arms?
- Yes, an upper body lift includes removing excess skin, fat, and tissue from the arm and reshaping it.
Is an upper body lift worth it?
- The satisfaction rate for an upper-body lift procedure is extremely high. It is reported that around 97% of people who have undergone the procedure are happy with the result and think the process is worth it!
How long is an upper-body lift surgery?
- The upper body lift surgery depends on whether you are undergoing one procedure (arm lift, chest lift, breast lift, and liposuction) or a combination of all. The procedure generally takes less than 5 hours to perform.
How long is recovery from upper body lift?
- For most patients, the recovery time ranges from one to two weeks. Upper body lift recovery time can differ between patients depending upon the number of procedures performed, surgical techniques, and the extent of the surgery.
How do I prepare for an upper-body lift?
- Preparation for upper body lift includes:
- A pre-operative consultation with Dr Briggs and his team. This is for obtaining your medical history, performing a physical examination, and running necessary lab tests. You will also be given detailed instructions about the procedure and a chance to ask questions that you have in mind.
- If you are undergoing breast-lift surgery, you will need a mammogram.
- Stop smoking. Drink plenty of water for hydration.
- Stop medications that may cause increased bleeding.
- Comply with weight benchmarks and lifestyle changes recommended by your doctor.
When can I exercise after an upper-body lift?
- The swelling and bruising that occurs for several weeks after surgery can impact your ability to exercise. It is recommended that you refrain from sporting activities and vigorous exercise, including lifting, pushing, or pulling anything, for at least six weeks following surgery.
Will upper body lift give me a scar?
- There will be a permanent scar that is thick and red initially. The scar fades over time and reaches its final appearance by the end of 12 to 18 months. The upper body lift scars after a back lift will be seen along the bra line. The breast lift scar will be seen around the nipples and the breast creases. The arm lift scars will be seen on the insides of our arms. Fading creams, gels, and silicone sheets can help. A detailed pre-operative marking and planning will be done by Dr Briggs to ensure that your final scar will be as covered as possible.
How much weight do you lose with an upper-body lift?
- The amount of weight you lose after an upper-body lift depends upon the extent of your surgery. This can range from a few pounds to as much as 20.
How painful is an upper body lift?
- Patients generally have mild to moderate pain in the upper back and sides of the chest one to three days after the procedure. The pain is made comfortable by medications that will be prescribed to you.
How much does upper body surgery cost? Costs and Prices
Just like recovery time, the costs and prices of upper body may also vary. This will greatly depend on several factors such as your surgeon’s fees, anesthesiologist’s fees, hospital fees, type of surgery and anesthesia used, and your desired body surgery results.
Why Choose Dr Patrick Briggs?
Dr Patrick Briggs is an experienced, board-certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon renowned for upper body lift in Australia. An internationally trained surgeon, Dr Briggs is an expert in face, body, and breast surgeries.
He has over 20 years of experience and has performed over 4500 surgeries in private practice. He is well known for his innovative and up-to-date approach.
Dr Briggs is dedicated to excellence in patient care and every patient is treated with the utmost respect and privacy.
Dr Briggs and his team take pleasure in assisting you with any questions while you are considering a body lift procedure, during the surgery, and while in recovery
Funding Upper Body Surgery – Medicare, Payment Plans and Super
Some Upper Body Lift procedures may be eligible for Medicare.
Medicare will not cover ‘non-therapeutic cosmetic surgery,’ that is, elective surgeries that you choose to pursue purely for cosmetic reasons – it will only cover procedures that are clinically necessary for your health or medically necessary that meet strict criteria.
Download the Guide to Medicare and how to Claim a Rebate
Risk and Complications Of Upper Body Lift Procedure
Upper body lift procedures are generally safe. However, some risks and complications associated with the procedure are given below. You can minimize the risk associated with the surgery by carefully following the instructions given to you by Dr Briggs and his team, both before and after the surgery.
- Complications associated with Anesthesia
- Swelling and redness
- Accumulation of blood in the wound (hematoma)
- Accumulation of fluid in the wound (seroma)
- Wound Infection
- Bleeding from the wound
- Change or loss of sensation around the areola and other sites of incision
- Visible scars at the sites of surgery
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to the underlying structures
Commonly combined surgeries
An Upper Body Lift can be performed on its own or in combination with other surgical procedures such as liposuction.
An Upper Body Lift can also be performed with a procedure on another part of the body – for example a thigh lift can be combined upper body surgery.
As a guide it is best not to exceed a total of 4-6 hours of surgery and also to work on associated parts of the breast, body or face.
Further reading – Medical References about Upper Body Lift Surgery
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon – FRCS (Plas) – Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Not only does he offer high-quality results he also offers natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.