While losing weight is a positive event and dramatic weight loss results in numerous benefits to a person's health, after weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss, many parts of the body may have unsightly sagging skin. After extensive weight loss, the skin and tissues of the back often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size, and therefore the skin may sag or appear as "rolls". A surgical procedure known as a back lift, or upper body lift, can address the issue of excess skin and fat on the back. A back lift is a surgical procedure that focuses on recontouring and tightening up the back by removing excess skin and fat.
The Back Lift Procedure
A back lift is performed while the patient is sedated under general anesthesia. A back lift procedure concentrates on the mid to upper back area and sides of the upper abdomen beneath the arms. This is a particularly difficult spot for women as these rolls of skin tend to surface above and below the bra line. An incision is made across the back and excess tissue is removed. Liposuction may also be used to remove any excess fat from the area. The remaining skin is then sutured closed, resulting in a smooth and toned appearance. Bandages are applied to the incisions following the procedure and small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Most back lifts are outpatient procedures and are completed in about one to two hours.
Recovery from a Back Lift
There may be some swelling and discomfort after a back lift, but most discomfort can be managed with medication. After back lift surgery patients are advised to avoid exercise and lifting any heavy objects as this type of activity can cause the stitches to tear. As with any surgery, some scarring will be present and the incision may form a thin scar. The visibility of scarring will vary by patient, and most women can easily conceal any scars under a bra or bathing suit strap.
Risks of a Back lift
While a back lift is considered a safe procedure, there are risks which may include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Accumulation of fluids
Some patients may experience numbness in the upper and lower back after a back lift. In most cases, this numbness disappears over time and sensations gradually return to normal.
Back lift surgeries are an effective form of cosmetic treatment for both men and women, especially after a significant weight loss, and are often combined with other body contouring procedures to help patients achieve their aesthetic goals all at once.