Upper body lift is typically a combination of two or more procedures such as breast lift or male breast reduction, upper arm lift, back lift, and liposuction. The vast majority of patients who request for this “combo operation” have redundant skin and tissue laxity caused by massive weight loss.
Due to the extensive nature of the redundant skin and “stubborn” fat rolls following massive weight loss, total body lift is typically performed as a two- or multiple-staged procedure. According to California Surgical Institute website, keeping an elective surgery under six hours can minimize risk of complications related to bleeding and surgical trauma.
As with any body contouring surgery, the patient should meet certain requirements before an upper body lift is attempted.
- Near the ideal weight, which has stabilized for at least six months
- No healing problem and other serious medical conditions
- Has realistic goals and expectations
- Has excess skin and fat and widespread tissue laxity
One of the most common variations of upper body lift uses a circumferential incision along the breast crease that extends into the back. This allows the surgeons to tighten the upper abdominal area, reshape the breasts (provided that an additional lollipop-shaped scar is utilized), and eliminate the unsightly back rolls.
While the scars are permanent, they typically fade to a significant degree after 6-12 months. Also, all efforts are used to ensure that they remain within the breast crease and concealed by the “bra line.”
Instead of the horizontal scar, some patients who need a back lift can achieve better results with a bilateral vertical incision between their armpit area and the hips. This technique not only removes the appearance of back rolls but can also improve the flanks.
Aside from the improved body silhouette, which allows the clothes to fit better, some patients can also enjoy immediate relief from rashes and chafing caused by excess skin. For some MWL patients, the redundant skin could be so severe that it even traps sweat and moisture, leading to foul odor.