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About Upper Body Lift

Upper body lift, also known as body lift or back lift.

Upper body lift surgery can consist of either one or sometimes several procedures. These include fat reduction surgery, an upper arm lift and a breast lift (or gynecomastia). Loose and sagging skin resulting from dramatic weight loss, pregnancy or liposuction is removed, creating a smoother and tighter contour, improving your profile.

A person may consider getting an upper body lift if they have experienced massive weight loss either through natural means or through bariatric surgery. They may also consider this surgery if they have loose skin around their chest, waist or arms, have sagging skin following pregnancy, or have rolls of fat around their lower backs. The cost of an upper body lift surgery will generally vary depending on which cosmetic surgeon the patient decided to go with. Another factor that may influence the cost of the procedure is which geographic location the patient or doctor is located in.

How is it performed?

Your experience of a body lift will depend greatly on which procedures you elect to have done, but you will most likely be put under a general anaesthesia:

  • Upper arm lift (link)
  • Breast lift (link)
  • Back lift (link)

What will my upper body lift incisions and scars look like?
Your surgeon will make several incisions during your upper body lift, but will take extra care to hide these scars in areas that are not seen easily or can be hidden by clothing.

Liposuction: Because liposuction incisions are small, the scars are also small. Most liposuction scars fade and are barely perceptible over time.

Upper arm lift (brachioplasty): Limited incision brachioplasty: Your scar will most likely be limited to the underarm area.

Standard brachioplasty: Incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arm and may extend from the armpit (axilla) to just above the elbow.

Extended brachioplasty: The standard brachioplasty incision is extended along the arm down to the body to address loose skin and fatty tissue under the arm area.

Breast lift: A breast lift commonly involves three incisions: around the areolas (nipples), downward from the areolas to the breast creases and horizontally along the breast creases.

Back lift: This incision goes across the mid-back and will be strategically located to be hidden by your bra strap or bathing suit strap.

What result can I expect?

Results from an upper body lift are long-lasting, but are greatly influenced by bodily changes, such as weight gain or loss. Results last for years or decades if a stable weight is maintained, barring other issues that may affect body size. You should remember that skin naturally sags as a result of aging, so certain areas of your body may not remain as taut as they were immediately after surgery. It’s important to return to your plastic surgeon’s office for follow up evaluation at prescribed times and whenever you notice any changes in your thighs. Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon when you have any questions or concerns.



  • Your clothes will fit better and your body will appear slimmer
  • Loose skin that causes chafing and rashes will be removed
  • Surgery will smooth the bulges and rolls that make you self conscious


  • There are fairly large scars that your surgeon will try to hide or minimize
  • This is a demanding plastic surgery procedure with a somewhat lengthy recovery period
  • You will probably need one to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care at home


Many patients will be able to return home after a matter of hours, but depending on the number and intensity of your surgery you may be asked to stay in the hospital for up to three days as you recover.

Recovery Time 
It is essential you follow all patient care instructions given to you by your physician. This will usually include information about which compression garments to wear, how to take care of your drains, how to take any antibiotics or painkillers, if prescribed and the level of activity that is safe for you to undertake.

Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms and how to spot any signs of complications. It is important to realize everyone’s body is different and so the amount of time it takes to recover varies between individuals.

Regardless of which procedures were included in your upper body lift, you will need to refrain from any strenuous activity for several weeks, but you should make sure you are getting out of bed occasionally to avoid problems anything like blood clots. If you are undergoing brachioplasty surgery (upper arm lift) you should try to keep your arms elevated for a few days after the procedure.

After surgery, you will regain normal function of your arms and hands after two or three weeks. Surgery to target fat rolls on the back will typically require between a week and 10 days recovery time off from work. You can resume your normal activities after about four to six weeks.If you grow concerned about any of the experiences you have after your procedure or if swelling and pain lasts for more than two weeks, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Limits & Risks

Fortunately, significant complications from upper body lift surgery are infrequent. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.