A back lift is a surgery that reduces the appearance of prominent “back rolls” and improves the overall contours of the upper and mid-back. This type of lift, also called a “bra-line” back lift, can renew body confidence for those who have unwanted skin laxity in the upper back area. For many men and women, this excess tissue can be a source of self-consciousness and discomfort. If this procedure seems right for you, book an appointment with Dr. Bonnor M.D., F.A.C.S, a double-board certified cosmetic surgeon. Call his office at Texas Surgical Arts in Houston, TX at (281) 579-5638 or inquire with his contact form today.
- 1 About the Back Lift Procedure
- 2 Candidates
- 3 Back Lift Procedure
- 4 Recovery
- 5 Cost of a Back Lift in Houston
- 6 Commonly Asked Questions (FAQ)
- 7 References
About the Back Lift Procedure
The goal is to help patients feel comfortable in all types of clothing, giving them the freedom to express themselves without the self consciousness of sagging skin and fat.
More often than not, patients who have achieved significant weight loss will seek out a back lift to restore their true contour. After weight loss, fat cells atrophy, causing the skin to become much more elastic. Dr. Bonnor may apply liposuction to the area before making the main incision. Fat deposits in the area are targeted and removed through suction. This will allow him to further gauge how much skin removal is required since excess fat is sculpted away. By performing liposuction, Dr. Bonnor can determine if a back lift is necessary; some patients attain their desired results after just liposuction alone. Usually, these patients only have mild laxity in the upper back and have strong, youthful skin. Not only can the back lift provide a slimming effect to the areas right beneath your arms, but the lifting aspect of the procedure can also flatter your upper waist, promoting a more hourglass-type figure for women.
Those with significantly lax skin in the upper back/bra line are most qualified to undergo a back lift, but those with moderate excess fat and skin can also benefit. Ideally, your BMI should also be under 30 since obesity can place you at a higher risk of experiencing complications.
Back Lift After Weight Loss Surgery
A back lift is usually indicated for patients who have undergone weight loss surgery. After the remarkable achievement of losing a substantial amount of weight, many individuals are left with excess skin that hangs from their back, causing discomfort and self-consciousness. With a back lift, patients can find tightening the remaining tissues to restore a more toned and contoured appearance.
Back Lift Procedure
Wearing a bra during the preoperative markings will help determine the placement of the scar, which is typically horizontally located across the back. This will make sure that the resulting scar stays hidden under your horizontal bra strap. The resulting pen markings will have a butterfly-like appearance around the targeted “back rolls” to be removed. To further confirm that the measurements are correct, additional measurements and adjustments are conducted in the operating room. (2)
Liposuction with BodyTite
If you undergo liposuction in conjunction with your back lift, you may have the option to enhance your liposuction results with BodyTite, a radiofrequency-powered device that encourages collagen formation and contraction. Radiofrequency is an electrical energy that becomes thermal when in contact with soft tissue. Before liposuction, Dr. Bonnor can apply BodyTite just under the skin to heat the dermal tissue to 60 to 80 degrees Celsius (140 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit), the optimal temperature to promote collagen restructuring rather than damage. (3)
Depending on how extensive your surgery is, you will need to take 1 to 2 weeks off to rest. During this initial healing period, it’s normal to experience bruising, swelling, and even numbness in and around the upper back area. Dr. Bonnor will monitor your progress and provide you with the medications to mitigate discomfort.
Cost of a Back Lift in Houston
To get a comprehensive breakdown of the costs associated with a back lift, a consultation with Dr. Bonnor at Texas Surgical Arts is the first step. During your appointment with him, he will evaluate the extent of your upper back laxity and provide you with more personalized information. If you are interested in financing consider applying for CareCredit.
Commonly Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long will the back lift procedure take to complete?
Bra-line back lifts typically take 2 to 3 hours under general anesthesia.
What are some of the possible complications of a back lift?
Delayed healing, infection, temporary numbness, and seroma are some of the complications associated with an upper back lift. Seroma occurs when lymphatic fluid and plasma from your blood accumulates just under the skin, leading to a prominent lump at the surgical site. Careful monitoring, compression, and antibiotics will correct the fluid accumulations but sometimes seroma requires drainage with a minimally invasive technique called aspiration. (4)
Are the results of a back lift permanent?
Results can be permanent if you work to maintain your weight. With weight gain, fat deposits can grow larger and lead to the development of back rolls.
Will I have scarring after a back lift procedure?
After a bra-line back lift, you will only have one horizontal scar on the upper back. If you are a woman, it will be exactly where your bra strap can hide it. If you take precautions during your recovery process and wait an adequate amount of time before resuming physical activity, this scar will heal quite well and fade significantly.
- Rocha RI, Junior WC, Modolin MLA, Takahashi GG, Caldini ETEG, Gemperli R. Skin Changes Due to Massive Weight Loss: Histological Changes and the Causes of the Limited Results of Contouring Surgeries. Obesity Surgery. 2021;31(4):1505-1513. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-020-05100-3
- Hunstad J, Chen C, Abbed T. Bra-Line Back Lift. Clinics in Plastic Surgery. 2019;46(1):77-84. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cps.2018.08.010
- Theodorou SJ, Del Vecchio D, Chia CT. Soft Tissue Contraction in Body Contouring With Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposuction: A Treatment Gap Solution. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2018;38(suppl_2):S74-S83. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjy037
- Kazzam ME, Ng P. Postoperative Seroma Management. PubMed. Published 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK585101/