Upper Body-Lift Procedure
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An upper body-lift is a complex procedure designed to deal with the loose skin and sagging issues that occur following significant weight loss.
An Upper Body-Lift combines three operations
- A breast Lift
- An Arm lift (Brachioplasty)
- A side chest Lift
Such weight loss typically follows bariatric surgeries such as lap-banding or gastric sleeve procedures. Massive weight loss typically results in breast sag (ptosis) and emptiness, upper arm flabbiness (bat wings or bingo arms) and outer chest wall-axilliary skin looseness and sag.
Following massive weight loss, the usual first priority is correction of skin looseness of the lower bdy – a lower body-lift. This entails a tummy tuck in the front and an outer thigh lift and buttock lift at the sides and bak. This is also known as a circumferential or “belt” lipectomy.
Although the results of a lower body-lift are dramatic and lift changing, patients usually have ongoing concerns regarding skin excess and looseness of the upper body and an upper body-lift is the logical next step.
An upper body-lift typically combines a breast lift, with or without breast implants, with an arm-lift (brachioplasty) and outer chest wall lift.
You are candidate for an upper body-lift if:
- you have last a lot of weight either naturally or following bariatric surgery
- you have skin looseness of the arms and around the chest and empty sagging breasst
- skin hangs out in folds beneath your bra at the sides
- you are in good general health.
The results of an upper body-lift, as with a lower body-lift, are dramatic and life transforming in the massive weight loss patient.
The surgery takes around 6 to 7 hours to do and involves a 1 to 2 night hospital stay. 2 to 3 weeks off work are typically required. The recovery of an upper body-lift is far smoother than that of a lower body-lift.
What about risks?
given you are in good general health, upper body-lift surgery is well tolerated and recovery should be smooth. As with any surgery, risks and complications include:
- wound separation
- would healing delay
- stretched, migrating or asymmetrical scars (keloid scarring rare).
Following massive weight loss, Dr Drielsma will likely discuss upper body-lift, as well as lower body-lift, with you as options.