An upper body-lift is a complex procedure designed to address loose skin and sagging that occur following significant weight loss.
An Upper Body-Lift combines three operations:
- A breast Lift (mastopexy)
- An arm lift (brachioplasty)
- A side chest lift
Dramatic weight loss typically follows bariatric surgeries such as lap-banding or gastric sleeve procedures. Further, massive weight loss can result 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 addressing skin looseness of the lower body – a lower body-lift (circumferential lipectomy). This entails a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) in the front and an outer thigh lift and buttock lift at the sides and back. This is also known as a circumferential or “belt” lipectomy.
Patients may also have ongoing concerns regarding skin excess and looseness of the upper body and an upper body-lift may be the next step.
An upper body-lift typically also combines a breast lift (mastopexy) with or without breast implants (mammoplasty), along with an arm-lift (brachioplasty) and outer chest wall lift.
You are candidate for an upper body-lift if you have/are:
- Loss a lot of weight either naturally or following bariatric surgery
- Skin looseness of the arms and around the chest and empty sagging breast
- In good general health.
- Skin hangs out in folds beneath your bra at the sides
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?
As with any surgery, risks and complications include:
- wound separation
- wound healing delay
- stretched, migrating or asymmetrical scars (keloid scarring rare)
Further, following massive weight loss, Dr Drielsma will likely discuss upper body-lift, as well as lower body-lift, with you as options.
**Results may vary for individual to individual