What Is an Upper Body Lift?

Losing a lot of weight is something to celebrate.

Yet, after massive weight loss, there are often multiple skin folds of the lateral chest and back. In addition, there may be loose skin on the arms and sagging in the breasts.

And no amount of diet and exercise alleviates the condition – zapping some of the joy out of the celebration.

Fortunately, an upper body lift can resolve this.

How Does an Upper Body Lift Work?

The name “upper body lift” may conjure an image of a strangely lifted upper body – the likes of which can be found on Popeye. But it’s not that at all.

An upper body lift consists of mastopexy or brachioplasty, combined with direct excision of lateral chest rolls.

It is commonly a two-stage procedure. Debulking liposuction is performed to permanently remove resistant fat cells. Then after adequate healing time, the extra skin is excised.

Let us explain further.


The mastopexy procedure is more commonly known as a breast lift. This is the process of raising and reshaping a sagging breast by removing excess skin and then tightening the surrounding tissue to support the new contour.

If the areola has become enlarged over time, this can also be remedied with a breast lift.

Incisions are made along the inframammary fold under the breast to reduce the appearance of scarring.


A brachioplasty, also referred to as an arm lift, reshapes the back part of the upper arm. It removes extra skin and tissue to give the upper arm a smoother appearance.

During a brachioplasty procedure, a board-certified plastic surgeon removes extra tissue from under the upper arm, as well as folds of skin and fat. The remaining tissue is sewn back together to create a more stream-lined contour.

In some cases, the surgeon may also need to remove extra tissue on the side of the chest and the back. The incisions follow the skin rolls, which are often referred to as an inverted v deformity of the upper back.

To reduce the appearance of scarring, the incisions from excision of the lateral chest wall rolls are placed curvilinearly along the direction of the skin excess and may be tied into the posterior axillary fold, or posterior armpit skin. They may also be tied into the mastopexy procedure by connecting the incision into the inframammary fold.

Upper Body Lift Recovery

The best results from an upper body lift occur when the patient is at goal body weight or has experienced massive volume loss after bariatric surgery.

Depending on the extent and type of surgery, most patients can expect to return to their normal routine or go back to work in about 10 to 14 days.

It’s important to note, however, that major weight fluctuations can compromise the results. Furthermore, this procedure shouldn’t to be performed on women who are planning to become pregnant, or who are further planning to lose a large amount of weight.

Celebrate Your New Body!

Don’t let sagging folds of skin put a damper on your confidence after weight loss.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the option of an upper body lift. It’s time to contour your new body, restore your confidence, and celebrate your efforts.

You’ve earned it.