You may be a candidate for a bra-line lift (torsoplasty) if you have excess skin of the upper back. The main complaint of patients who seek this procedure is “upper back rolls” that stick out on the back when wearing bras. The most common causes of this excess skin and tissue are:
Large volume weight loss after a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve procedure.
Large volume weight loss with diet and exercise.
Candidates for Bra-Line Lift
The best candidate is a person with:
Loose upper back skin and rolls that do not respond to exercise and diet
At close to near ideal weight with no active diet to lose more weight
Physically healthy and psychologically stable
It’s also important that patients have realistic expectations of what the procedure can offer.
Who may not be a candiate
Patients anticipating future weight loss. Patients who are actively trying to lose weight with diets and exercise regimens should wait until they have achieved a stable weight that they can maintain for their lifetime. Performing a bra-line lift when there are weight fluctuations, most often alters the aesthetic result of the procedure.
Patients who have multiple medical problems. Most common medical problems that may increase the risk of complications or preclude the surgery:
Uncontrolled diabetes. High blood sugar impairs the healing process as well as significantly increase risk of infection.
Uncontrolled hypertension. High blood pressure is often associated with cardiovascular disease and may be at risk with general anesthesia.
Bleeding disorders. May cause risk of blood clots, and hematomas.
SMOKING! The "bad guy" is the nicotine. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict. The abdominal flap that is advanced is a significant risk of not having enough blood flow to heal correctly. Patients who smoke are at very high risk of wound healing problems, incision separation, and infection. Wounds may take months to heal and also may require additional surgeries. It is imperative to avoid first and second hand smoking (and all other nicotine forms) 1 month before and after the procedure to minimize the risk of complications.
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Benefits of Bra-Line Lift
This procedure significantly improves the upper back contour and bra-line, resulting in less “rolls”.
The inconspicuous scar is well concealed by normal bras and two-piece bathing suites. It is common that 1-2 “rolls” are removed.
This procedure is often performed in combination with conservative liposuction of the back, hips and flanks to further improve the waistline and improve the profile contour.
What it will not do
A Bra-line Lift is not a weight loss surgery. It does not substitute a weight loss and exercise regimen. The removed skin and fat actually does not weigh much. A bra-line lift is best for patients who desire to improve the contour of the upper back and improve how they fit into clothes.
Step 1: A bra-line lift is almost always performed under general anesthesia either within the hospital or in an outpatient setting.
Step 2: The bra-line lift may be performed with other body contouring procedures such as an arm lift (brachioplasty) or breast lift (mastopexy) or body lift. There is a limit to how many procedures can be performed at once safely. The one that is best for you will be determined after Dr. Morales meets with you and examines you.
Step 3: The ellipse incision is made horizontally along the upper back and side chest to remove the maximum amount of excess skin, and “rolls” of the upper chest. The scar is kept within limits of the upper back to conceal the scar within a normal bra-line.
After the surgery, the upper back is supported with a garment. Dermabond Prineo Adhesive dressings are typically applied over the incisions to reduce infection and improve healing. Dr. Morales rarely uses drains for this procedure.
When this procedure is done alone, this can be performed in a outpatient setting. If combined with other body contouring procedures, Dr. Morales may recommend that you spend your first night in the outpatient unit at the surgery center. This insures that you can get intravenous pain medication and fluids to optimize the first 24 hours after surgery.
There are typically no sutures to remove, as there are multiple layers of self-absorbing sutures below the skin. Small outside suture tails are usually trimmed within seven to ten days.
Once home, it is important that you get up and move around several times a day as recommended by your surgeon to help speed the recovery process and reduce the risk of blood clots forming in the legs. A clot preventing medication may also be prescribed in the postoperative period. Plan your initial recovery so that there is a friend or family member who’s with you at home for at least the first three to five days. You will need help with the basics. Each patient will recover in various ways and in varying lengths of time, though most patients find that they can go back to work within two to four weeks after surgery. It’s important that you plan well so that you give your body time to heal in the best manner possible.
Strenuous activity and heavy lifting will need to be avoided for about two months. It can take a few months for all of the swelling to clear up and the scars will fade over time.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- From $6,500
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
Commonly Asked Questions
A bra-line lift procedure alone typically takes 1-2 hours.Can I do other procedures with a Bra-line lift?
The bra-line lift may be performed with other body contouring procedures such as an arm lift (brachioplasty) or breast lift (mastopexy) or body lift. There is a limit to how many procedures can be done safely as it relates to surgical recovery and amount of time the surgery takes.How much does a Bra-line Lift cost?
A standard bra-line lift alone starts at $6500 and up.If I combine other procedures, do I get a discount?
Yes, adding procedures reduces the overall cost when compared to performing the procedures separately.When can I go back to work?
Every person recovers differently and also depends on how many procedures they have performed at the same time. The average return to work for the bra-line lift is 1-2 weeks.When can I exercise again?
Dr. Morales introduces cardio and light machines at one month. Resumption of full exercising is at 2 months. Postoperative swelling usually persists for months after a bra-line lift.