- Back lifts are used to remove excess skin from your back after major weight loss.
- Back lifts are often done alongside liposuction or other body sculpting procedures.
- Back lifts are generally safe procedures.
- Risks include scarring, infection, bleeding, swelling, and nerve damage.
- You might need as long as 6 weeks of recovery time following a back lift.
- Back lifts can be done in outpatient or inpatient.
- Your cost will vary widely depending on the procedure you have, and the other procedures you have along with your back lift and your surgeon.
- Prices can range from to $2,000 to $16,000.
- Back lifts are meant to be a permanent solution to excess skin on your back.
A back lift is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin from your back. This surgery is also called a torsoplasty. People often seek back lifts after major weight loss that has left them with loose and sagging skin.
Sometimes liposuctions and other body sculpting procedures are done at the same time as a back lift. Together, these procedures can create a firmer overall appearance.
Multiple things can impact the cost of a back lift. Where you live, the surgeon you choose, and whether you have other procedures at the time, will all impact your price. Searching for back lift prices brings up costs that range from as low as around $2,000 to as high as around $16,000. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for all types of body lifts, including back lifts, is $8,073.
Back lifts are considered a cosmetic procedure. They won’t be covered by most insurance plans. However, many surgeons who perform back lifts offer financing and other payment options.
Back lifts remove excess skin and pull your remaining skin tight against your back. This will create a smooth, slender, and wrinkle-free appearance.
There are two primary types of back lifts:
- Bra-line back lift. A bra-line back lift is done to change the shape of your upper back, midback, and waist. This type of surgery creates a scar that runs along your back under your shoulder blades, about the place where the band of a bra often falls. This procedure is available for both males and females.
- Vertical back lift. A vertical back lift removes skin and excess fat from your back and stomach. It’s done by making incisions that run from the top of your hip bones up to your arm bones.
As a rule, you’ll get more of a lift and tighten overall appearance from a bra-line back lift. However, bra-line back lifts leave large scars on most people. Conversely, the surgeon will be able to remove less skin during a vertical back lift, but your scars will be less visible.
Back lifts are performed at both outpatient surgical centers and in hospitals. The location of your back lift will depend on your surgeon and on if you’re having other procedures at the same time. On the day of surgery, the plastic surgeon will examine your back. They’ll find appropriate incision areas and mark them. For example, if you normally wear a bra and are having a bra-line back lift, they’ll make marks under the line of your bra. This is done so that once your scar is healed, it’s easier to hide under bras and bathing suits.
You’ll be put under anesthesia during the procedure. Medical staff will make sure you’re completely under the anesthetic and unable to feel any pain before the surgery begins. During surgery, the plastic surgeon will make incisions on the lines they made earlier. They’ll then remove your excess skin. Your remaining skin will be stretched to create a smooth appearance and then reattached along the incision line.
If you’re having liposuction or body sculpting done, it will likely be done at this time. Once your skin is smooth and fat has been removed, your skin will be carefully sewn back together at the incision line. Bandages will be applied once your skin is completely sewn together. Your total surgery time will vary, but most back lifts take between 2 and 5 hours.
All surgeries have some risks, including infection and excess bleeding. You and your plastic surgeon can discuss if you’re at an increased risk of serious side effects.
Risks associated with a back lift include:
- excess fluid
- nerve damage
You’ll likely have pain, swelling, and numbness for several weeks after your back lift. Your surgeon will likely prescribe medication to help you manage the pain. You’ll also get instructions on how to care for your surgical bandages. It’s extremely important to keep your incision clean and avoid activities that could pull on your skin. It’s also essential to wear a compression garment for the prescribed period.
Your exact recovery time will depend on the procedure you had and on your overall health. It can take as little as a week or as long as 6 weeks before you’re able to get back to your typical daily activities. You might have swelling for as long as 6 months after your back lift. Once you’re completely healed, you’ll be able to see your new back. A back lift is meant to be a permanent solution to excess skin.
You’ll consult with a plastic surgeon before your back lift. They’ll talk with you about the type of back lift that’s best for you, and about any other procedures, you might want to have at the same time. They can recommend procedures that will help you get the best results.
They’ll also talk with you about your overall health. Since a back lift is a major surgery, you’ll need to be in overall good health before you can have the procedure. Most surgeons will also ask that you’re within a set body mass index (BMI) range. You’ll need to stop smoking for at least a month before a back lift procedure. Your surgeon might also require that you stop taking some prescriptions and supplements before your back lift.
It’s important to use a board certified plastic surgeon for your procedure. You can trust that a board certified plastic surgeon has the education, skills, and experience to perform a safe and successful back lift. You can use the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery to find board certified plastic surgeons in your area.
You can prepare questions before you consult with any plastic surgeon you find. Ask any questions you need to feel comfortable with the surgeon and the procedure.
Questions to ask your doctor
Some important questions to ask your surgeon before a back lift include:
- How many times have you performed this procedure?
- Can I see before and after pictures of back lifts you’ve done?
- What kind of results can I expect from a back lift?
- What would my recovery time look like?
- Where would I be having the back lift?