“For loose skin of the back, an upper back lift and/or belt lipectomy can restore a smooth contour.”
Common name – Upper Body Lift and Belt Lipectomy.
Technical name/also known as – Upper body plasty and circumferential abdominoplasty.
Benefits of a Upper Body Lift and Belt Lipectomy
For patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, excess skin may drape at the upper back, following a continuation of excess skin from the side of the breast. An upper body lift removes the excess skin to firm the appearance of the upper back. Similarly, at the lower back, excess skin may extend as a roll or flap past the hips extending over or elongating the buttocks. A belt lipectomy removes this excess skin and may also improve the appearance of the buttock.
How it is done: How the upper back is lifted.
The upper back lift places the scar in the bra strap area and removes excess skin confined to the upper back. A scar going across the back is utilized for firming this tissue. This scar often blends with a breast reduction scar below the arm. The excess skin and fatty tissue are removed and the skin closed with sutures. Drains will be placed and removed later in the office a week or two after the surgery. A compression garment will need to be worn to help reduce swelling for about six weeks.
How it is done: How the lower back is lifted.
For the removal of excess skin of the lower back, the scar is placed above the buttocks and extends to the midline of the back. Often, this blends past the hip with an abdominoplasty scar. The excess skin and fatty tissue is removed and the skin closed with sutures. Drains will be placed and removed later in the office a week or two after the surgery. A compression garment will need to be worn to help reduce swelling for about six weeks.
While the primary focus for body contouring after a massive weight loss is the front side of the body, weight loss occurs on the back side as well. An upper body lift and belt lipectomy improve the excess skin of the back to remove the hanging excess skin there. Patients report fitting better in clothing and report improved appearance.
The scars will be permanent, and in the case of the upper back lift, visible crossing the back if not covered by clothing. Bending at the waist must be restricted during healing to avoid pulling on the incision as it heals.
Who pays for this
This is a cosmetic procedure, paid for by the patient.
What to expect
Length of operation
2 – 6 hours (depending on the extent of the procedure).
General anesthesia, you will be asleep and monitored the entire time.
In or out patient
Outpatient, unless the front and back sides are done together.
Temporary swelling, bruising, and pain. Wound healing delays requiring additional care such as dressings may occur.
Risks of procedure
All surgery carries risk. I recommend patients carefully weigh the benefits of having surgery against the potential risks which may arise.
Pain, bleeding, infection, bleeding, damage to nearby structures, need for additional operations, recurrence, incomplete improvement, asymmetry, dissatisfaction with result, permanent scars, unattractive scars, sensory changes, wound healing delays requiring wound care, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolus. A complete list of risks will be discussed with you before surgery.
“Patients love the improved contour of their trunk and the way their clothing fits. The transformation can be dramatic.”
– Dr. Danielle DeLuca-Pytell
While we are under social distancing and shelter at-home instructions, I am offering virtual consultations for new patients interested in meeting with me.
You can do this from a computer (via an invitation) or a smartphone (via an invitation and the Google Meet app).
There are four parts to the consultation:
1. Arrange a consultation by phone or email,
2. Download the new patient forms. Click here.
After you fill them out, you can either fax or email them to me.
3. Once the consultation is arranged, a meeting invite will be sent to you with the link for the consultation. At our prearranged time, follow the link to our secure and private consultation.
There, you and I will have time to talk about your goals, medical history, and all about the procedure.
While the examination is limited to observation in two dimensions, I should be able to determine whether or not you are a candidate for surgery.
4. If you are indeed a surgical candidate, you will be contacted by Andrea, my patient coordinator, to get a surgical quote (or if insurance-based, your expected out of pocket costs), and an opportunity to hold a surgical date.
You will also be given a follow-up visit to confirm with your exam that you are a candidate and preoperative visit time for us to prepare you for surgery.
I hope to virtually see you soon!
Your Next Step!
Call or email us to schedule an appointment and find out if you are a suitable candidate for this procedure.
Our phone number
Give our office a call Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 3pm.
Our email address
Please also email us anytime with questions you have.
Quick Contact Form
Before and After Gallery
When you come into the office for your appointment, you will be able to see more ‘before and after’ photos of this procedure including different options.
If healing proceeds as expected:
Rest at home (princess treatment) 2 weeks (no housework or exercise). Outsource housework and child care while you rest. Walk around the house, but do not work out. You will need to sleep flat after belt lipectomy and “log roll” in and out of bed during this time.
Return to gentle exercise and household chores at two, but no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for six weeks.
Return to full activity 6 weeks after surgery.
Returning to Work
This depends on the type of work that you do. Many people can return to sedentary work at two to three weeks, though not everyone is ready to return to work by then. Surgery affects different people differently. If your work is more strenuous, six weeks off work may be needed.
Time until final appearance
3-6 months for swelling to resolve, a year for the scars to fade.
Length of results
Long-lasting, especially when diet and exercise regimen is maintained.
Smoking and Surgery
If you smoke, it is imperative that you quit six weeks both before and after surgery. To better understand why, please click this link:
Because the incision is located in areas subject to stretch with bending, restrictions on early movement are placed. For this reason, it is very important to rest after the surgery and avoid too much early activity.
If you color your hair, do so right before surgery as you will not be able to color your hair until three weeks following the procedure. Plan to bring a scarf with you to the hospital on the day of the procedure as well as dark glasses to camouflage your temporarily swollen appearance on leaving the hospital.
See what her patients have to say about their surgical experience.
Follow the link to read some of the many letters received by Dr. Danielle DeLuca-Pytell.
When you visit the office for your appointment, we will talk about the side effects and risks of this procedure.
You will have the chance to ask any questions you might have.
Don’t forget: it is your body! There is no such thing as a bad or silly question!