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Upper Body Lift Surgery

Upper Body Lift Surgery


What Is Upper Body Lift Surgery?

Whether as a result of age, heredity, pregnancy or weight fluctuation, you may find that you still have unsightly bulging, loose skin on your upper torso. Depending on the areas of your body you wish to target a Upper Body Lift procedure may be the solution for you.

Also identified as a Body Lift or Back Lift, Upper Body Lift Surgery may consist of one or several procedures, including an Upper Arm Lift, Breast Lift (or Gynecomastia) or surgery to remove fat rolls along the back. Loose, sagging skin resulting from dramatic weight loss or after liposuction is removed to create a tighter and smoother contour, improving your silhouette and leading to renewed self-confidence.


The Procedure

Patients who undergo an upper body lift will most likely be put under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make a number of incisions when performing your surgery but will take extra care to hide the scars in areas that are not easily visible or are hidden by clothing. Your experience will depend greatly on which procedures you elect to have done:


Liposuction surgery is a safe procedure which sculpts your body, eliminating unwanted pockets of stubborn fat. Because liposuction incisions are small, the scars are also small. Most liposuction scars fade and are barely perceptible over time.

Limited Incision Brachioplasty: 

Individuals who are considering a Brachioplasty may have the fat and skin removed from their arms by excision and liposuction. Your scar will most likely be limited to the underarm area.

Standard Brachioplasty: 

Individuals who are considering a Brachioplasty may have the fat and skin removed from their arms by excision and liposuction. Incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arm and may extend from the armpit to just above the elbow.

Extended Brachioplasty: 

Individuals who are considering a Brachioplasty may have the fat and skin removed from their arms by excision and liposuction. The standard Brachioplasty incision is extended along the arm down to the body to address loose skin and fatty tissue under the arm area.

Breast Lift (Gynecomastia): 

A Breast Lift procedure addresses sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume, drooping nipples and stretched areolas - recreating a youthful shape and lift to your breasts. A Breast Lift commonly involves three incisions: around the areolas (nipples), downward from the areolas to the breast creases and horizontally along the breast creases. The surgeon will then remove any excess skin and relocate the nipple and areola to a higher position on the breast.


Back Lift: 

Those who want fat rolls removed from around their middle or lower back will have incisions on both sides of their midback (where their folds used to be) or near the bra line for women. The excess skin will be removed from the area and the incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures.This incision goes across the midback and will be strategically located to be hidden by your bra strap or bathing suit strap.

General anesthesia is commonly used during this procedure. For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood. Your surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before surgery.

Following his markings on your upper body, your surgeon will make the necessary incisions to remove excess skin and fat. The incisions may be completely concealed in the most inconspicuous locations possible.

After the incisions have been made, your surgeon will remove the excess skin and fat and bring the incisions together to provide a firmer and smoother contour. Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your body and your surgeon will close the incisions carefully to minimize scarring.

A sterile dressing and a compression garment will be applied and drains may be placed.

This procedure normally takes 150-280 minutes

Am I a candidate for surgery?

For certain individuals exercise will never get rid of sagging skin. You are a candidate for an Upper Body Lift if:

  • Liposuction of fat pockets in your upper body has resulted in loose skin that needs to be removed.
  • The layers of fat below your loose skin are relatively thin.
  • You are in overall good health without chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. People in poor health are not good candidates for body contouring procedures
  • You do not smoke. Smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit six weeks before surgery.
  • You have loose skin under your arms, by your armpits, on your breasts and rolls on your back.
  • You have undergone bariatric surgery or significant weight loss through dieting.
  • Your weight has been stable for at least six months, with no further weight loss expected.

For optimal results, body contouring should not be done for about two years following the start of any weight loss regime. This time allows your skin to shrink as much as possible and your nutrition to be stabilized and optimized, factors that will aid in your recovery.

If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.

Advantages of Surgery:

  • Loose skin that causes chafing and rashes will be removed.
  • Surgery will smooth the bulges and rolls that make you self-conscious.
  • Your garments will fit better and your body will appear slimmer.

Disadvantages of Surgery:

  • There are fairly large scars that your surgeon will try to hide or minimize.
  • This is a demanding plastic surgery procedure with a somewhat lengthy recovery period.
  • You will probably need up to three days hospitalization.

Preparation for Surgery

Prior To Your Arrival

Before traveling to Cyprus, as part of your surgery preparation you will complete a detailed specific questionnaire and will submit a recent Chest X-Ray and photographic images of the problem areas which you wish to have treated.

Initial Consultation: Once the images have been received by us, we will schedule a consultation with your chosen surgeon, via Skype or telephone. This will allow you to ask any questions regarding the procedure and will also allow your chosen surgeon to assess your condition and determine your eligibility for your chosen procedure. 

During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Your chosen surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for surgery and clarify what surgery can do for you. Understanding your goals and medical condition, both alternative and additional treatment options may be considered. You should be prepared to discuss your complete medical history. This will include information about:

  • Previous surgeries
  • Past and present medical conditions
  • Allergies and current medications
  • Medical treatments you have received
  • Medications you currently take

Your treatment plan

Depending on the quality of your skin, how much excess there is to remove, and your body shape, your surgeon will determine what options are open to you.

Based on your goals, physical characteristics, and the surgeon’s training and experience, your surgeon will share recommendations and information with you, at this point including:

  • An approach to your surgery, including the type of procedure or combination of procedures.
  • Evaluate the elasticity of your skin and perform specific measurements to determine skin laxity.
  • Discuss your ideal weight, realistic weight and current weight.
  • The outcomes that you can anticipate.
  • Associated risks and complications.
  • Options for anesthesia.
  • What is needed to prepare for the surgery.
  • What you can expect to experience after surgery.
  • Show before-and-after photos of cases that are similar to yours and answer any questions.

In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:

  • Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to better promote healing.
  • Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs that can increase bleeding.
  • Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
  • Practice good skincare.

Ten days prior to your arrival in Cyprus, you will receive all the necessary pre operative instructions, to prepare yourself both physically and mentally for your chosen cosmetic procedure.

Before your departure to come to Cyprus your records will be reviewed thoroughly by our surgeon. This includes Chest X-ray and a complete medical and surgical history.

Getting your house ready before your surgery

It is also important to get your house ready for after you come home from the hospital. At first it will be harder for you to move around, so arrange your furniture and household items ahead of time to make it easier for you during your rehabilitation.

  • Remove all your throw rugs or anything on the floor that may cause you to trip.
  • Move phone and electrical cords close to the walls.
  • Move necessary personal items you need to reach to shelves and tables that are above your waist level.

Preparation for the hospital

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you pack and prepare for the hospital and recuperation:

  • Clothing

Getting dressed in the morning helps you feel better, so be sure to bring some comfortable clothing to the hospital:

  • Loose tops or T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Short robe or pajamas
  • Toiletries

Upon Arrival

After traveling to Cyprus, a new set of blood tests, E.C.G and chest X-ray will be taken as well as an in person physical examination.

The surgeon and anesthetist will meet with you and go through your medical and surgical plan.

During this consultation, your surgeon will discuss your surgical procedure and answer any further questions. Your plastic surgeon will proceed to examine measure and photograph your face for your medical record.

Day before surgery

Your doctor or nurse will give you more instructions based on the type of prep.

You should not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before your surgery.


Morning of surgery

Bring all your medicines, if any in their original containers with you to the hospital.

You will meet with the anesthesiologist. This doctor will talk to you about general anesthesia. This is a controlled sleep while the surgery is being done so you will not feel any pain or remember the surgery. You will have an IV or intravenous line put in to give you fluid and medicine during your surgery.

Your plastic surgeon shall consult with you once again for the proposed procedure and will create markings on your elbows, arms and back. The location, length and direction of these incision lines will be dictated by the type of surgery he will perform.

Recovery after surgery

When you wake up after your surgery, you will be in the recovery room, where you will continue to be closely monitored. You will stay there until you are awake and your pain is under control. Most patients return to their room after a couple of hours.

Immediately following an Upper Body Lift procedure, you will feel very sore or tender. Any pain you feel can be controlled with pain medications.

Your incision sites will be covered with a dressing to keep the area clean and protected. You will also be wearing a wide elastic compression garment/s to reduce swelling and provide support to the skin as it tightens. You will wear this garment for several weeks.

The first 48 hours after surgery, you will experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. The swelling is maximal at 48 hours after surgery and mostly disappears within two to three weeks, but there may be slight residual swelling for up to four months. Bruising is normal and typically disappears within seven to ten days.

Hospital discharge and home instructions

Most Upper Body Lift patients require several days of bed rest, even if they return home the same day as their surgery.

On the first day after surgery, you may be instructed to stay in bed with the compression garment on and to periodically move your hands and feet to maintain good circulation. You will be able to get up and walk after the second postoperative day.

Your diet is slowly increased from ice chips to liquids to solid foods as your intestines start functioning.

Before leaving the hospital, our surgeon and staff will help you adjust to recovery in every way possible. You will receive specific instructions and precautions from your surgeon and nursing staff and they will show you safe techniques of simple activities like getting in and out of bed, bathing, going to the bathroom, managing steps at home and getting in and out of a car.

You will be able to leave the hospital when you are:

  • Able to eat a regular diet and drink fluids
  • Passing gas or you have had a bowel movement
  • Passing urine
  • Not having a fever or other signs of infection
  • Walk for short distances

Most people are able to go home  2 days  after their surgery; however recovery time after the procedure and the length of your hospital stay depend on your overall health and the type of procedure performed.

Life After Surgery

These guidelines give you an overview of what you may expect as part of your care after you leave the hospital. Be sure to follow your doctor’s discharge instructions if they are different from what is listed here. This will include information about wearing compression garments, taking an antibiotic if prescribed and the level and type of activity that is safe. Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.

If you undergo Brachioplasty surgery, you will likely be advised to keep your arms elevated above the heart for a few days after the procedure. You will regain normal function of your arms and hands after two or three weeks.

Surgery to target fat rolls on the back will typically require seven to ten days off from work. You can resume your normal activities after four to six weeks.

  • Do not smoke after your Upper Body Lift Surgery to prevent coughing and bleeding.
  • Do not drink alcohol for five days after surgery or while you are taking pain medication.
  • Pain medication will be prescribed for the pain.
  • Drains typically remain in place for up to one week.
  • You must wear a body garment for six to eight weeks.
  • You should wait a minimum of six weeks before exposure to sun and heat, including sunbathing, because of the possibility of swelling.
  • You will need to take at least two to three weeks off from work and restrict normal activities for four to six weeks.
  • Full healing will take several months.

Your Activity                                                                                                                                                        

It is fairly common to feel weak and tired immediately after discharge from the hospital. The body needs time to recover from the stress of surgery.

  • Walking is permitted and encouraged beginning the second day after surgery. At home, start short, daily walks and gradually increase the distance you walk.
  • Going up and down stairs is permitted. Initially, have someone assist you.
  • Driving is not permitted for at least 4 weeks after surgery or your first follow-up visit with your surgeon. If you are taking prescription pain medications or narcotics, DO NOT DRIVE.
  • Sexual intercourse may be resumed for at least 4 weeks after surgery.
  • Do not go swimming, diving, water skiing, or participate in strenuous athletic activity for at least one month after surgery.

Your bowel habits

You may have different bowel habits after your surgery. Loose stools are common for the first week or two after surgery. If you have watery diarrhea, call your surgeon. This may be a sign of a bowel infection. Severe constipation should be avoided. See the section below on medicines for constipation.

Your diet

There are generally no dietary restrictions following cosmetic surgery. Avoid foods that cause diarrhea or digestive discomfort. You will eventually be able to resume your regular diet. A dietary supplement or drink can be used.


Your medicines: Take the medicines you were taking before surgery, unless your surgeon has made a change.

  • For pain

Your surgeon will order a prescription pain medicine for you after surgery. As your pain lessens, over the counter pain medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used. They can also be used instead of your prescription for mild pain.

  • For constipation

Prescription pain medicines can cause constipation. Your doctor may order a stool softener to prevent this. You should be back to your normal bowel routine in about 2 weeks. If the stool softener does not work, take Milk of Magnesia. If you still are not getting relief, call your surgeon.

Call your surgeon right away if you have:

  • Diarrhea that lasts more than three days
  • Nausea and vomiting that will not go away
  • Pain in your abdomen that gets worse or isn’t eased by the pain medicine
  • Pus drainage or redness around your incision
  • Fever with a temperature of 100.5 or higher


Results from an upper body lift are long-lasting but can be greatly influenced by changes in the body. The healing process is gradual and so you should expect to wait at least three months to get an accurate picture of the results of your surgery.

How Long Will the Results Last?

If you maintain a stable weight, healthy lifestyle, and fitness program, your results will be long-lasting. Naturally however, there will be some relaxation of the skin early after surgery and the skin and connective tissues will loosen and sag gradually with age.

However, if you gain and then lose a large amount of weight after an Upper Body Lift , the skin could stretch out again, negatively impacting the overall contour.


Follow-up after surgery is extremely important and our surgeons at Salus are committed to providing all the post surgical care you need. For safety, as well as the most beautiful and healthy outcome, whenever you notice any unexpected changes do not hesitate to contact your surgeon. In order to identify and treat any complications as they may arise, close, lifetime follow-up is essential.