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If you have excess skin after massive weight loss, you may need an upper body lift


If you have excess skin after massive weight loss, you may need an upper body lift

Dr Hunt Discusses Upper Body Lift


What Is Upper Body Lift Surgery?


Upper body lift surgery is a lifting procedure that targets the whole torso. It combines:

It’s an all-in-one procedure for those who have excess skin and fat after losing a massive amount of weight. Other names for upper body lift include torsoplasty, upper trunk lift, and 360 upper body lift. It works on the upper body and lifts it on the front, back, and sides.

Torsoplasty tightens your whole upper body and gets rid of all the stubborn skin rolls and fat flaps that remain after reaching your ideal weight. Dr Hunt removes the skin hanging from your arms (bat wings), fat rolls in the underarm region, skin flaps and fat rolls on the upper back, and lifts your breasts back into their normal position.

For a Full Body lift after massive weightloss, an Upper body lift is often combined with a separate a lower body lift which tightens the abdomen (tummy tuck), lower back, buttocks, and thighs.

benefits plastic surgery

Benefits of Upper Body Lift Surgery

There are many benefits and advantages of upper body lift that make it one of the most popular surgeries after massive weight loss. Some of the benefits include:

  • Smoothens and tightens your whole upper body – 360 tightening
  • Tightens the upper arms
  • Gets rid of skin flaps and smoothens the underarm region
  • Gets rid of fat rolls hanging on your upper back
  • Smoothens your back’s contour
  • Lifts the breasts and nipples back into position
  • Complements the results of your weight loss journey
  • All-in-one surgery – no need to have multiple body lift surgeries and go through recovery again and again.

Torsoplasty is an excellent choice if you want to tighten all of your upper body in one go. You don’t have to have multiple surgeries, take a lot of days off, and be put to anaesthesia risk multiple times. An upper body lift combines several body lift procedures into one.

preparing for surgery

Who Needs Upper Body Lift Surgery?

This surgery is perfect for patients who have undergone massive weight loss and are left with excess skin in the upper back, arm, underarm, and chest region.

But not everyone who loses weight needs one. You’re a candidate for body lift surgery if:

  • You’ve lost massive weight in a short time (usually more than 50% of the excess body weight)
  • You have fat rolls and skin flaps in the underarm area
  • You have floppy upper arm skin (bat wings)
  • You have fat rolls on your upper back
  • You have droopy and deflated breasts/ chest
  • You’re done losing weight
  • You’re willing to quit smoking at least 4 weeks before your procedure
  • You have a generally good health

If you meet these criteria, then an upper body lift might be a good option to tighten your body after losing weight.

An upper body lift can still be done even if you don’t need to lift all of the usual target body areas. For example, if you don’t have lax arm skin, an upper body lift can still be done without tightening the arms.

How Is Upper Body Lift Surgery Performed?

Torsoplasty combines back lift, underarm lift, breast lift, arm lift, and the benefits of liposuction. The procedure is done under general anaesthesia. This means that you will be asleep during the surgery. Total procedure time can take anywhere between 3 and 6 hours. It is a major procedure, as it involves extensive fat and skin removal. Once you’re asleep, Dr Hunt will start the surgery. Torsoplasty can involve these seperate procedures:

Upper Back Lift

An upper back lift (also called bra line back lift) gets rid of the hanging skin flaps on the upper back. Dr Hunt starts by performing a long horizontal incision on your back, starting under one shoulder blade and extending to the other.

He then separates the skin from deeper tissue and cuts out the excess back skin rolls. After that, he will pull the two edges of the wound together, smoothing out any irregularities, and tightening the whole upper back. The wound is closed with sutures along the back bra line.

Underarm Tightening

The back wound can sometimes be extended to allow Dr Hunt to smoothen the underarm area and get rid of fat rolls in the axilla. Other times, an extra incision has to be made in the armpit to tighten the area.

In underarm tightening surgery, Dr Hunt will pull the skin upward to smoothen out any armpit fat roles and deep wrinkles. He will cut out the lax skin and then bring the two edges of the wound together. He will pull them tight with sutures to remove any irregularities and flatten the whole underarm area.

Arm Lift

Surgery to tighten the arms is an important part of torsoplasty. It allows Dr Hunt to get rid of lax droopy upper arm skin (bat wings). Dr Hunt starts with a long incision done along the inner surface of the arm. He will then cut out the lax arm skin and any extra fat.

Finally, Dr Hunt brings the two wound edges together to tighten the arms and remove any wrinkles or irregularities.

Breast Lift

Breast lift (mastopexy) is an important part of the body lift in women. After losing massive weight, the breasts will deflate, and the extra skin will not go away without surgery. A breast lift is an essential part of torsoplasty. In this procedure, Dr Hunt lifts the breasts and nipples back into their normal position, with the nipple facing forward instead of downward.

There are several breast lift techniques that Dr Hunt might choose from:

  • Periareolar technique
  • Lollipop breast lift
  • Inverted T (anchor) breast lift

A breast lift includes the removal of the excess skin and tightening of the breasts to achieve a perky and smooth contour. Moreover, Dr Hunt might recommend that you get breast implants with a lift to restore the volume and projection of your breasts.


Liposuction is an essential part of upper body lift. It allows for much more dramatic improvements compared to lifting without liposuction. Dr Hunt might perform liposuction before lifting any part of the upper body – arms, breasts, armpit area, or back. This allows him to get rid of as much stubborn fat as possible, and hence achieve as much lifting as possible.

To perform liposuction, Dr Hunt will use a liposuction catheter (a rod-like device) that sucks the fat from under the skin. He inserts the catheter under the skin through a micro wound and harvests as much fat as possible.


Recovery after Upper Body Lift Surgery

After the procedure, expect to spend 2 to 3 days at the hospital for monitoring. You might have several surgical drains coming out from your wounds to prevent internal fluid collection.

Recovery after a full upper body lift can be somewhat challenging. A lot of tissue removal is involved, and you will have multiple wounds to take care of – breast wounds, arm wounds, back wounds, and armpit wounds.

Complete recovery can take as long as 6-10 weeks after an upper body lift. You should stay home and rest for at least 2-3 weeks. Light walking is recommended during this period to prevent blood clot formation. You can do light chores that do not involve excessive arm and upper body movement. Driving is not recommended during the first two weeks, as it can cause pain in the arms, back, and breasts.

In general, pain, swelling, and bruising will peak by the end of the first week after a torsoplasty. The recovery symptoms will then gradually improve over the course of the following month.

Upper Body Lift Cost Sydney - How much does Upper Body Lift surgery cost in Sydney NSW? Prices & Fees

As explained, an upper body lift is a versatile combination of body lift procedures. Hence, the cost varies from one patient to the other. It depends on which combination of lift procedures you’ll be undergoing. Moreover, anaesthetist fees and hospital fees play a role depending on the time in theatre.

To find out the estimated price of upper body lift in Sydney – please phone Dr Hunt’s team – After your first consultation, Dr Hunt will give you a more precise estimate of the surgery costs.

Is upper body lift surgery covered by Medicare or private health insurance?

If you meet certain strict Medicare criteria, you might be eligible for a partial rebate by medicare or health insurance subsidy for plastic surgery.

You can also learn more about possible Medicare & Health Fund coverage, an Upper Body Lift Surgery Payment Plan, or the costs for upper body lift surgery on our Surgical Costs page.

Take the next step today

With over 20 years of experience as a plastic surgeon, Dr Jeremy Hunt aims to get optimal results using different surgical techniques.

Dr Hunt prides himself on the level of care and attention he offers and that begins from the day of first consultation.

Join the thousands of past patients today by booking a consultation with Dr Hunt at your earliest convenience.

Next Step – Fill in the Enquiry form or call Dr Hunt’s Team on 1300 157 200.


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Upper Body Lift Surgery FAQs

Do I need an upper body lift?


If you’ve lost a dramatic amount of weight and have been left with sagging skin in the upper part of the body, you’re an ideal candidate for an upper body lift plastic surgery.

What does an upper body lift include?


An upper body lift includes a combination of lift procedures: a breast/ chest lift, upper back lift, arm lift, and armpit lift. Moreover, liposuction is usually involved to contour the body and maximise the results.

What is an upper body lift called?


An upper body lift is also called torsoplasty, 360 upper lift, and upper trunk lift.

Does an upper body lift include arms?


Yes. An upper body lift includes lifting the arms to get rid of excess upper arm skin (bat wings).

How long is recovery from upper body lift in Sydney?


Everyone is different. Full recovery can take around 6 weeks after an upper body lift. You can usually go back to work after 2 to 3 weeks of your procedure.


How much weight do you lose with an upper body lift?


Torsoplasty is not a weight loss procedure. It aims to tighten the body,  not take off lots of weight. However, since tissue removal is involved, you should expect to lose a few kilograms, depending on how much fat and skin are removed.

What are potential risks and complications of Upper Body Lift Surgery?


Like any other procedure, some risks and complications are involved in torsoplasty. They occur rarely, and might include:

  • Seroma formation – fluid build-up in the wounds
  • Hematoma – blood build up in the wound
  • Loss of sensation or numbness around the wounds
  • Wound infection
  • Problems with wound healing (e.g. poor healing or excessive scarring)
  • Inner organ trauma (due to liposuction)

If you want to minimise your risks of complications after an upper body lift, then you should choose an experienced plastic surgeon to perform the operation. Dr Hunt has performed hundreds of body lift surgeries over the years in Sydney and New South Wales. He has developed his own lifting techniques to maximise results and minimise risks for patients.

What other procedures are there for Post Weight Loss Surgery?


About Dr Jeremy Hunt

Dr Hunt has worked with thousands of patients across his 20-year career. This is reflected in his role as Spokesperson for the ASPS – Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr Hunt is also a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and Supervisor of Plastic Surgery Training at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

Dr Hunt has a strong interest in helping his patients achieve their desired results by employing the most appropriate practices for each individual patient.