What is a back lift?

December 10, 2021

Hello to all my readers, this week I will give you an overview about surgery for an area of the upper body that is troublesome for many surgery patients that come to Costa Rica, and that is the upper and lower 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 liposuction and other body sculpting procedures are done at the same time as a back lift. Together, these procedures can create a firmer overall appearance.

How much does a back lift cost?

Multiple conditions 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 the price.  Searching for a back lift online shows costs that range all the way up to $16,000.  However, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost in the U.S. for all types of body lifts, including back lifts, is $8,073.  A back liposuction in Costa Rica is only $1,860 and at the bottom of this article I will tell you where to get it.

Back lifts are considered to be 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, including the Medical Group of Costa Rica as shown below.

How does a back lift work?

A liposuction of the back removes fat, and a surgical backlift removes excess skin and pulls your remaining skin tight against your back. This will create a smooth, slender, and wrinkle-free appearance.

There are two primary types of surgical 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 involves an incision that runs along your back under your shoulder blades, about the place where the band of a bra often falls. The incision is done with advanced techniques and fades with time.  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 improvement of the overall appearance with a bra-line back lift. However, bra-line back lifts can involve long incisions on most people. Conversely, the surgeon will be able to remove less skin during a vertical back lift, but any scars will be less visible.

What can I expect from a back lift?

Back lifts are performed at surgery centers, clinics and hospitals. On the day of surgery, the plastic surgeon will examine your back, find appropriate incision areas, and mark them for easy visibility.  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.  The location is chosen this way so that, once your scar is healed, it’s easier to hide under bras and bathing suits.

You’ll be put under general 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 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 as it is also called, it will likely be done at this time.  Once your skin is smooth and fat has been removed, your skin will be joined together at the incision line.  Bandages will be applied and your total surgery time will be between 2 to 4 hours.

Are there any risks to having a back lift?

All surgeries have some risks, including infection and excess bleeding, so you and your plastic surgeon will go over your medical history and condition prior to surgery and discuss if you’re at an increased risk of having any serious side effects.

There are risks associated with a back lift and your doctor will advise what they may be in your case depending on the surgical approach to be taken and your overall health.

Following surgery, you’ll likely have some pain, swelling, and numbness for several weeks. Your surgeon will usually prescribe medication to help you manage the pain, as well as antibiotics. 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, or separate, your skin. It’s also important to wear a compression garment if recommended by your doctor, for a time that that the doctor may recommend.

Your exact recovery time will depend on the procedure you had and on your overall health. It can take as little as two weeks 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 appreciate your new trimmer look. A back lift is meant to be a permanent solution to having excess skin.

Preparing for a back lift

You’ll consult with a plastic surgeon before your back lift.  The doctor will talk with you about the type of lift that’s best for you, and about any other procedures you might want to have at the same time. The doctor can recommend procedures that will help you get the best results.

The doctor will also talk with you about your overall health and the best way to prepare for the surgery. Since a back lift is a significant surgery, you’ll need to be in good overall health before having the procedure. Most surgeons will ensure that you are within a certain body mass index (BMI) range for best results.  Doctors usually recommend that you stop smoking for at least a month before a back lift procedure so you will heal better. Your surgeon might also require that you stop taking some prescriptions and supplements before your back lift.

How to find a doctor

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.  If you would like to take advantage of the low prices in Costa Rica and find a board-certified surgeon there, you may click on the links below in this article.

I hope this article is helpful to you all!  Here I leave you with some good links in Cost Rica to check out:

To find a top Costa Rica plastic surgeon:

Arriva Costa Rica

To view patient videos:

Patient Testimonials

To find a discount price in Costa Rica for back liposuction:

Medical Group of Costa Rica

(click on the “Get Discount Price” on that page for their discount price)

Also, you may consider this Inn for surgery recovery:

Costa Rica Medical Center Inn

As always, my blogs are not intended to give medical advice.  Please be sure to see your doctor for advice and any exams needed for the procedures you want.

Picture of a woman’s back. The woman is wearing a pastel blouse and is holding her arms outstretched.
Picture of a woman’s back. The woman is wearing a pastel blouse and is holding her arms outstretched.

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