Lift for Sagging Back Skin?

I am pretty thin, never had any weight problem and never had any plastic surgery on my body. However, I have sagging skin on both sides of my middle back. I can even pull it up to under my arms. It is only skin without fat. Is there a type of lift for that? It really bothers me a lot. Thank you for your help.

Doctor Answers 35

Bra Line Back Lift procedure


Thank you for the question.  Significant excess skin can only be tightened by removing it with a surgical procedure.  For breast laxity there is breast lift, for the abdomen there is an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), and for the back there is the Bra Line Back lift procedure.  Significant skin and soft tissue laxity of the upper and middle back are best corrected by a bra line back lift procedure.  The final incision line is in the horizontal part of your bra strap and therefore hidden.  The procedure actually has a very high patient satisfaction rate as it can fully correct the problem and recovery is often very straight forward.  The procedure was first published about 5 years ago by myself and Dr. Hunstad.  The link below is a before and after photo set from one of my patients.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Lift for Sagging Back Skin?

It sounds like you have mostly excess skin and not too much fat. Because there is not much fat, I would not suggest liposuction. Since you mentioned excess skin, therefore, a skin excision needs to be done. There are two types of back lifts  that I would suggest. One incision follows a bra strap line. Usually, this  incision can be hidden under a one-piece bathing suit or even a dress with a very low cut back. The incision is placed horizontally across  the back Typically, you would bring a bra or the top of your bikini to the preop consultation for your board-certified plastic surgeon would determine where the incision and resulting scar should be placed. The scar usually fades very well with time. Another incision pattern that can be made is a vertical backlift or vertical torsoplasty. This surgery is performed by making an incision from the armpits to the lower bra strap line. If you have love handles or excess of skin on the lower back, the incision can be extended from the armpit to the hipbone. This scar also fades over time. The benefit of this pattern of incision and resulting scar is that when your arms are down by your sides, the  scar is hidden. Also, this incision would avoid entirely a scar across your back. Good luck with your surgery. Please find a board-certified plastic surgeon with a significant amount of experience in upper body lifts and back lifts. Good luck. Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Lifts for Excess Back Skin

There are a variety of approaches to deal with overhanging or excess skin of the back.  "Zones of adherence" is a term for constricting bands where skin is attached to the underlyingh structures.  Sometimes a release of tethering in these zones with a liposuction cannula can improve the appearance of skin excess.  Lifts can be positioned in different ways to camaflauge scars, but the exact location would require planning with you to discuss your preferences.  A lift in the upper back can place a scar beneath the bra.  A lower back lift can place the scar on the upper buttocks.  Sometimes skin excess is taken from the lateral chest wall to tighten adjoining areas but hide the scar.  There are many alternatives but the best choice is the one personalized for you.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Sagging upper back skin

The upper back skin has a tendency to sag following massive weight loss, but it can also sag with age in thin patients like yourself. There are lifts designed to improve upper back contour, but each type of lift involves a scar on your body. If you don't have much extra skin, the scar can be somewhat small. The upper back lift removes this extra skin while attempting to hide the scar within the bra line. There are different variations of this, and the pattern of excision and length of the scar depends on how much skin needs to be removed. Loose upper back skin can also be removed or tightened through a scar that runs along both sides of the body. This is called a lateral thoracoabdominoplasty, and is generally used when you have a lot of excess skin in the horizontal dimension, such as that seen after massive weight loss. I recommend consulting with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and seeing what your options are. Good luck!

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Lift for sagging back skin?

Thank you for sharing your excellent question.  Patients with complaints similar to yours find a bra-line back lift to be very effective in treating mid-back skin excess.  This back lift hides the incision along where you would normally wear a bra or swimsuit and as a result patients find the improvement in shape and contour to be worthwhile.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Bra Line Back Lift

Although it's difficult to formulate a treatment plan without a physical examination or pictures, your history suggests that your loose skin primarily involves your upper back. Under these circumstances, a Bra Line Back Lift might provide an excellent result. This procedure is designed to place the incision in the bra strap area. The procedure removes excess skin and lifts the back skin in an upward direction.

If you're considering treatment of this condition, it's important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area. This surgeon should be able to perform an evaluation and formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Lift for Sagging Back Skin

Significant excess skin on the back can be addressed with an upper body lift. This procedure would remove excess skin and result in a tighter, firmer appearance of the upper body. I recommend to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to address your cosmetic concerns.

Scott Chapin, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Lift for Sagging Back Skin?

A "torsoplasty", or upper body lift, is the operation for removing excess skin of the upper back.  The design of the skin removal can be done in such a manner that the resulting scar is hidden under a  bra band or bathing suit.  Under most circumstances, scars on the back take a long time to settle and look their best.  However, in older individuals, who are the group most likely to have loose back skin, all scars tend to heal better than in the young.

Paul Fortes, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Lift for Sagging Back Skin?

Yes.  You can look to get an upper body lift.  Go and see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for a complete History and Physical exam and to get recommendations for the best procedure for you.

For more information, please go to my website at:

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Correcting Sagging Back Skin

The only way to correct sagging back skin is to do a semi-circular back lift which will obviously leave you with scars, but will improve shape and contour.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.