Restore Your Body after Weight Loss

A Bra-Line Back Lift is a surgical procedure designed to correct excess skin of the upper back. Often when patients are heavier, the fatty deposits in this region stretch the skin out and it doesn’t always “snap back” after weight loss.

The scar after surgery is designed to sit below the bra-line so it is easier to conceal in a bathing suit top or a bra. Often patients will have a Bra-Line Back Lift at the same time as a Breast Lift and this is sometimes known as an “upper body lift.”

If a back lift is performed as a stand-alone operation, the incision typically starts under the breast fold on one side of the body and then goes around the back, ending beneath the opposite breast fold.

Most patients who get a back lift procedure have lost weight in excess of 50lbs, with some reaching numbers several times that. On occasion, a patient will have loose skin that has just lost its tone because of genetics or age, and they can be deemed a candidate for the operation.

After the hard work and time committed to losing significant amounts of weight, a plastic surgery procedure to remove this excess skin can be the icing on the cake to let patients live the life they want and wear the clothing they want.

Before recommending a surgical procedure, one of our board-certified plastic surgeons will see you to determine the best procedure to meet your goals, budget and timeline. The ideal patient is at a stable and maintainable weight after their weight loss. Depending on how you lost your weight, your surgeon may recommend special pre-operative lab work to make sure you are properly absorbing vitamins and minerals before surgery. This is more often an issue in patients who have had a surgical weight loss procedure such as a gastric bypass, band or sleeve.

Patients do not necessarily need to be at an “ideal body weight” for surgery, but their weight needs to be stable and maintainable. Your surgeon may recommend waiting if your weight loss is not at a stable plateau.

Our Albuquerque board-certified plastic surgeons have authored several book chapters on plastic surgery after weight loss, including the body lift, Fleur-de-Lis Body Lift, Arm Lift (Avulsion Brachioplasty), Thigh Lift and Bra-Line Back Lift. They are also renowned experts in facial surgery such as facelift and neck lift, including after weight loss.

To find out if you are a candidate for plastic surgery after weight loss, please call our office to make an appointment for your personal consultation.

Bra-Line Back Lift and Other Procedures Following Massive Weight Loss

After massive weight loss, achieved via a weight loss procedure like gastric bypass or through diet and exercise, many patients are bothered by the residual deflated and hanging skin at their abdomen, buttocks and often other areas like the arms, thighs, upper back and neck. Our surgeons will often recommend to “stage” these operations to achieve better healing. This can mean several operations, typically spaced out by around 3 months. Often the journey of body contouring after weight loss can last a year or more to get perfect results.

Our surgeons will talk with you in detail during your consultation to discuss what areas bother you most, and what procedures are recommended to performed in what order.

If there are significant fatty problem areas left despite weight loss, these can often be addressed by first performing a thorough liposuctioning of the area, followed by a period of time to let the swelling reside. Once all swelling is gone, which can take 3-6 months depending on the area of the body, your surgeon will then discuss a secondary procedure to come back and remove the deflated skin. This is more common in the arms and legs and not typically the case with back lifting.


  • Knotts CD, Kortesis BG, Hunstad JP. Avulsion Brachioplasty: Technique Overview and 5-Year Experience. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2014; 133(2): 283
  • Hunstad JP and Knotts CD. Body Contouring and Liposuction ed. Rubin, Jewell, Richter, Uebel (2013). “Bra Line Back Lift”
  • Hunstad JP and Knotts CD. Body Contouring and Liposuction ed. Rubin, Jewell, Richter, Uebel (2013). “Fleur-de-lis Abdominoplasty and Mons Contouring”
  • Knotts CD, Poindexter BD, Sigal RK, Weston GW. The Art of Aesthetic Surgery ed. Nahai, Nahai (2020). “Rejuvenation of the Aging Mouth” p. 863-870
  • Hunstad JP, Kortesis BG, Knotts CD. Avulsion Thighplasty: Technique, Overview and 6-year experience. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016; 137(1): 84-87
  • Knotts CD, Poindexter BD, Sigal RK, Weston GW. The Unfavorable Result in Plastic Surgery ed. Cohen, Thaller (2018). “Perioral Aesthetic Surgery” p. 402-417
  • Hunstad JP, Krochmal DJ, Flugstad NA, Knotts CD. Current Methodology for Liposuction and Avulsion Brachioplasty. Plastic Surgery Pulse News. 2015; 7(1)
  • Hunstad JP, Knotts CD, Augenstein AC. Circumferential Body Shaping: Appreciating the Deformity. Plastic Surgery Pulse News. 2013; 5(2): 1-4
  • Knotts CD, Hromadka M, Clapper R, Sawan KT.  Management of Varicose Veins in the Massive Weight Loss Patient Undergoing Aesthetic Thigh Surgery. ASAPS abstract 2013