Fat is a funny thing. We all know that it can creep up on you, particularly as we get older, but fat cells can also be deposited unevenly and often in the most unlikely of places. Many of my Leamington cosmetic surgery patients – particularly my female patients – exercise regularly and work hard on achieving a flat tummy or taut thighs, but get downhearted when they check out their back view in the mirror and see rolls of fat and skin below and above the bra line. This excess skin can make a woman appear heavier than she actually is.
Tissue on the back is of a slightly different composition to elsewhere on the body. The skin is much thicker, there is minimal ‘deep’ fat and the superficial fatty tissue is much more dense and fibrous, all of which makes it very difficult to shift this problem with exercise or diet.
Also, if your weight has fluctuated over the years, then this will have increased the amount of fibrous tissue and you will usually have developed skin laxity that appears as ‘rolls’ on the back.
Recently, I wrote about one of the less well-known procedures I offer clients called a trunk reduction; this week I’m reviewing another, more unusual, cosmetic surgery procedure known as the bra line back lift.
I perform the procedure under a general anaesthetic; first, following a careful preoperative mark-up, an incision is made all the way across the upper back and into the upper armpit area on each side. The back skin is then separated from the underlying muscles down to the lower back area, before it is pulled tightly upwards, the excess removed and the skin closed with dissolvable stitches. This produces a smoother contour to the back area.
The trade-off is the scar extending across the upper back from armpit to armpit. Scars on the back tend to fade less well and may also stretch in response to normal bending movements, so that they are not a completely fine line.
However, at pre-planning, the best position for the scar in regard to the standard bra strap line is considered and marked accordingly to try to minimise visibility and the majority of my patients are comfortable accepting the scar in exchange for a much-improved body contour.