Procedures Resource Center Plastic Surgeon Info Contact Us Forum Blog Videos Home

Bra-Line Back Lift


                               Bra-Line Back Lift

                                            Licensed image for


A Bra-Line Back Lift is a relatively new procedure which was published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal in 2007.  It is a form of a body lift technique.  This procedure was created by Dr. Joseph Hunstad, a Charlotte, North Carolina plastic surgeon.

The purpose of the Bra-Line Back Lift is to improve the shape and contour of the upper and middle back by removing all the back fat and rolls that can come on patients who have had excessive weight loss.  The scar for the procedure is hidden within the patient's bra-line, which can be easily concealed with a bikini or a bra.

Back bulges has always been problematic for most patients because it does not respond to diet or exercise.  Even women who have not had a drastic weight loss and are actively fit can have a lot of skin laxity - which will cause back bulges and rolls.  Coping with loose skin with having a bulge above or below the bra can be overwhelming.  A Bra Line Back Lift takes all the redundant skin that has laxity or sagging to it and simply eliminates the problem. 


This procedure is ideal for patients who have saggy skin caused by:

  • aging

  • sun exposure

  • massive weight loss





Liposuction was initially developed in 1974 to surgically remove fat using specialized  surgical instructions and vacuum suction.  Liposuction is effective if the patient's back rolls consist of fat and their skin still has good elasticity so the skin will snap back into shape. 

Liposuction is specific with its ability to eliminate fat.  With a Bra-Line Back Lift it targets "excess skin" not back fat.  The surgeon can suck out the fat with liposuction - and leave behind loose, hanging skin.

With liposuction a surgical instrument known as a cannula is used to extract the fat deposits from a specific area.

                                             Liposuction Surgical Tools - Cannula

                                              Liposuction Surgical Tools (Cannula)


The areas treated by Back Liposuction are:

  • infra-scapular back fat - Infra-scapular fat (female flanks) is located above the waist and below the shoulder blades. This is the unsightly fat that bulges just below the bra strap.

  • posterior axillary back fat - Posterior axillary fat is located on the upper-outer back near the armpit


The type of liposuction that is used in a certain area depends on the following:

  • Your overall health

  • Skin quality

  • Body mass

  • Estimated volume of fat to be removed

  • Number of sites that need to be treated


The incision for back liposuction is normally located near the armpit or axillary area.  The incision is small compared to the Bra Line Back Lift - which leaves a much larger scar.  The number one concern with liposuction is the quality of the skin and how it will react once the fat is removed from the area.




Benefits of the Bra Line Back Lift:

  • Scar is hidden within the bra-line area
  • Back rolls and bulges have an improved appearance
  • Patient's self esteem is improved with being able to wear form fitting tops
  • Relatively short recovery time
  • Low complication rate 
  • Results are immediate after surgery




  • FAST FACTS for Bra Line Back Lift

Information you should know about the Bra-Line Back Lift

  • Procedure normally takes no longer than an hour to perform

  • Not covered by insurance

  • The bra-line back lift costs about $7,500 to $10,000

  • Twilight or general anesthesia is used




The Bra Line Back Lift Procedure:

  • A Bra Line Back Lift incision ranges from the width of the back, however; it is placed in an area where it would be hidden with the wearing of a bra or a bikini top. 

  • The back area is marked before surgery with where the incision is going to be. The preoperative markings of the bra outline, followed by marking the soft tissue to be removed.


                                     Before the Bra-Line Back Lift - Surgical Markings

                                       Copyright 2010 -          

                         Markings on the upper back region for the Bra Line Back Lift


  • The bra line back lift is relatively simple, taking about an hour to perform.

  • Once the excess skin is removed, the back is pulled together and then stitched up.

  • Recovery from this procedure requires the patient to be inactive for a few weeks with no heavy lifting or exercise.


                                     Patient during surgery for the Bra-Line Back Lift Procedure

                                        Copyright 2010 -         

                                     Patient during surgery - Bra Line Back Lift




Patients are to avoid any of the following during recovery:

  • heavy lifting

  • vigorous activity

  • excessive bending

  • lifting their arms above the head

  • immersing the area under water

Patients need to adhere to the post operative instructions given by their own plastic surgeon.  Limiting any heavy lifting, activity, exercise, or bending could possibly cause a hematoma or a seroma.  Some surgeons might utilize drains in order to make sure no post operative hematoma or seroma will happen.  If drains are used, they normally only stay in for a few days.

With bathing in a tub - you should not immerse your back area under water until the incision is completely closed, as this could possibly cause an infection to occur.

Some surgeons allow their patient to shower 24 hours after surgery.


                                     Patient with a Jackson-Pratt drain in place after the bra-line lift

                                        Copyright 2010 -            

                                  Jackson-Pratt drain in place after the bra line lift


After a period of two weeks, most patients are able to slowly increase their range of motion and activity level.  Every patient is different with their recovery period, so it is not unusual if it should take someone longer to get back to their daily routine without too much tightness or discomfort.


    After the Bra-Line Back Lift    After the Bra-Line Back Lift 

                                        Copyright 2010 -          

                                                             Bra Line Back Lift incision 



                   Before and After the Bra-Line Back Lift

                                          Copyright 2010 -              

                                                  Before and After - Bra Line Back Lift






Other Bra-Line Back Lift Links:



Copyright - - A Cosmetic Surgery Support Network