Upper Body Lift

Conveniently located to serve St. Louis, Missouri

Upper Body LiftAfter massive weight loss, men and women will experience significant excess skin in their upper and lower torso. This skin can cause wrinkling and folds in the abdomen, back and buttocks.

An upper body lift is a procedure to remove skin from the upper abdomen, side of the breast and the upper back. Much like the name of the procedure suggests, this procedure improves the entire upper torso, front and back, as opposed to a tummy tuck/abdominoplasty which involves removal of skin and fat and flattening of the lower abdomen only. Alternatively, a lower body lift helps improve the contour of the outer or lateral thighs by removing excess skin present in the flanks and lower back. In addition, the buttocks is lifted and often times augmented with tissue that would otherwise be disposed of as needed in a lower body lift. An upper body lift does not cause significant lifting in the inner or medial thighs or buttocks. A medial thigh lift is needed to address the inner thighs. A lower body lift is needed to address sagging buttocks. An upper body lift will help to eliminate upper back rolls and excess skin under the armpits.

Dr. Cabbabe incorporates his experience with reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the body to give his patients the best results possible to meet their desires. He is an expert in cosmetic, reconstructive and minimally invasive body surgery. Many bariatric surgeons refer their patients to Dr. Cabbabe for his expertise. During your consultation, Dr. Cabbabe will carefully examine you and will make recommendations in order to help you achieve your desired result prior to surgery.

Prior to Surgery

Dr. Cabbabe requests that all patients take iron (ferrous sulfate) supplementation, approximately 300 mg three times a day, for 3 weeks prior to surgery. This helps patients increase their red blood cell counts prior to surgery and makes recovery much smoother for patients.

Do NOT take any aspirin, plavix, or ibuprofen at least 10 days prior to surgery. Coumadin or any other type of blood thinner prior to surgery. Dr. Cabbabe may also recommend that you stop any hormones or oral contraceptives to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs around the time of surgery.

It is helpful to have a recliner to sleep on for the first week or two when you transition to a bed. Extra compression garments, including FAJA’s in different sizes, are helpful as your size will decrease after swelling goes down. Female urination devices can be purchased on Amazon to be used while garments are worn.

Eat a healthy diet and avoid alcohol at least 48 hours prior to surgery to maintain hydration around the time of your procedure. Nicotine usage leads to a well – known higher rate of complications including infection and should be stopped at a minimum of 3 weeks prior. Take this as an opportunity to quit smoking forever to enjoy the health benefits long – term as well as improved skin texture with less wrinkling.

upper back
eliminate back rolls

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Prior to surgery, Dr. Cabbabe will place markings on the upper abdomen and back and any planned areas of liposuction. Nerve blocks may be done by the anesthesiologist to minimize pain after surgery. Numbing solution is used to minimize blood loss and assist with pain control. Liposuction is often incorporated as a part of the procedure.

Skin and fat is removed from the upper abdomen while keeping the scar hidden in the breast crease, concealed within the under-garments. Tissue is remove circumferentially in the upper back, keeping the scar within the bra line on the back.

The surgery is done with the patient in two positions: on their back and abdomen. Liposuction is done as needed on the back and flanks. Extra skin and fat is removed from the upper back and tissues are lifted. The procedure results in a “cinching” of the waist line, restoring a youthful “hour – glass” contour, restoring the body to its natural shape.

Sutures are used internally and no staples are used. Drains are placed in areas of tissue removal. Drains are generally removed within 1 week.

Your Upper Body Lift will be performed in a hospital or surgery center in St. Louis, MO.


Patients may be discharged home after surgery or may be observed in the hospital overnight. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed. There may be some numbness on in the surgical areas which improves with time. Most patients are able to shower within 48 hours. Drains are generally removed within 1 week of surgery. Recovery time is 2-3 weeks. Dr. Cabbabe may ask you to wear compression garments for 2 weeks after surgery to help minimize swelling and maximize your result.



Heavier patients (BMI >30) experience more complications. If your BMI is greater than 35, Dr. Cabbabe may not recommend surgery. Complications include bleeding after surgery, fluid collections which may result in infection, thickened scars, skin necrosis, asymmetries and blood clots. These may require additional procedures to correct.

Dr. Cabbabe takes measures to prevent complications including appropriate use of antibiotics and drains to prevent infections, leg sequential devices to prevent blood clots in the legs and careful tissue handling to prevent skin necrosis. Board – certified anesthesiologists are used for all of his surgeries.

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