Unfortunate as it is, after a certain number of years on this planet and by virtue of being made of what we are, our bodies shift and flounder. This is when cosmetic plastic surgeons jump on your back if you let them.

 Hormonal changes in particular lead a redistribution of fat into areas that were, in younger years, firm and taut. Their appearance in these areas is particularly disturbing, and the back is one such area.

The back of the body

The skin of the back is the thickest skin in the body. Though not very surgeon-like, I always imagine we were designed that way so that when we were a little bit more hunched over, we had a bit more protection from sharp animal teeth biting into our backs. With age, skin becomes looser but still maintains its relative thickness.

 When we are young, there is little fat on our backs; if we overindulge, we will eventually accumulate fat there also, but typically the back is not a primary fat storage area and hence not of any cosmetic surgery concern.

Lack of exercise and advancing in age will eventually lead to atrophy of the muscles of the back, but the fat will stay.

Fat rolls on the back

Given the redistribution and increase in fat and the weight of thick and less elastic skin, it is easy to understand how fat rolls develop on the back. To make matters worse, tight bras force fat to rear out from under and over bra straps, and where the skin is tightly held to the underlying tissues, a fold forms over which fatty skin drapes like velvet.

Liposuction back fat before after

 Removing fat rolls using liposuction

Lipo is my preferred method for removing the fat rolls of the back. I usually use a power-assisted liposuction or ultrasound liposuction in this area because the fat is more tightly held to the surrounding tissues than is the case with, for example, abdominal fat. I usually make a central incision and two other incisions on the sides of the body to be able to get to all of the back fat—it is a large cosmetic area of the body, after all.

Cosmetic patient expectations in liposuction of the back

No matter how much fat is removed—and only a certain amount can be aspirated in any area by your plastic surgeon to ensure survival of the skin and maintain blood supply—it is almost impossible to remove all the lines/folds. We are designed to have a little laxity in the skin of the back so we can bend over without tearing apart. The cosmetic patient has to be educated by their plastic surgeon to accept some remnant folds—without much fat.

Cosmetic liposuction surgery of back fat rolls removes vestiges of changes that time hath brought and can take us back to a thinner, more streamlined and more aerodynamic silhouette.

Morad Tavallali, M.D., FACS

Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

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