One method for men to get a much more sculpted body is a procedure called torsoplasty. The torso is basically the body without arms and legs. A torsoplasty, which is primarily performed on males, improves the body from the clavicle down to the groin area and also from side to side (including the love handles). The procedure sculpts the entire male torso which means that any excess tissue on the chest, commonly called gynecomastia, is removed. Any fat that extends to the side of the chest is removed. The procedure gives men a narrower chest on the sides along with a defined lateral pectoral border and a more defined pectoral muscle on the front of the chest itself.
Am I a Good Candidate for Torsoplasty?
Patients that are GOOD CANDIDATES for torsoplasty are:
- Someone who passes the “pinch test” which means, if a person can pinch their belly fat, it can be suctioned out via liposuction
- Men who cannot shed those last stubborn bulges of fat in certain places on their torso
- A younger patient with skin that is more elastic
- People who lost a large amount of weight through diet and exercise, or gastric bypass surgery, and have excess skin on their body
Patients that are NOT IDEAL CANDIDATES include:
- Very heavy individuals seeking shortcuts to a better body
- People with skin that has lost its elasticity due to age or weight gain
- Patients who want to use the procedure as an overall weight loss method
How is Torsoplasty Performed?
Torsoplasty is usually performed under sedation anesthesia and typically last between 3-4 hours depending on the needs of the individual patient. There are three stages, or steps, that a surgeon follows when performing torsoplasty:
- Stage 1 involves the patient being positioned on his stomach. The surgeon can then perform liposuction and remove fat from the posterior love handles and lower back.
- Stage 2 is when the patient is turned onto his back and the surgeon treats the excess tissues of the chest with liposuction and performs an excision of stubborn gland tissue through a small incision around the edge of the areola. The goal is to provide a trim and contoured masculine chest.
- Stage 3 is liposuction of the entire abdomen from the crease below the chest muscle, to the groin, and this includes the anterior love handles. At this time, the surgeon can perform “etching” of the fat to simulate a more athletic and muscular physique.
After the excess tissues of the chest are removed, the skin tightens spontaneously so there is no loose or over-hanging skin. Any protruding nipples, commonly called puffy nipples, will lie flat and flush with the surrounding chest skin. The overall diameter of the areolas will decrease spontaneously as well.
There are no major scars following torsoplasty. Each small incision for liposuction is less than a ¼ inch long and the location is hidden in skin creases, below the beltline and inside the belly button. The amount of scarring varies per patient and depends on skin color, genetics, sun exposure and the scarring history of the person.
Is Torsoplasty a Body Lift?
A body lift is an extended tummy tuck that goes all the way around the waist. It involves liposuction as well as skin tightening, muscle tightening and (at times) a lifting of the lateral thigh skin. Torsoplasty is in no way related to a body lift. Torsoplasty is basically extensive liposuction of the abdomen.
What is the Cost of Torsoplasty?
A full torsoplasty treatment runs approximately $15,000-$25,000 in the United States. That cost covers surgery, anesthesia, the operating room and all post-op care.
Recovery and Downtime
Torsoplasty covers a big area of the body and there is going to be some soreness during the RECOVERY period. There will be some swelling, bruising and numbness of the skin that resolves over time. Patients are required to wear compression garments 24/7, except for when they are bathing, for a total of 4-6 weeks. This gives them enough compression to minimize swelling and bleeding after surgery in the chest and abdomen.
In terms of DOWNTIME, every patient is different. After a torsoplasty, most patients can return to a job that involves sitting after one week. Patients with a physically demanding job can usually return to work after three or four weeks.
The results can be seen once the swelling and bruising start to decrease.
The chest usually heals in about 3-6 months. The abdomen takes 6-8 months or even a year.
The final results are long lasting, and can even be considered permanent, as long as the patient maintains a healthy diet and weight.
Limitations of Torsoplasty
The limitations of torsoplasty include:
- It is mainly performed on men (although women sometimes have the surgery)
- It is not a weight loss procedure
- The amount of skin elasticity on a patient impacts the results that can be achieved
Risks of Torsoplasty
The potential risks of torsoplasty are:
- Changes in skin sensation
- Seroma (fluid that accumulates under the skin)
Torsoplasty Tackles More Than a Beer Belly
Torsoplasty is a great surgical option for the right person. Many men think they are a good candidate for the surgery. However, they are not an ideal patient if they are just trying to get rid of a beer belly. Having a reasonable body build, as well as not being too overweight, are key factors in being a strong candidate for torsoplasty. If a patient was once very obese and then lost weight, the skin will have lost elasticity and liposuction alone, as in a torsoplasty; will not be the best choice of treatment. Potential candidates should consult with an experienced and skilled physician on whether or not torsoplasty is the right choice for their medical situation.