The Scoop on Back Scooping Surgery

by Edie Pastis

The Scoop on Back Scooping Surgery

When the results of Heidi Montag's plastic surgery free-for-all were unveiled a few years back, most people simultaneously marveled/cringed/drooled over her newly sculpted barbie doll-bod. Montag, who reportedly underwent 10 plastic surgery procedures at once in one year, quickly became a poster-girl for cosmetic surgery.

Some of Montag's cosmetic procedures, like breast augmentation and cheek augmentation, were evident immediately in her first-released before and after pictures. However, word on other minor procedures Montag had received, like "back scooping," became news in more recent times... and are quickly gaining steam in plastic surgery offices across the country!

What is Back Scooping?

Back scooping is regularly known as back liposuction, micro liposuction or back sculpting. Back scooping surgery removes extra fat from the lower back, love handles, and/or the "muffin top" area to create a more toned, concave lower back shape.

In terms of the procedure itself, back scooping is alleged to be minimally invasive, low-risk, and it isn't prone to major side effects or complications. Since micro lipo requires smaller incisions than traditional liposuction, back scooping also promises minimal scarring and short recovery times. Patients can often return to work in less than a week post back scooping, and may be fully recovered in as little as two weeks.

Back scooping or back liposuction can be applied to one or more back fat areas, including:

  • Infra scapular fat (flanks): back fat located near sides of the middle back, below the shoulder blades and underneath the bra strap
  • Posterior axillary fat: back fat located on the sides of the upper back, below the shoulder and near the armpit
  • Posterior waist fat (love handles): back fat above and behind hip bones
  • Lumbo-sacral fat pad: back fat in the middle of the lower back, above the tailbone
  • Buffalo hump: back fat located on mid-upper back, below the neck

Back Scooping OK for Thin Patients?

Some may think back scooping was an odd or unnecessary procedure for the naturally slim Heidi Montag. However, many patients who request back liposuction are indeed thin, as various plastic surgeons confirm.

A recent MSNBC article cited Dr. Anthony Youn—plastic surgeon and creator of the popular celebrity cosmetic surgery blog—when stating that, "it's often very thin patients who request the procedure". Youn was further quoted as saying the back is " of the only areas that can be effectively liposuctioned on a person who is otherwise very thin".

Many patients have found love handles and back fat to be stubborn and difficult to remove, even with regular exercise. Fortunately, back scooping can be used to treat very small areas of back fat, or to remove larger amounts of excess fat. In other words, both relatively fit individuals and obese patients can be candidates for back scooping surgery.

Other Benefits of Back Liposuction

Back scooping is also popular among new mothers, and can be easily incorporated into a mommy makeover plastic surgery package. Mommy makeovers typically consist of breast augmentation, liposuction and/or a tummy tuck to enhance those areas most impacted by pregnancy.

Back scooping can also reduce the size of a patient's waist, since excess fat on the hips, love handles and lower back can add to the total circumference of the waistline. Since abdominal tissue is more fibrous, and therefore more difficult to remove, back scooping alone might be a safer, easier way for slim patients to whittle their waistline.

Many men and women who want liposuction on their upper thighs, buttocks, abdomen etc. are often advised by their plastic surgeon to combine it with some back liposuction. This helps to ensure patients achieve a well-balanced, streamlined silhouette post treatment, as opposed to an uneven or box-like appearance.

Back Scooping Risks

The general word on back scooping risks is that there aren't many, which is encouraging. However, there's always an liposuction surgery always carries risks, and so it's best for patients to educate themselves about back scooping risk factors prior to treatment. Like with other types of plastic surgery, the greater the extent of back scooping surgery, the higher the risk of side effects and complications.

Micro liposuction on the back can pose minor risks such as bleeding, tenderness, swelling and bruising, but the incidence of more serious back scooping side effects is very rare. The biggest tip for avoiding back scooping side effects is to have the procedure performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.

Is Back Liposuction Right for Me?

This procedure could offer an effective way to tone the waistline, enhance curves in the right places, or simply slenderize the shape of the lower back in a bathing suit or low-cut dress. For new moms, back liposuction can provide a great way to firm up their post-baby bodies. Back liposuction for men can enhance the broadness and masculinity of the upper back and torso.

To learn more about micro liposuction for the back, or back scooping, and whether or not you're a candidate for this popular back sculpting procedure, it's best to meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon near you!

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