This surgery reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body.
The Best Candidates for Thigh lift
- People whose weight has been stable for at least 6 months
- Individuals with excess soft tissue along the inner or medial thigh region and/or the outer thigh
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what thigh lift surgery can accomplish
- Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and fitness
Thigh lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and thigh lift techniques may be recommended.
Thousands of thigh lifts are performed successfully each year. When done by a qualified plastic surgeon that is trained in body contouring, the results are generally very pleasing. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
Postoperative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics, but will possibly require a hospital stay.
Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a second operation. Smokers will be advised to stop completely for at least 3 weeks before and after surgery, as smoking increases markedly the risk of complications and delays healing.
You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.
In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat and skin in your upper thigh, and carefully assess your skin tone. Be sure to tell him if you smoke, and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs.
Be frank in discussing your expectations, your surgeon will be equally frank with you, describing your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each.
Your surgeon will work with you and your problematic areas to recommend the procedure that is right for you and will come closest to producing the desired body contour. If, for example you have excess fatty deposits in the upper thigh area and your skin integrity and elasticity is good, then Liposuction may be the appropriate choice for the best possible results and with minimal scarring.
During the consultation, he will also explain the anaesthesia he will use, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs involved.
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications.
If you smoke, plan to quit at least three weeks before and not to resume for at least three weeks after your surgery. Do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery may need to be postponed. Notify your surgeon’s friendly staff.
You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a few days to a week after you leave the hospital.
Thigh lift is normally performed in a hospital as a day procedure or with an overnight stay.
Your surgeon will recommend general anaesthesia, so you’ll sleep through the operation.
Incision patterns vary based on the area or areas to be treated, degree of correction and patient and surgeon preference.
One common technique used for a thigh lift places incisions in the groin, extending downward wrapping around the back of the thigh. The underlying tissue matrix will be reshaped and tightened, and skin will be reduced and re-draped resulting in more proportionate and smoother body contours.
You may qualify for a minimal incision medial thigh lift which involves an incision only in the groin area. Your surgeon will determine what’s appropriate.Improving the contours of the outer thigh may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip.
Through these incisions your plastic surgeon will tighten tissues for a smoother, better-toned lower body contour.
Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits. However, incisions may be extensive.
Deep support sutures within underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours. These internal sutures will take six to twelve months to dissolve, lending internal support to the wound site.
When your procedure is completed, dressing or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you will be wrapped in a compression garment to minimize swelling and to support your new contours as you heal. One or more small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site following surgery, medications to take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
Following your physician’s instructions is paramount to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Do not wet that area for at least 48 hours as this gives the wound site a chance to seal together without introducing bacteria that could be present in water. On the morning of day 3 you can remove the support garment and shower normally Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
You will not be able to drive yourself home after the surgery so be sure to arrange for someone to pick you up. Do not drive for a week after surgery, as sitting will be uncomfortable. When you go home you should limit bending at the hip movements as much as possible for the first few weeks. Getting in and out of bed will also not be easy and you will need help at home for the first few weeks. Gentle exercise after a thigh lift is encouraged and walking is ideal.
You will notice an improvement in your leg contours immediately. However, your shape will continue to improve in the following weeks as the swelling subsides. Initial healing usually occurs in 10-14 days.
You should be up and walking the day following surgery, although your legs will be sore for several days.
Scarring is inevitable with thigh lift surgery. However, your scars will continue to fade over time and will become less and less noticeable.
Thigh lift produces excellent results for patients with excessive upper leg fat and skin. And in most the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. If you’re realistic in your expectations and prepared for the consequences of the permanent scar and a sometimes lengthy recovery period, Thigh lift may be just the answer for you.