What is a Thigh Lift?
The thighs can be one of the most challenging areas of the body to tone through diet and exercise. This is particularly true for individuals with sagging thigh skin due to age or significant weight loss. The thigh lift is a surgical procedure in which excess skin and sometimes fat are removed from the thighs to create a smoother, firm thigh appearance that is in better proportion to the rest of the body.
The thigh lift can be performed on its own though it is often combined with other procedures like liposuction and other body lifts. Liposuction alone may be an option for patients with excess fat and no excess skin.
Thigh Lift- The Procedure
The thigh lift is performed by the board certified plastic surgery experts at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists with general anesthesia. Incision patterns will vary. In many cases, the incision is placed in the groin and extends down and around to the back of the thigh. Smaller incisions may be made for individuals with less extensive sagging. For a medial thigh lift, for instance, the incision is limited to the groin area. If the outer thigh is being treated, it will be a groin incision only if there is minimal laxity, but if not it will be a hockey stick or J type incision that extends down the medial thigh since there is more laxity.
Working through the incision, the underlying tissue is reshaped and tightened. Excess skin is then removed and the incisions are closed.
After Surgery: What to Expect
Swelling and bruising are common after surgery. To minimize swelling and support the new contours of the thighs, you may be required to wear a compression garment for a period of time. If drainage tubes are inserted at the incision sites, they are typically removed within a few days. Patients often find that they can return to work within two weeks after their thigh lift, while exercise and strenuous activities should be postponed for four to six weeks.
All surgical procedures involve some risks. The potential complications associated with the thigh lift may include adverse anesthesia reaction, bleeding, infection, excess scarring, poor wound healing, blood clots, numbness and asymmetry. You can minimize your risk by carefully adhering to your doctor’s pre- and post-surgical instructions.