Thigh lift surgery reshapes the thighs by removing excess skin and fat from your thighs. The goal of the procedure is to improve the appearance of the front and inner thighs and achieve smoother skin with better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body. Thigh lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. If this is the concern, liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where the skin has good elasticity. Good elasticity is a necessity to ensure the area is able to naturally conform or shrink back to the new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of thigh lift and liposuction techniques may be recommended by your physician.
A thigh lift procedure is performed at a surgical center. General anesthesia is administered for comfort during the procedure. An incision in the groin area is made and may extend down the inner thigh depending on how much skin and fat needs to be removed. The underlying tissue is then reshaped and tightened and excess skin is removed.
For individuals who are a candidate of body contouring the outer thigh, they may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip. Once the lift is complete, deep support sutures will be placed in the underlying tissue to form the new contours. Sutures will also be placed to close the skin incisions. Drains will be used during the surgery and stay for 1 – 2 weeks after surgery. Results from the thigh lift are obvious almost immediately but are obscured due to swelling and bruising. You will wear a compression garment for 4 – 6 weeks after surgery.
Surgery will be approximately 2 -3 hours as determined on a case by case basis. Typically this is done as an outpatient procedure, but an overnight stay may be necessary and will be determined by the surgeon.
Dressing and bandages are applied to your incisions once your surgery is complete and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or compression garment. This minimizes swelling and supports your new contours as you heal. Small tubes may be placed under the skin to drain excess fluid and blood that may collect. Post op instructions will be given to explain how to care for the surgical site, drains, medications that need to be applied or taken orally to help reduce the possibility of infection.
Sutures are usually removed between 1 – 2 weeks after surgery. You will be able to return to non-strenuous work approximately 2 – 4 weeks after surgery. Approximately 4 – 6 weeks after surgery, strenuous activity will be allowed. Sometime around the 8th week after surgery you will be allowed to resume all activities. Scars will flatten and fade between 3 months and 2 years after surgery.
Thigh lift may be combined with other body contouring procedures like abdominoplasty, brachioplasty, lower body lift or liposuction.