If you have loose, excess skin on your thighs, a thigh lift may be the answer. This surgery contours the thighs, removing excess fat and tightening the skin for a smoother, trimmer appearance. Lax skin often develops after a significant loss of weight or simply as a result of the aging process. Once the elasticity of the skin is lost, it cannot be corrected by diet and exercise alone.
At The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery, we customize every thigh lift based on your body and how you wish to look. You may, for example, have lax skin on the outer thighs, inner thighs, or both. If you have good skin elasticity without excess skin, you may be able to improve the look of your thighs through liposuction alone.
A thigh lift is a common procedure after post-bariatric surgery, and it is best performed on patients who are close to their ideal weight. If you plan to lose weight, you should postpone your surgery, as weight loss can cause the development of more lax skin.
During your consultation, we will discuss your concerns about your appearance and your goals for your thigh lift, as well as your medical history, medications you take, and previous procedures you have had. We will also answer all of your questions, explain what to expect from surgery, and tell you how to prepare for your surgery.
The Thigh Lift Procedure
A thigh lift usually takes 3-4 hours. It can sometimes be combined with other procedures, such as a tummy tuck, as long as the total time of your surgery does not exceed 7-8 hours.
The incision is usually on the inside of the thigh above the knee and extends to the groin area and across the crease of the thigh where the scars will be less noticeable. If necessary, liposuction is performed to remove excess fat. A cannula (tube) is inserted through the incision and attached to a suction device that extracts the fatty tissue. Excess skin is excised, and the skin is pulled tighter for a smoother, slimmer contour.
Preparing for Your Thigh Lift
Please avoid taking Advil, Aleve, aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, and Naprosyn for two weeks prior to your surgery. High dose vitamins and herbal medications should also be avoided. Most other medications that you take regularly can be taken before your procedure. It is especially important to take blood pressure medication so that your blood pressure remains normal during surgery.
Thigh lifts are performed in the hospital using general anesthesia. Be sure to have someone available to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours, as you will be drowsy from the anesthesia.
Recovering from Your Thigh Lift
A compression garment must be worn for at least 6 weeks (and often longer) to minimize swelling. Drains may also be placed in the incisions. These collect fluids as you heal and will be removed within 2 weeks of your surgery.
Some bruising, swelling, soreness, tightness, and itching are normal after a lower body lift. You can take medication, if necessary, to ease discomfort, and Arnica Montana can help to minimize bruising. These symptoms will gradually subside during the weeks following your surgery. Most patients take 2-3 weeks off from work to recover. You should be able to shower within 2-3 days of your surgery.
Please avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks. Full results from your surgery can take 6-9 months to be visible.
Your thigh lift results are permanent, but fat deposits and lax skin can develop again. Maintaining a steady weight can help to sustain the outcome.