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 dye to 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 and liposuction, as long as the total time of your surgery does not exceed 7-8 hours. When liposuction is performed to remove excess fat. A cannula (thin tube) is inserted through the incision and attached to a suction device that extracts the fatty tissue. Excess skin is then excised, and the skin is pulled tighter for a smoother, slimmer contour.
Inner thigh lift incision
An inner thigh lift focuses on the skin and tissue near the knees, where the inner thighs brush against each other and bring symmetry to the legs’ overall look.
For an inner (medial) thigh lift, the incision is placed on the inside of the thigh above the knee, extending to the groin area and across the crease of the thigh, making the scars less noticeable. Another technique that may be chosen removes excess skin from the groin down to the knee using an incision along the inner thigh.
Outer thigh lift incision
To improve the contours of the outer thigh, an incision is made extending from the groin, around the hip, and across the back of the body, allowing the buttocks to be lifted along with the thigh. The incision can be made in inconspicuous areas of the body so that the patient’s clothing and swimsuits can conceal it.
In certain cases, a patient can choose to combine some of these surgeries for optimal results. Factors that play a role in whether a combination of surgical techniques is possible for certain patients include:
- Quality of the patient’s skin
- Areas requiring the procedures
- The amount of skin and fat that need to be removed
- Patient preferences
- Doctor recommendations
Thigh Lift Results
The smooth and firm contour of the upper leg is almost immediately apparent following the procedure. While the final results will be initially obscured by swelling and bruising, the results will improve as the thighs begin to heal. In most cases, a compression garment will be worn for several weeks following the procedure to minimize swelling and support the newly repaired tissues as they heal..
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.
Any worsening pain or the onset of bleeding through sutures or dressings should be addressed with your doctor right away. You should also see your doctor if you experience:
- Wound separation
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.
Call us to schedule your consultation with one of our surgeons, and find out how a thigh lift at The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery can recontour your thighs.
Thigh Lift FAQs
First, look for a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in performing the various thigh lift procedures. Not every cosmetic surgeon has experience in providing outstanding thigh lift surgery results. You should schedule a consultation with the surgeon you’re considering working with to ensure that their experience, skills, and aesthetic philosophy align with yours. This meeting is also your opportunity to explain your goals and express what you hope to achieve.
Scars are an inevitable part of your thigh lift surgery, but a skilled plastic surgeon will take care to place your thigh lift incisions where they will heal virtually invisibly. By carefully following your post-surgical care instructions, your thigh lift scars will remain discreet and almost entirely hidden. They will not detract from your enjoyment of your newly toned legs.
Various factors will influence the total cost of your thigh lift surgery. While your health insurance likely won’t offset the cost of this elective procedure, your will doctors offer financing options to make your cosmetic surgery more affordable. During your consultation,we’ll discuss all the related expenses of a thigh lift with you, so there are no unexpected charges.