A thigh lift is performed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper legs. Candidates typically suffer from loose, inelastic skin after extreme weight loss due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery. Because of this, the procedure is often combined with others such as breastlifts, facelifts and armlifts to retain an attractive body proportion.
In a medial thigh lift (inner thigh lift), the surgical incision is made in the inner thigh along the line where the leg meets the groin. In a lateral thigh lift (outer thigh lift), the incision is made from the groin around the back of the body, so that the buttocks are lifted along with the thigh.
Candidates for THIGH Lift
The thigh lift procedure is most effective for patients who are close to their overall weight but have trouble losing weight in the thighs, or need a little tightening in the area. Many of these patients have lost a significant amount of weight and are now at a stable weight, but still have excess fat and skin in the upper thighs.
This procedure is recommended for patients who are in good overall health, do not smoke and do not have any existing medical conditions that may interfere with this procedure. It is important for patients to also have realistic results about the thigh lift procedure in order to achieve successful results from this procedure. A thigh lift cannot be used to lose a significant amount of weight.
THIGH Lift Procedure
Patients with minimal fat and no excess skin may be able to achieve effective results through liposuction alone. Liposuction is a much less invasive procedure that suctions out excess fat through tiny incisions. A minimal incision can also be near the groin for patients with minimal extra skin, which helps reduce scarring and recovery times.
For patients with a fair amount of excess fat and skin, a standard thigh lift incision is made in a hockey stick pattern from the groin crease to the medial thigh then extending down to just above the knee. Fat is removed through the incision and the remaining skin is stretched and sutured into place. A drain may be placed at the incision site to remove excess fluid, while the thigh is bandaged and sometimes wrapped in compression bandages.
A thigh lift is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The entire procedure takes about three hours to perform, and patients can usually return home the same day after the anesthesia has worn off.
Results and Recovery
After a thigh lift procedure, patients may experience tightness and swelling in the thighhs, as well as tingling in the feet. These side effects are mild and go away on their own within a few days. Postoperative pain is likely to occur, but will vary depending on the individual patient. Most patients find their pain is relieved after 7 to 10 days. The incisions from the thigh lift procedure are placed in inconspicuous locations so that scarring is minimal. Most patients believe that the removal of excess fat and skin outweighs the appearance of any scarring.
The results of this procedure are visible immediately, and will continue to improve as swelling and other side effects subside over the next three to six months. Patients often feel more comfortable exposing their legs and have improved self-confidence after this procedure.
Risks and Complications of THIGH Lift Surgery
Although a thigh lift is considered safe for most patients, there are certain risks and complications associated with any kind of cosmetic treatment.
Some of these may include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Unattractive scarring
- Fluid accumulation
- Blood clots
These risks are considered rare, and can be further reduced by choosing a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon such as Dr. Meeks to perform your procedure, and by following Dr. Meeks’ instructions before and after surgery.