Extreme weight loss and the effects of time and gravity can cause the skin of the inner and outer thigh to sag and lose tone. The thighs can be an area of fat collection which does not respond to weight loss or exercise. Thigh lift procedure usually involves liposuction and the removal of excessive skin from either the inner or outer thigh or both.
What are the benefits?
Benefits of a thigh lift are not only cosmetic as it also relieves rashes on the under-surface of thighs due to seat caused by skin on skin contact. Following surgery your thighs are smooth, firm and have a more defined shape.
Thigh lift is usually combined with liposuction followed by the removal of excess skin. Thigh lift surgery involves removing excess skin and associated fat from the region and then suturing the ends together. Essentially it is a straightforward surgical procedure, however due to the size of the area to be treated and the length of wound that requires suturing it can take up to 2 hours to complete the procedure. The incision line is sutured with dissolving stitches and surgical tapes are then applied to the surface of the skin. A bandage is then applied around the thighs in order to apply some compression and reduce any swelling and bleeding.
How long does the operation take?
An inner thigh lift procedure takes approximately 2 hours.
How long do I stay in hospital?
Thigh lift surgery requires an overnight stay in hospital and is performed under a general anaesthetic.
What can I expect afterwards?
Once you wake from the anaesthetic, you will notice that you will be wearing a compression garment which will help control swelling and subsequent bruising. Once you feel reasonably comfortable you will be encouraged to get up and move around. You will experience swelling and bruising in the thigh region and this will be more noticeable if the thigh lift was combined with liposuction. The compression garment you will be wearing will help reduce the swelling. The bruising however usually lasts about 3 weeks. While most of the obvious swelling will have resolved by this time there still may be some subtle swelling which may be still be present for up to 6 months. In addition you will notice that some areas of the thighs will feel firm or hard to touch, particularly along the edges of the incision site. This will be as a result of the normal healing process and when this occurs, you will be advised to massage the area. You should expect the sensation to the skin over the inner parts of the thigh to be reduced after surgery. Pain and discomfort is well controlled with oral pain relief. You should be able return to work after 2-3 weeks, however if you have a physically demanding job you will need to wait at least 5-6 weeks.
What are the long-term results?
Without a doubt, you will be delighted with the results of your surgery. Provided you do not gain a lot of weight and lose it again, your thigh lift will give you well contoured thighs for the rest of your life, of course keeping in mind that aging changes in your body are inevitable.
What are the risks?
With any surgical procedure there are always associated risks. However, if your surgery is undertaken by a qualified plastic surgeon the risks are reduced, nonetheless, specific complications may occur. Such as the risk of infection which is reduced by taking preventative measures such as administering antibiotics both at the time of and following your surgery. However despite these measures mild infection is relatively common and can occur around the incision site, but usually subsides over a period of about 2 weeks.
It is important for you to examine the reasons for undergoing a cosmetic surgery procedure as it is unlikely to resolve any life issues you may have. Having surgery for someone else is not the basis from which to make a decision. Cosmetic surgery will certainly boost your self esteem but you do need to be realistic about your expectations. Cosmetic surgery will lead to marked improvements but you need to be aware that the end result of your surgery can and does take time and you need to allow your body to recover.
Our aim is to fully understand your concerns and desires before agreeing on a treatment plan which is in your best interest. At consultation your consultant surgeon will explain your treatment fully including any potential risks and complications. Your consultation surgeon will advise you of the best strategy to address all of your needs and will also explain all aspects of your post-operative care.
If you would like to speak to one of our consultant surgeons, Mr Alan Park or Mr Sudip Ghosh, please do not hesitate to telephone or fill out our online form.