What is a thigh lift?
Reshape thighs by reducing excess skin & fat
The Thigh Lift (Thighplasty) is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to tighten the skin of the thigh and reduce sagging in the inner or outer thighs. The most common patients who undergo thigh reduction surgery are massive weight loss patients with excess hanging skin.
As with the buttocks, aging changes and dramatic weight loss often cause the loose skin to collect in the inner thigh area, altering the shape and contour of the lower body. This can cause uncomfortable friction between the middle thighs, or result in outer thighs that are disproportionate to the hips. While exercise may tighten the muscles and reduce the fat, it can’t improve sagging skin that has lost elasticity. The best, most common solution is an Inner Thigh Lift.
Best Candidates for a Thigh Lift
Good candidates for a Thigh Lift have reached a stable weight, do not smoke (or plan to quit immediately), and do not have medical conditions that prohibit safe surgery and normal healing. Patients whose weight has been stabilized after a weight loss program or who maintain ideal weight are the best candidates for a thigh lift. Again, many patients combine their thigh lift with other cosmetic procedures such as liposuction.
Typically, you will be eligible for a Thigh Lift if you–
- Have unwanted skin and soft tissue along your thighs
- Maintain a stable weight
- Are in good general health
- Do not smoke
- Do not drink heavily
- Are psychologically healthy (since plastic surgery can be both physically and emotionally taxing)
- Have realistic expectations for your procedure
- Can commit to maintaining a healthy diet and exercising after your Thigh Lift to preserve your results
Dr. Roth listens carefully to understand your objectives and concerns. He will explain the pros and cons of various thigh rejuvenation options. He then carefully observes things like your skin tone, existing scars, fat deposits, and muscle abnormalities because they can influence the surgical result. He will provide guidance on whether you would benefit more from general anesthesia or IV. Finally, we then take preoperative photos during your visit.
Ask your partner, a friend, or a family member to help take care of you for a few days after your surgery. This person will need to learn how to help you empty the drains from your incisions, give you your medications, and assist you as you move around the house.
Preparing for Surgery
- Your BMI (Body Mass Index) should be less than 35 kg/m2. This is calculated based on your height and weight and is important to reduce the risk of post-op complications.
- Quit smoking 2 weeks before and after surgery.
- Stop taking multivitamins, herbals, and aspirin before surgery.
- Have a physical examination to clear you for surgery.
- NPO (nothing by mouth) after midnight before surgery.
Taking care of your body and planning for your recovery period in the weeks before your procedure improves your chances for excellent results and reduces your risk of complications.
How is a Thigh Lift Performed?
To tighten and redrape the sagging skin, Dr. Roth makes incisions of varying length, depending on the extent of redundant skin. Typical incisions are located along the groin crease, sometimes extending down towards the knee. Liposuction is often added to remove excess fat and improve the final contour. Loose, excess outer thigh skin is normally removed with a Lower Body Lift.
The Inner Thigh Lift
–An incision between the inside of your thigh and your pubic area
The inner thigh lift operation is the more popular of the two procedures. This is primarily because of gastric bypass surgeries and other weight reduction strategies which often result in sagging inner thighs. By contrast, outer thigh skin is more resilient/flexible.
The inner thigh lift is a straightforward operation
With high satisfaction among patients because it significantly enhances the tone of inner thighs, improves self-confidence, makes exercise easier, and provides more fashion choices. The scar on the upper aspect of the inner thigh is not conspicuous.
The Inner Thigh Lift procedure is commonly performed as a single procedure. For example, patients who have a Body Lift will often have the Inner Thigh Lift performed as the second step of their total body transformation.
An inner thigh lift involves resecting a crescent-shaped segment of skin and fat of the inner thigh extending from the mid-thigh in the back to the mid-thigh in the front, just below the groin crease. This allows Dr. Roth to access the underlying tissues while making the finest incision possible. The resulting scar is easily hidden by underwear. He will then remove a wedge of skin and possibly fat from the region and tighten the remaining skin to improve your leg contours.
The Outer Thigh Lift
–A V-shaped incision along your underwear line
The Outer Thigh Lift is performed to remove excess skin that hangs below the hip area. The incision for this procedure is located near your hip bone. If you have a tummy tuck at the same time, the incision simply extends horizontally from the tummy tuck incision. Once Dr. Roth has finished removing fat and soft tissue, he will pull your skin taut and trim it for a smooth appearance. He may also tighten the thigh muscles for a firmer, fitter look. After closing your incisions with sutures, he will insert drains to prevent fluid accumulation and infection.
Patients who have the Body Lift procedure will have the Outer Thigh Lift performed as part of the surgery. Additionally, the Outer Thigh Lift can be performed with the Tummy Tuck procedure.
Medial thigh lift
–Incisions inside your legs that may extend to your buttocks
Mini thigh lift
–A small incision inside your groin
After creating the incisions, Dr. Roth will raise your thigh muscles. He will use small sutures to keep the muscles permanently lifted. If needed, he can perform liposuction to remove excess pockets of fat. When he has created the desired contours, he will trim off any damaged or stretched skin before closing the incisions.
Benefits of a thigh lift
Thigh lift surgery is a popular procedure for patients who want to have tighter, leaner, shapelier legs.
The many benefits of this surgery include–
- More clothing options for patients who have trouble finding garments that fit because of sagging, drooping thigh skin.
- Decreased risk of skin irritation or infection from highly uncomfortable chafing folds of skin.
- Long-lasting results for patients who maintain a healthy weight and follow instructions for post-operative care.
- Easier exercising with greater options, helping patients to stay in shape.
- Simpler personal hygiene. (Keeping folds of thigh skin, tissue, and fat clean can be challenging).
- The option of combining this procedure with other plastic surgery treatments such as liposuction to experience even better results.
- Greater confidence and self-esteem, which can improve every area of patients’ lives, from personal relationships to professional advancement.
Thigh lift Recovery
When you wake up from your thigh lift, your incisions will be bandaged and will likely have drains to prevent the accumulation of blood and fluid. Your surgical nurses will help you put on a compression garment to hold your incisions in place. She or he will also monitor you and provide instructions on how to take your medications and position your body so as not to disrupt your incisions. It’s important to understand that you will not be permitted to sit, as this can put pressure on your incisions and significantly compromise healing.
Our staff will alert you to signs of complications. For example, seeing yellow or green fluid in your drains could be a symptom of infection.
Before you leave the hospital or surgical clinic–
You should be able to walk around comfortably and be in possession of all your necessary medications and supplies. Due to the disorienting effects of anesthesia, sedation, and painkillers, a friend or family member will need to drive you home from surgery.
We instruct Thigh Lift Patients to wear a compression garment for several weeks. Light exercise is encouraged soon after surgery, but strenuous activity is limited for at least several weeks. Patients may drive and return to work once they discontinue narcotic pain medicine.
Following your thigh lift, it may be several months before your final results become evident. You should expect some swelling, which will begin to dissipate after a few weeks. As healing progresses, you will start to enjoy the many benefits of thigh lift surgery. Most noticeably, you will have smoother, more sculpted legs. If you recently lost a large amount of weight, you may find that your thighs are more proportionate to your healthy new body contours. Whether you are undergoing surgery to repair stretched skin or simply to reverse the effects of aging, the procedure can have dramatic results on your self-confidence.
Recovering from thigh lift surgery is a gradual process. Each patient’s healing is unique, but the general recovery timeline is as follows:
Thigh Lift recovery time is 3 weeks.
- Day 1–During the first 24 hours after your surgery, you will need help performing regular activities like food preparation and going to the bathroom. Your thighs will likely be swollen and bruised, so it may help to apply ice.
- Week 1— Bed rest for the first 7 days–avoiding all movement helps speed up recovery time. When you rest, you’ll need to position your body so that you do not stretch your thigh tissue.
- Day 5-7— First post-op office visit
- Week 2–Walking allowed inside the house
- First 2 weeks— No sitting
- First 3 weeks–No driving
- Week 6–Resume regular activities
As inflammation diminishes and your scars begin to fade, you should notice slimmer, younger-looking thighs with more attractive contours. It may take up to a year for your thighs to completely recover so you can see your full results. Thigh lift surgery is a customized procedure, and each patient’s body is different, so your results may be different from others’.
Temporary, non-critical side effects Can Include—
Swelling, bruising, discomfort (soreness and aching), numbness, possible suture complications and inflammation. Also common are fluid accumulation and wound separation which can lead to seroma and hematoma formation if untreated.
Less Common, More Serious Complications Can Include—
Infection, significant bleeding, hematoma (blood clots that don’t dissolve), seroma (the accumulation of blood at incision sites), deep vein thrombosis, unexpected scarring, and the usual general risks associated with anesthesia.
Our office will provide you with a detailed post-operative instruction sheet that will be individualized to your needs. Dr. Roth usually sees patients the day after surgery make sure that everything is O.K. Regularly scheduled visits in the year after the procedure will ensure the best outcome possible.