A thigh lift is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the upper leg. This procedure reshapes the inner and outer thighs for a smoother contour to the lower body. Thighs lifts are commonly combined with other surgeries such as a liposuction, abdominoplasty, or a butt lift.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Thigh lifts are a common procedure for individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight and as a result have excess skin in the upper leg area. Thigh lifts can tighten and contour the inner and outer thighs, not only improving the shape of the leg but also reducing the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. It is common for a thigh lift to be combined with other procedures such as an abdominoplasty or butt lift, sometimes referred to as a lower or 360 body lift. Patients will be put under general anesthesia for the procedure. Incision patterns for a thigh lift will vary depending on the needs of the patient. One technique used for a thigh lift places incisions in the groin, extending downward and wrapping around the back of the thigh. Another technique removes excess skin from the groin down to the knee using an incision along the inseam. Some patients may qualify for a minimal incision inner thigh lift that involves an incision only in the groin area. Patients who desire outer thigh definition may have an incision that extends from the groin, around the hip, and extending onto the back. Liposuction may be performed before skin removal if there is excess fat in the hip and thigh area for improved contours once the skin is repositioned. Redundant, sagging skin will be removed and deep sutures within underlying tissues help to form and support the newly shaped contours. Additional sutures and skin adhesive tapes will be used to close the skin incisions. Patients will be wrapped in compressive garments after surgery. Smoother, tighter contouring is apparent almost immediately, although results will be initially obscured by swelling and bruising.
The goal of a thigh lift is to remove excess skin and fat from the thigh region.
What to Expect
A thigh lift is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the upper leg for a smoother contour to the lower body. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a thigh lift.
- Stop taking blood thinning medications 4 weeks prior
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after the procedure
- Stool softeners should be started 2 days before surgery
- No eating or drinking 8 hours before surgery
- General anesthesia
- Incision patterns vary depending on needs of the patient
- Liposuction may be performed
- Redundant, sagging skin removed
- Deep sutures placed within underlying tissues
- Additional sutures and skin adhesive tapes to close skin incisions
- Patients wrapped in compressive garments after surgery
Thighs will likely be swollen and bruised. When resting, position the body so as not to stretch the thigh tissue. 2-3 weeks after surgery most patients are able to return to work and can begin carefully sitting on the thighs, often with the support of pillows. Most patients are able to stop wearing compression garments 1 month post surgery. 6-8 weeks after surgery most patients are able to resume their regular exercise regimen.
The ideal candidate for a thigh lift has a relatively stable weight, has excess soft tissue along the inner or the outer thigh, and is in generally good health.
Not Recommended For
Thigh lifts are not recommended for patients with an unstable weight.
Side effects of thigh lift surgery can include poor wound healing, seroma, wound separation, asymmetry, persistent pain, skin discoloration, swelling, and unfavorable scarring. Serious side effects can include deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, fat necrosis, recurrent looseness of the skin, skin loss, and possible revision surgery.