A thigh lift is performed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper legs. Candidates may suffer from loose, inelastic skin after extreme weight loss due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery. In other cases, the outer thighs may begin to droop and sag and stubborn pockets of localized fat may develop as well. A healthy diet and exercise may not be enough to help you achieve the firm, smooth thighs you would like.
This procedure may be performed alone, or in combination with other cosmetic procedures, such as part of a body lift or with a buttock lift. When combined with other procedures, patients can achieve maximum results and enjoy a younger and more refreshed appearance overall. Your doctor will discuss your personal aesthetic goals with you in order to develop the best treatment plan for you.
A lateral thigh lift (outer thigh lift) is performed to tighten the skin around the outer thigh to form a more aesthetically pleasing frame. Your doctor will strive to produce slimmer, more contoured thighs that are proportionate to the buttocks, stomach and legs. In a lateral thigh lift, the surgical incision is made from the groin around the back of the body, and often the buttocks are lifted along with the thigh.
Candidates for Thigh Lift
The thigh lift procedure is ideal for patients who are in good general health but have excess skin and tissue within the thigh area as a result of the natural aging process, pregnancy or significant weight loss. A thigh lift should not be considered an easy weight loss solution. This procedure is most effective on patients who are close to their ideal weight but unhappy with the appearance of their thighs. It is important for patients to maintain realistic expectations in order to be satisfied with the results of their thigh lift procedure.
Lateral Thigh Lift Procedure
The lateral thigh lift procedure is performed under general anesthesia and requires an incision in the groin area and sometimes extending downward around the back of the thigh, depending on the results desired by the patient. This procedure requires a surgical incision of varying size depending on how much skin must be removed. The location of the incision can be adjusted based on clothing preference or overall reduction of visibility.
After the incision is made, the surgeon will tighten the tissues in the area to create a smoother and more toned contour. If there is a large amount of fat to be removed, it may be achieved through liposuction. The skin is then stretched to reposition the thighs and the incisions are closed with sutures. Compression garments are usually applied to help reduce swelling and expedite the healing process. Some patients may need to stay overnight after this procedure, while others can leave shortly after the effects of anesthesia have worn off.
Recovery From Thigh Lift
After surgery, some patients are required to wear an elastic bandage or compression garment for the next several weeks to help support healing tissues. Patients may experience mild bruising, swelling and soreness. Discomfort is generally minimal in smaller lifts than when large amounts of skin have been removed. In either case, both pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication will be utilized as needed. The results of the procedure will be visible right away and will continue to improve as swelling and other symptoms subside.
Light labor is normally possible after less than two weeks, while most physical activity is permissible at four to six weeks post-surgery. All symptoms should be gone and scars maximally faded within six months. After recovery, patients will be able to show off their slimmer, more defined legs and eliminate any previous embarrassment. The appearance of cellulite can also be improved through this procedure. The results of a medial thigh lift can be permanent, as long as patients maintain an active and healthy life and do not gain significant amounts of weight. Additional surgery may be performed if this occurs.
Risks And Complications of Thigh Lift
Although this procedure is considered safe for most patients, there are certain risks and complications associated with any type of surgical procedure. Some of these risks include scarring, infection, healing problems, blood clots and fluid accumulation. Patients can reduce these risks by choosing a skilled and experienced surgeon such to perform their procedure, and by following the doctor's instructions before and after surgery.