A thigh lift, also known as thighplasty, is the surgical removal of excess skin and fat from the thighs, in order to tighten the skin and enhance the contour of the legs.
Massive weight loss, aging and even genetics can cause the thigh skin to become loose and flabby. Although the thigh muscles may be strengthen with exercising and workout, it cannot tighten the excess skin that has lost elasticity.
In that case, a thigh lift is the perfect solution to reduce excess sagging skin, tightening and smoothing the thigh’s underlying supportive tissue, and reducing fat pockets, thus leaving the thigh with a more satisfying and youthful contour.
Am I a good candidate?
Patients who are extremely overweight are not good candidates for this surgery. In that case, liposuction or a gastric bypass is your best alternative.
If the fat just hangs around the thighs and exercise won’t make your legs lean and attractive, you may choose liposuction rather than the thigh lift surgery. Also, if you have varicose veins or diabetes, diet and exercise may be a better alternative. Women planning a pregnancy are advised to postpone the thigh lift procedure until after childbearing to optimize and sustain the results.
Good candidates are non-smoker and healthy individuals who have excess, loose and sagging skin in the thighs due to a massive weight loss, provided that they have maintained a stable weight for at least six months.
I will evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors, discuss your options and then recommend a course of treatment accordingly.
How is it done?
The surgery takes two to three hours, depending on the needed corrections and is performed under general anesthesia. Once the patient is properly anesthetized, the appropriate incisions are made and are placed at the junction of the thigh at the level of the bikini line. As for individuals with more severe thigh contour problems, the incision may extend along the inside of the thigh down to the knee.
After making the incision, the skin and fat are elevated off of the thighs, the excess fat removed through liposuction and then the skin fixed over the underlying muscles. Drains may be placed to prevent the collection of fluid which can delay the healing process.
A sterile dressing is placed above the incisions and a compression garment is worn. This garment helps support the legs during healing, reduces post-operative swelling, and helps decrease any potential bruising.
In some cases, the thigh lift surgery can be combined with other related procedures, such as abdominoplasty and liposuction.
How long is the recovery?
After a surgical thigh lift, most patients experience minimal pain that is significantly reduced through medication and the drainage tubes will be removed few days after the surgery. Sutures will come out within a week to ten days, and the results of the thigh lift procedure are almost immediately noticeable. Any swelling usually disappears within two to three weeks.
Patients should rest at home for a week, although most patients are able to get up and move around within few days. They should wear a compression garment for three weeks following surgery to protect the incisions and help tightening of the skin. They should also refrain from strenuous activities, heavy lifting or sports during these first three weeks.
In all cases, specific instructions will be given to you on how to care for your surgical site, what medications to take in order to relieve the pain and when you will be able to resume your normal lifestyle. Make sure to ask all the questions concerning what to expect and how to proceed during the recovery period.
Disclaimer: The info presented on this page is indicative and for generic use only. Each patient’s case is unique and will be studied by Dr. Chadi Murr for full assessment.