Plastic Surgery

Thigh lift

What is the Thigh lift?

A thigh lift is a procedure to remove drooping skin from the thigh and buttock area.

Usually, weight loss causes this sort of drooping skin. Similarly, it also occurs because of the natural ageing process that causes skin to lose elasticity. Sometimes thighs lose their firmness after thinning of the muscle and fat layers. In such sort of cases, a thigh lift proves very handy to regain the firmness of these areas.

What is the procedure?

A thigh lift is considered a significant but quite effective procedure. It takes about three hours and is done under general anesthesia.

Inner thigh lifts are performed by making an incision in the inner groin crease, along the underwear line, so that the skin can be tightened without a scar on the leg itself. The skin is lifted down to the muscle layer, peripheral excessive fat is excised away, loose excessive skin is removed and the skin is pulled upwards like a pair of stockings.

Improving the contours of the outer thigh may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits.

The tissues are meticulously closed with several layers of specialized stitches. Stitches placed under the skin are usually dissolvable. Those on the surface of the skin are removed after 7-10 days.

What kind of result can you expect?

This surgery reshapes the thighs resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body. Following a thigh lift, skin quality is dramatically improved both in appearance and feel.

Some visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness.

Recovery period and recommendations

When your procedure is completed, dressing or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and to support your new contours as you heal.

One or more small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect.

Usually the patients feel tired and sore for some days after undergoing the surgical procedure. However, after 24 to 48 hours you begin to feel better. Different pain killer are given to control pain and discomfort.

Possible side effects and complications

Possible risks of thigh lift surgery include:

- unfavorable scarring. Due to the location and the degree of tension of the thigh lift incision line, a certain degree of scar fullness or thickness may result as well as numbness, itching, and swelling. Most of these, however, resolve with time;

- infection. Some patients (although these cases are rare) develop an infection requiring soaks, antibiotics, or drainage;

- bleeding, hematoma or seroma. Drains are generally used to collect blood for one to two days. Extensive bleeding under the skin flap (hematoma) is rare but requires immediate surgery to avoid pressure and possible loss of skin segments. Infrequently, a clear fluid may collect, requiring needle aspiration (seroma);

- healing difficulties. Due to the extent of thigh lift surgery small areas of crustiness, suture reaction, thickening of scars, small stitch ulcers, separations may occur. These are a minor inconvenience but heal with time. In some cases scarring, asymmetries, and recurrent fat collections all may require smaller secondary touch- up revisions six to twelve months after surgery;

- blood clots. Very rarely blood clots form in the legs and these can, in rare instances, pass to the lungs. The risk of this complication can be lessened with the use of leg stockings, increased mobility after surgery, shorter surgery time and improved anesthesia.

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