Smoother, shapely legs and thighs are a dream of every woman. However, the combination of ageing, prolonged unavoidable exposure to gravity, and massive weight loss often lead to excess skin and loss of skin elasticity on the thighs. Thus, it makes them look uneven and flabby, and it might be difficult to correct them even with regular exercise and a strict diet.
A thigh lift is a cosmetic surgery designed to smooth and reshape the inner and/or outer parts of the thighs. The procedure is done by removing skin and fatty tissue from the thigh area. The main benefit of thigh lift is that it improves the contour of your thighs and your legs in general and makes you fit in your clothes better.
The thigh lift surgery is often done together with liposuction, where the excess fat deposits are removed before contouring the thighs. By having both procedures at the same time, you can achieve the smoother skin and slimmer legs that you’ve always wanted.
The operation is performed under general anaesthesia and sedation. It usually takes one and a half to two hours. The surgery involves making incisions on the inside or outside of the thigh (dependent on where the extra skin is located) and removing the excess skin. As mentioned earlier, the lower body lift is commonly combined with liposuction to achieve optimal results and reduce fat in the outer thigh or the buttock.
Anyone can benefit from a thigh lift surgery. However, this procedure will be most suited for individuals who have sagging skin on the inner and/or outer portion of the thighs and/or accumulated fat that is hard to eliminate through exercise. Hence, this often occurs for individuals who undergone bariatric surgery or losing massive amounts of weight. However, before considering this surgical procedure, the doctors usually recommend that you are currently at a stable weight for at least six months and have already reached your goal weight. The reason is that weight fluctuations can make it more difficult for patients to accomplish results after a thigh lift.
Since it is performed under anaesthesia, you won’t feel any pain during the surgery. However, you are more likely to experience soreness and discomfort for a few days after the thigh lift procedure. To manage the pain, you will be recommended to take painkillers for the first week.
Depending on where the excess skin is located, this body contouring procedure can be performed via different techniques.
A minimal thigh lift is a technique that is usually done through fewer incisions. A little crescent-shaped piece of skin is removed from the upper thigh, in the middle of between the legs. This helps to pull up that middle thigh area. The mini thigh lift is suitable for individuals who wish to eliminate the excess skin and tighten up the formerly saggy skin. It might not be appropriate for patients who have undergone massive weight loss and have a more significant amount of loose skin on the thighs.
A medial thigh lift may be a good option for patients who mostly have a large amount of excess skin in the area of the inner thighs. It is one of the most frequently performed thigh lift techniques. The medial thigh lift incision is made in the lower thighs – from the groin crease down to the knee or to the back.
An outer thigh lift surgery is the option to consider if you have extra skin on the outer thighs. With this technique, an incision begins in the groin area and extends to the hip and back. Medial tight lift and lateral thigh lift can be combined to address both inner and outer portions of the thighs and elevate the skin circumferentially all-around the thighs.
As the name suggests, during a vertical thigh lift, the excess skin is removed from the entire thigh. The technique requires more extensive incisions that go all the way to the knee region. However, this procedure is less common, as it is more complex and carries greater risks.
The type of thigh lift will be done and how much skin will be removed solely depends on the patients desired goal and condition. Every patient has different goals and preferences for what matters most to them. The plastic surgeon’s job is to listen to the patient’s concerns and find out the desired goals of their body. Hence, further advice on whether the desired result of the body
Following a thigh lift, you may experience discomfort when carrying out movement and activities involving sitting or bending. Thus, it is very important that you avoid placing stress on the region previously operated on as it would affect the overall healing of the wounds. You will be recommended to wear a compression garment in order to minimize swelling in the thigh region.
Your surgeon should tell you how long you will need to wear the compression garment. The recovery time for the procedure may vary depending on the complexity and the type of surgery you had. You might be able to resume your normal activities after 1-2 weeks. However, you should avoid any strenuous activities and heavy lifting for about 6 to 8 weeks to ensure optimal healing. After this period, you will be able to see the results of the procedure.
All the complications and risks will be discussed with you during the consultation with your surgeon. Some of the potential complications involve:
In general, you can minimize the risk of complications by following all the instructions (both pre-op and post-op) given to you by the plastic surgeon accurately.