Enhancing your appearance with a thigh lift
If fitness and weight loss efforts have not achieved your goals for a body that is firmer, more youthful-looking and more proportionate to your overall body image, a surgical thigh lift may be right for you.
This surgery reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body.
Is it right for me?
Candidates for thigh lift are:
What it won’t do: Thigh lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and thigh lift techniques may be recommended.
The success and safety of your thigh lift procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
Your surgeon may also:
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
Special instructions you receive will cover:
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Thigh lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient of ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.
You’ll need help
If your thigh lift procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
What happens during thigh lift surgery?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Incision patterns vary based on the area or areas to be treated, degree of correction and patient and surgeon preference.
One common technique used for a thigh lift places incisions in the groin, extending downward wrapping around the back of the thigh. The underlying tissue matrix will be reshaped and tightened, and skin will be reduced and redraped resulting in more proportionate and smoother body contours.
You may qualify for a minimal incision medial thigh lift which involves an incision only in the groin area. Your surgeon will determine what’s appropriate.
Medial Thigh Lift
Improving the contours of the outer thigh may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip.
Through these incisions your plastic surgeon will tighten tissues for a smoother, better-toned lower body contour.
Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits. However, incisions may be extensive.
Outer Thigh Lift
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Deep support sutures within underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours. Sutures close the skin incisions.
Step 4 – See the results
The smoother tighter contouring that result from a thigh lift are apparent almost immediately, although initially obscured by some swelling and bruising.
You may be required to wear a compression garment for several weeks following your procedure to minimize swelling and support the tissues as they heal.
Following a thigh lift, skin quality is dramatically improved both in appearance and feel.
The decision to have thigh lift surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks and potential complications.
Possible risks of thigh lift surgery include:
When you go home
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Be sure to ask questions: It’s very important to ask your plastic surgeon questions about your thigh lift procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
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.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for the surgical site(s) following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
The results of a thigh lift are visible almost immediately. However, it may take several months for the final results to fully develop.
Some visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness.
As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent.
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices for thigh lifts can vary widely. A surgeon’s cost for thigh lift surgery may vary based on his or her experience as well as geographic office location.
Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Cost may include:
Your satisfaction involves more than a fee
When choosing a plastic surgeon for a thigh lift, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery. Most health insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery or its complications.