A thigh lift is a cosmetic procedure that improves the appearance of the thighs to combat thigh skin laxity and promote a firmer thigh area. This type of procedure leads to a more youthful, proportionate, and aesthetic image. Thigh laxity can result from aging, as well as from weight loss. Loose skin can cause not only embarrassment, but difficulty fitting into clothing. Thigh lift cosmetic surgery seeks to end these issues.
The most common type of thigh lift is a medial thigh lift. It reduces the excess fat and skin on the upper part of the inner thigh and in some cases the lower inner thigh to achieve a firmer appearance. It is also called an inner thigh lift. There are two different incisions that can be made for a medial thigh lift depending on the patient’s unique anatomy. A lateral thigh lift is a surgical procedure that is often incorporated into a lower body lift. These incisions are along the lower abdomen and flanks. This procedure is done in patients with massive weight loss.
Thigh lifts are performed with general anesthesia using a preferred incision method decided upon by the surgeon and dependent on which type of thigh lift is being used. Liposuction techniques may also be incorporated as an adjunctive procedure in these surgeries.
During a medial thigh lift, the surgeon will make a horizontal incision where the thigh meets the pubic area. Excess skin and fat is then removed and the incision area is closed, effectively tightening the skin, improving the shape of the leg, and enhancing the elasticity of the skin. During a vertical medial thigh lift, an incision is made length wise down the inner thigh to resect a larger amount of lax skin and tissue.
During a lateral thigh lift, the skin is tightened on the outside and front of the leg. An incision is made at the top of the leg near the waistline. Skin is then removed and pulled towards the incision point, which tightens the skin upon closing of the incision. This type of procedure is incredibly effective for those that have excess skin due to losing a significant amount of weight.
Upon completion of your surgery, bandages will be applied to your incisions, as well as a compression garment that is used in order to minimize swelling and provide support to your thighs during the healing process. Small tubes/drains may be placed under the skin temporarily in order to drain any excess fluid that may exist post-surgery. Most sutures used will dissolve within a few months, but any others that need to be removed manually will be removed in the postoperative period.
Patients will require assistance getting home from surgery. Additionally, patients are recommended to take 10-14 days off after the completion of thigh lift surgery. During this time it is wise to be in reclining or standing positions in order to aid the healing process. Bruising and swelling may occur, and can last up to 2-3 months. Most patients find themselves able to fully go back to all normal activities around six weeks postoperatively.
Melanie L. Aya-ay, M.D. Plastic Surgery, P.L.
16626 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618