What is a thigh lift?
A thigh lift addresses skin laxity along the inner thigh. Less frequently, excess laxity can occur along the outer thigh and in those cases the procedure is directed there. It is a common area to see excess tissue and laxity after weight loss or with lack of thigh muscle exercise. The skin in this area also tends to be less able to contract after such volume loss causing the laxity to be more pronounced. Many patients wish to have this area treated in order to have a more youthful, toned thigh which will fit better in certain clothing and swimsuits.
Where are the incisions?
In most cases, the incisions follow a curvilinear path along your groin (where your legs connect to your pelvis) and extend to your lower buttocks crease. In some instances, the incisions are liner in a vertical direction and extend down your inner leg towards your knee.
Thigh lift versus liposuction?
If the inner thigh skin appears healthy and the problem is mainly excess fat, liposuction may be an option. In most cases however, the main problem is skin laxity and liposuction would actually worsen the problem because the skin does not have the ability to contract enough to give the desired result.
What is the recovery period?
Most thigh lifts require sedation and are performed in a hospital. You can expect to go home the same day and the surgery may last 2-3 hours. Pain is typically well tolerated and controlled by oral pain medication. A compression garment is to be worn at all times except while showering for the first week, and then at night for several weeks thereafter. Sutures will be removed in 7-10 days in the office.
What are the potential complications?
As with any surgical procedure the risks include and are not limited to bleeding, infection, fluid collection, poor wound healing, medication reaction. Due to the effect of gravity and the location of the incisions, incisional scaring can occur. Topical silicone ointment, laser treatment and scar revision are useful modalities should scarring occur.