What is a thigh lift?
A thigh lift 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.
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:
• People whose weight is relatively stable
• Individuals with excess soft tissue along the inner or medial thigh region and/or the outer thigh
• Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
• Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what thigh lift surgery can accomplish
• Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and fitness
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 arm 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:
• Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
• Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
• Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
• Previous surgeries
Your surgeon may also:
• Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
• Take photographs for your medical record
• Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
• Discuss likely outcomes of arm lift surgery and any risks or potential complications
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the day of surgery
- The use of anesthesia during your arm lift
- Post-operative care and follow-up
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Arm lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient or 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.
The decision to have a body lift 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 or potential complications.
Possible risks of body lift surgery include:
- Possible risks of thigh lift surgery include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Fluid accumulation
- Poor wound healing
- Skin loss
- Blood clots
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Anesthesia risks
- Skin discoloration and/or swelling
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Major wound separation
- Pain, which may persist
- Unsatisfactory results such as highly visible surgical scar location, unacceptable visible deformities, bunching and rippling in the skin near the suture lines or at the ends of the incisions
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal
- Possibility of revisional surgery
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.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
The results of a body lift are visible almost immediately. However, it may take as much as one to two years, or more, for the final results of the body lift procedures to fully develop.
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.
- General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
- Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
- Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
- Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, this procedure vacuums out fat from beneath the skin’s surface to reduce fullness.
- Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
- Medial thigh lift: A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the inner thigh.
- Outer thigh lift: A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the outer and mid-thigh.
- Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.