Thigh lift surgery, also known as thighplasty, is a procedure that surgically removes excess skin and fat thus slimming and reshaping your thighs.
Thigh lifts result can lead to more slender, attractive thighs that are more proportionate to your body. Exercise, dieting, and a healthy lifestyle, although the cornerstone of improving your body, sometimes fail to achieve your desired body contours. Occasionally weight loss can leave you with excess skin, so a surgical thigh lift may be right for you.
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.
Am I a Candidate for a Thigh Lift?
Ideal candidates for this procedure:
- Have sagging, loose skin from significant weight loss or stubborn pockets of excess fat.
- Are at a relatively stable weight.
- Healthy individuals without underlying health conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Are non-smokers or willing to refrain from smoking for several weeks
- Individuals with a positive outlook and have realistic expectations for what the surgery can achieve
- Are committed to healthy lifestyle habits, including proper nutrition and fitness before and after surgery
Reasons to Undergo Thigh Lift Surgery
An increase in weight gain causes the body’s skin to stretch from the added volume due to excess fat. Once the extra weight and fat is lost from exercise and dieting, the skin often has lost its elastic abilities due to having been stretched too much for too long. The skin is unable to shrink back completely resulting in thighs with loose, wrinkled skin and an unattractive shape. Thigh lift removes this excess skin and extra fatty tissue to give more muscular definition, lean contours, and an overall more youthful appearance to the thigh.
The structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin, that keep the skin firm and tight deteriorate over time due to the aging process. The effects from weight loss compounded by any effects from aging allow the skin to stretch with ease. It loses its ability to return to its original form leading to thin, loose thigh skin.
Thigh Lift Options
- Ideal For: Excess fat with no sign of skin laxity.
- Technique: Small incisions placed in inconspicuous places such as groin crease to access the inner and anterior thigh, in gluteal crease to access posterior and lateral thigh.
- Benefit: Least invasive; produces inconspicuous scarring.
Medial Thigh Lift
- Ideal For: Excess fat and skin laxity confined to the upper third of the thigh.
- Technique: Incisions will be placed in the groin area that extend downward and wrap around the back of the thigh.
- Benefit: Corrects changes needed to the inner thigh only.
Vertical Thigh Lift
- Ideal For: Excess fat and skin laxity extends beyond the upper third of the thigh and the entire thigh.
- Technique: Incision from the groin vertically down the inner thigh towards the knee. Also can include a medial thigh resection towards the groin to make an L shape.
- Benefit: Corrects severe changes to the inner thigh in a vertical and horizontal dimension.
Spiral Thigh Lift
- Ideal For: Excess fat and skin laxity confined to the upper third of the thigh and outer thigh and buttocks.
- Technique: Incision similar to the medial thigh lift however in the groin crease the incisions continue along the panty line and around the hips to wrap around the top of the buttocks and meet in the gluteal cleft.
- Benefit: Contours can be corrected from the inner thigh, lateral thigh, buttocks and lower back.
The Thigh Lift Process
Once you fill out the online questionnaire, you will be contacted to confirm an appointment for a one-on-one consultation with the surgeon. You may also provide photos through our HIPAA compliant system and during your visit your surgeon can provide a detailed evaluation and plan for your procedure.
This appointment also includes an analysis of your health history, any medications you are taking, and what you desire to achieve with the procedure. Please have all of this information with you when you come to your appointment. All of which can be submitted electronically through our HIPAA compliant patient portal.
The surgeon will discuss the techniques that will best provide you with the results you desire and answer any questions you may have. The incision pattern for your thigh lift will be based on the problem areas that need to be addressed and which technique your surgeon determines to be most appropriate.
Your surgeon will review in detail all of the information you need to know prior to surgery.
Generally, patients should avoid nicotine products six weeks before surgery and stop taking anti-inflammatory medication (e.g., aspirin and ibuprofen) for at least two weeks before surgery. Some vitamins and supplements may also cause problems during or after surgery, so it is best to avoid them or to talk to your surgeon about potential side effects.
You may be asked to bathe using an antibacterial soap before your procedure.
Eating and drinking restrictions include:
- 8 hours before the procedure – stop eating heavy meals or foods, such as meat, fried foods, or fatty foods.
- 6 hours before the procedure – stop eating light meals or foods, such as toast or cereal.
- 6 hours before the procedure – stop drinking milk or drinks that contain milk.
- 2 hours before the procedure – stop drinking clear liquids.
Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and care for you for the first 48 hours after your procedure.
During the Procedure
Thigh lift is performed with general anesthesia, in a surgery center, and takes approximately three to four hours to complete. An IV will be inserted into one of your veins. Based on the techniques agreed upon during your consultation, the surgeon will place the incisions as described above. Incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and covered with surgical tape. In most cases drains are used. Liposuction and fat grafting are tools that help shape the thighs and will be discussed during your consultation.
After surgery, your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored until you leave the surgical center. You may continue to receive fluids and pain medicines through an IV.
You will have to wear compression stockings to help prevent blood clots and reduce swelling in your lower legs. You will be advised to wear a bodysuit with moderate compression to aid with thigh swelling and to keep you comfortable. Thigh swelling will typically subside after about three weeks but may last as long as 6 months.
Expect pain, bruising, and tenderness for which you will be provided pain medications as needed.
For the first few days after surgery you will need to get plenty of rest. Most patients are able to return to work in two weeks and resume regular exercise after about six weeks.
Your surgeon will give you more detailed information about what you can expect during your recovery.
Thigh Lift FAQs
Q. What results can I expect from a thigh lift?
A. Thigh lift surgery will not increase the size of the thigh muscles. However, thigh lift surgery can create a more athletic appearance by removing excess tissue that covers the underlying muscles so they appear more toned.
Q. How long will thigh lift results last?
A. If the patient maintains a healthy lifestyle and stable weight, thighplasty results can last for years to come. The skin will naturally lose firmness with age but will remain more taut than if you had not undergone the procedure.
Q. What can thigh lift surgery not do?
A. 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 thigh lift along with liposuction may be recommended.