Following weight loss, a patient may find he/she has excess skin on or around the thigh. In these cases, a thigh lift (also known as thighplasty) is an option to remove the troublesome skin. A thigh lift is ideally performed on patients who are at a stable body weight, are non-smokers and who are motivated to have a better body.
The Surgical Process
The thigh lift surgery takes approximately two to three hours and is performed on an outpatient basis. Prior to the surgery, incision marks are made on the thigh and the patient is administered either a local or general anesthetic. To minimize visibility of a scar, an incision is made in the inner leg crease.
Surgical Incisions for Thigh Lift
Either before or during the thigh lift, liposuction may also be performed if the thighs have not shrunken with weight loss. If the skin elasticity is adequate, it’s possible the doctor may only need to perform liposuction on the thighs to achieve the desired result. With a complete thigh lift procedure, however, the excess skin will be removed and redraped.
Life Post-Thigh Lift
After a thigh lift, the patient should expect four to six weeks for recovery. Dressings will include tape and compression garments, which will be worn for three to four weeks as well as tubes to drain any fluid build-up. One day after surgery, the doctor may advise the patient to begin walking. Light exercise can often be resumed after two weeks.
Several side effects and complications can arise with thigh lift surgeries. These may include hematoma, infection, widened scars, scar migration, wound dehiscence (also known as a burst abdomen), deep vein thrombosis (DVT, a blood clot in a deep vein), and sensory nerve damage.