Your Guide To Thigh Lifts
Cellulite, loose skin, and excess fat around the thighs are common causes of insecurity. Sometimes, weight loss and weight training can only go so far in terms of addressing these issues, especially in the event of loose, sagging, or dimpled skin. A thigh lift, sometimes called a thighplasty, can tighten skin near the inner or outer thighs to improve its overall appearance. This can help you surpass plateaus and get you the body you want.
A thigh lift is a surgical procedure that entails downtime and comes with a risk for complications. Therefore, it is important you weigh the pros and cons carefully before committing to the procedure. Below, we will offer a delineation of what to expect to help determine whether it is right for you.
Who’s A Good Candidate For A Thigh Lift?
A thigh lift is intended to tighten and improve the elasticity of skin around the thigh. It can reduce loose, flabby skin and improve issues like cellulite and dimpling. It is not intended to remove fat, although many people opt for a thigh lift after liposuction to deal with a loss of skin laxity.
It is meant for patients at or near their ideal weight and in good health overall. Prior to undergoing it, you will have a medical consultation where you’ll discuss your expectations, current health (including any medications), and lifestyle. You will also undergo a physical exam and do routine blood work.
This is intended to ensure you are healthy enough to safely undergo a thigh lift. You may be asked to make certain changes – like quitting smoking or losing weight – before getting medical clearance for a thigh lift.
What Happens During A Thigh Lift?
A thigh lift is performed under general anesthesia. The pattern used for your specific thigh lift depends on the location and the amount of skin you need removed.
The two basic types of thigh lifts are the extended thigh lift and the short-scar thigh lift. The extended thigh lift typically starts in groin crease and extends down to the knee on the inside of the thigh. This type of lift is most appropriate for patients with greater degrees of skin laxity. The short-scar thigh lift entails an incision starting in the anterior groin crease and extends through the gluteal fold under the buttock. This type is appropriate for patients with less laxity that is located near the upper inner thigh.
However, these are just two methods. Some patients may require less incisions than others. For minimal changes, your surgeon may only need to make an incision near the groin. If you are concerned about scarring, talk to your surgeon about it prior to surgery.
After lifting the tissue and removing excess skin and fat, your surgeon will close the incisions with sutures and skin adhesives.
How Long Is Recovery?
Directly after surgery, bandages and sometimes drainage tubes will be put in place. Your surgeon will go over how to care for any dressings and drains and let you know when they will be removed.
Recovery times vary from person to person and the extent of your surgery. Talk to your surgeon very carefully about your timeline and follow their aftercare instructions. Most patients need seven to 10 days of downtime, during which you should limit movement to avoid aggravating the incision site. Unfortunately, being ambulatory (walking) is very important for the recovery process from nearly all surgeries so this must still be done, but can be difficult due to where the incisions are placed.
The majority of patients can resume increased activities within two weeks, but bruising and swelling may persist longer. Full normal activities can be resumed at 6 weeks after surgery. You may not see the full results of your thigh lifts for a few months.
What Are The Risks Associated With A Thigh Lift?
Every medical procedure entails some degree of risk, but the overall risks associated with a thigh lift are low.
With a thigh lift, side effects can be minor, such as bleeding, infection, scarring, or pain near the treatment site. These issues can be treated easily and may only require over-the-counter medication. More serious side effects – like asymmetry or poor wound healing – may require follow-up treatment to address. Extended wound healing is one of the more common side effects from thigh lifts due to location of the incision. Although this complication can be distressing, it is one that frequently resolves spontaneously with local wound care and time and does not affect the overall cosmetic outcome.
Some patients do not react well to anesthesia. If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, or difficulty breathing in the days following surgery, seek emergency medical care immediately.
Thigh Lifts: The Bottom Line
Weight loss, aging, or genetics can all cause loose, dimpled skin around the thighs, which is a common cause of insecurity. These issues can be difficult to treat through natural means alone. A thigh lift can help you surpass plateaus and smooth out the skin to improve your self-esteem and self-image. While the procedure entails some inherent risks, it is safe for the majority of healthy adults who work with a qualified surgeon.
Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering a thigh lift, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.