A thigh lift is a surgical procedure to reshape the thighs by removing excess skin and fatty tissue from the upper legs. This helps to create a lower body profile that is smoother, tighter, and more contoured. Your thigh lift may involve removing excess sagging or drooping skin, tightening and smoothing underlying supportive tissue, and reducing pockets of fat in the upper leg area.
Thigh lift can be combined with other forms of body-contouring surgery, including liposuction, to reduce bulk around the entire thigh area. This is particularly helpful for patients who have sagging skin following significant weight loss.
A thigh lift is a surgical procedure to remove excess sagging skin and fatty tissue from the upper legs. This helps to create a lower body profile that is smoother, tighter, and more attractive. Your thigh lift may involve removing excess sagging or drooping skin, tightening and smoothing underlying supportive tissue, and reducing pockets of fat in the upper leg area.
Thigh lifts can be helpful for patients who have excess tissue along the inner or outer thigh. This can be due to significant weight loss, heredity or simply growing older. Excess soft tissue can’t be corrected through exercise, so many healthy individuals find that they are good candidates for thigh lifts to improve appearance.
This procedure is performed in Kaiser Permanente’s operating suite with either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. The incisions that are performed depend on the amount and location of excess tissue that will be removed. One technique involves an incision along the inseam – from the groin down to the knee. Another technique starts at the groin, extending down and wrapping around the back of the thigh. In some cases, only a minimal incision is required around the groin area. After the incision is made, excess fat will be removed or treated with liposuction. The underlying tissue can then be tightened and reshaped with internal sutures and the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your thigh.
Kaiser Permanente’s plastic surgeon will work closely with you. Be prepared to discuss your expectations and desired outcome. Make sure to address all your questions and concerns. Aspirin, Motrin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some over-the-counter herbal medications must be discontinued at least two weeks prior to surgery. These and other drugs and substances may cause excess bleeding and bruising. You can usually begin taking them again after a week or so. If you are a smoker, it is important to quit at least four weeks prior to surgery and refrain from smoking until four weeks after surgery to ensure your wounds heal properly. Your plastic surgeon will discuss this in detail with you and you will also be given a sheet with a list of common medicines to avoid for a short period. Your plastic surgeon will detail the risks associated with surgery. Plan to have a family member or friend drive you to and from your surgery appointment and stay with you for at least one night following surgery.
Following your surgery, bandages will be applied to your incisions. In addition, you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or need to purchase a compression garment to minimize swelling and to support your legs as they heal. A small tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions on how to care of your incisions and drains, including any medications that you may need to take. We will arrange for your follow-up visit at our Kaiser Permanente office.
Drains are typically removed after one to two weeks. For most plastic surgeries, there are no sutures to remove. It is most common to use absorbable sutures which melt on their own within a few months.
You can shower the day after your procedure but should stay out of the ocean or pool for a week or so, or until your drain has been removed. Moderate swelling and bruising can last up to two weeks, but complete resolution of swelling may take much longer. It is important to avoid strenuous activity for two to three weeks after surgery to avoid bleeding and other complications.
If you had a muscle tightening procedure, you may be asked to avoid heavy lifting for six weeks. Most patients are able to drive after a few days and can return to office work after a week.