A thigh lift, also called thighplasty or thigh contouring, is a surgery that corrects problems caused by a lack of skin elasticity in the inner and outer thighs. Loss of skin elasticity can happen with natural aging or with weight fluctuation. It causes issues like sagging skin, dimples in the skin, and an unattractive overall appearance for the thighs. A thigh lift can sculpt, lift, and tighten both the inner and outer thighs for a greatly improved overall appearance.
Who is a Good Candidate for Thigh Lift?
People who have sagging skin and cellulite in their thighs are the best candidates for thigh lift. Many patients opt for this surgery after bariatric surgery or after any type of dramatic weight loss, as weight loss can leave behind extra skin in the thigh area. The ideal patient for thigh lift is someone who is in good health overall, and who has maintained a stable weight for a year or longer. Thigh lift patients should either be non-smokers or should be prepared to quit smoking a minimum of a couple of weeks before the procedure. Thigh lift is generally not recommended for people who are seriously overweight or obese. The surgery isn't a substitute for weight loss, but it can be highly beneficial once the needed weight loss has been achieved.
Benefits of Thigh Lift Surgery
Thigh lift surgery can completely reshape the thighs, eliminating the unattractive fat deposits and sagging skin that can make people unhappy with their appearance. In addition to helping patients feel better about themselves, a thigh lift often allows people to fit into body conscious clothes more easily.
Preparing for Thigh Lift
Patients can prepare for thigh lift in several ways. Dr. Rau will provide patients with specific guidelines prior to the procedure. These usually include: Ceasing certain medications prior to surgery, ceasing the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, and supplements before surgery, and ceasing smoking at least 2 weeks prior to the thigh lift.
The Thigh Lift Procedure
Thigh lift is done while the patient is under general anesthesia. The surgery usually lasts for around 2 hours. There are 3 different techniques that may be used in thighplasty surgery.
- Medial Thigh Lift: In a medial thigh lift, the thigh skin is tightened and extra fat is removed through an incision that starts in the groin and ends at the middle of the buttock crease. This procedure concentrates on the top portion of the thighs.
- Inner Thigh Lift: In an inner thigh lift, the incision starts where the pubic area moves into the thigh. This technique removes fat and tightens the skin of the inner thighs.
- Bilateral Thigh Lift: In a bilateral thigh lift, the incision starts at the top part of the leg. The extra fat is removed and skin is tightened on the outside and front parts of the leg.
Recovery After Thigh Lift Surgery
Most patients need 1-2 weeks to recover from a thigh lift. Patients should keep leg movement as minimal as possible during recovery, as this helps with healing. Bruising and swelling generally resolve within a month, and patients can return to full activities including exercise after 4 to 6 months.
What to Expect: Results
Part of good results depends on realistic expectations. Thigh lift can greatly enhance the appearance of the thighs and the legs as a whole, but it's important that patients discuss likely outcomes with Dr. Rau before their surgery. Many patients find that thigh lift combines well with other procedures such as liposuction and tummy tuck. After a thigh lift, many patients are much happier with the way that they look and the way that clothes fit their legs. Most people also enjoy a self confidence boost, as looking good is closely tied to feeling good.
Considering Thigh Lift Surgery?
Ready to consider thigh lift surgery? The team at Rau Plastic Surgery is here to answer questions and provide support. Call anytime to arrange a consultation.