A thigh lift is surgery that removes excess skin and fat from your thighs. The goal of the procedure is to improve the appearance of your thighs by removing the dimpled look produced by cellulite. Some surgeons say the procedure is more effective for the front and side thigh areas, less effective for the back and inside areas. The incision does leave a scar at the hip, but it fades in time and can be hidden by a bathing suit.
As with other forms of cosmetic plastic surgery, you need to have a clear and realistic understanding of your motivation and goals for the surgery. You should discuss your expectations with your surgeon. Improving your appearance can't solve all the of difficulties you might face in life, but it may increase your self-confidence as you deal with them.
During your first consultation, the surgeon will ask you about:
- Your general health
- Your expectations for surgery
- Any specific conditions that might interfere with surgery
The surgeon will discuss the details of the procedure, the type of anesthesia that will be used, and what to do before and after the surgery. Together, you’ll develop a plan for surgery and healing.
IMPORTANT: You must stop smoking for several weeks before and after surgery because smoking can interfere with healing.
What to Expect
A thigh lift usually lasts several hours and can be an outpatient procedure or require a short hospital stay. You may be given local or general anesthesia, depending on the surgical plan you and your doctor developed.
- Local anesthesia means you’ll be lightly sedated and the area around the surgery will be numbed. You’re awake during the surgery, but relaxed and feeling no pain.
- General anesthesia means you’ll be asleep during the operation.
How the Procedure is Performed
The surgery begins with an incision in the groin area, near the hip. After the incision is made, your surgeon separates the skin on your thigh from the fat and muscle below by pulling the flap of skin upwards. Then, your surgeon removes the excess skin and stretches the remaining skin back in place.
When the procedure is complete, your surgeon closes the incisions with small stitches and covers them with bandages. A small drainage tube may be inserted under your skin for several days to drain excess fluid from the surgery.
All surgery involves some risk and uncertainty. Serious complications or side effects of thigh lift surgery are rare, but they include:
- Blood clots
- Bad reactions to anesthesia
Immediately Following Surgery
You may go home several hours after surgery or spend a day or two in the hospital, depending on the extent of your procedure and the plan developed with your doctor. In general, you should walk around as soon as possible after surgery to reduce swelling. You may feel some pain and notice the swelling for the first few days after surgery; the pain will be controlled by medicine.
After a Few Weeks
Normally, your stitches will be removed within a week after surgery, though deeper sutures aren’t removed until two or three weeks after. You may also wear a support garment for few weeks to reduce swelling and will need to take antibiotics to prevent infection. Most of the swelling will disappear after three weeks or so, though some may remain for several months. You’ll avoid strenuous activity for a month or so. You should be able to go back to work two weeks after surgery.
Healing is Slow - But Results are Great
Many people feel depressed for a while after plastic surgery, especially in the early days when the results of the surgery aren’t apparent. This is quite normal and will pass. Healing is slow and gradual and sometimes the final results aren’t obvious for several months. But remember why you chose to have the surgery. If you've met your goals, then your surgery is a success.
For more information on having thigh lift surgery, call us at (585) 275-1000, or request a consultation appointment online.