What is a Thigh Lift?
The aging process and/or a history of massive weight loss can result in excess and lax skin of the thighs. Even with a proper diet and exercise, this excess skin cannot be removed without surgery. A thigh lift is designed to surgically remove redundant and lax tissue of the thigh. The goal of this procedure is create a smoother, smaller, and well-contoured thigh.
Who is a candidate for a Thigh Lift?
You may want to consider a thigh lift if you:
- Have concerns about the lax and redundant skin of your thigh
- Desire a more contoured appearance of the thigh
As with all body contouring procedures, the ideal patient has been stable at their goal weight and does not have plans for future weight loss.
How is a Thigh Lift Performed?
There are various techniques for thigh lifts, and the type of thigh lift that is performed is determined by where there is the most amount of excess tissue and skin.
- Inner thigh lift – this procedure is reserved for patients with only a small amount of upper inner thigh skin laxity. The incision is placed in the lower groin area, in a place that is well hidden by underwear and bikinis. The excess skin and fat of the upper inner thigh is removed through this incision and the incision is closed.
- Medial thigh lift – this procedure is reserved for patients that have more extreme amounts of soft tissue excess and laxity. If the laxity is confined to the upper portion of the thigh, the incision will start similar to the inner thigh lift incision, but it will continue around and under the pubis and end in the gluteal crease. Excess soft tissue is elevated off of the underlying muscles and excised.
- Medial thigh lift with vertical extension – For patients that have excessive soft tissue laxity that extends out of the upper thigh and all of the way down to the knee, a vertical extension is added to the medial thigh lift. In this procedure, excess tissue is removed in both the horizontal and vertical axis. Some patients may not require the groin incision and may only require the vertical incision.
The incision for an outer thigh lift starts in the groin and extends up, over the hipbones, and back towards the upper gluteal region. By elevating and excising the excess tissue of the upper outer thigh, a sleek outer thigh contour will be created.
Although thigh lifts are not designed to remove large quantities of excess fat, liposuction can be employed prior to making the skin incisions to remove some underlying fat in order to create a smoother contour.
All surgery is associated with risks. Risks associated with thigh lifts include bleeding, infection, delayed wound healing, scarring, numbness and tingling, and need for revisional procedures. It is important to talk with Dr. Rovelo about the risks of your surgery and how the risks can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome.
Thigh lifts are performed in the outpatient surgery setting, under general anesthesia. The length of the procedure is dependent on the extent of the surgery, and ranges from 2-4 hours. After the procedure, patients will have drains and compression garments in place. Patients will be able to go home the same day of surgery. Patients may elect to stay in an aftercare facility in order to have assistance with positioning and mobilization. Patients will be seen in clinic 2-3 days after surgery and then one week after surgery. Drains will be removed as the output diminishes. In the initial post-operative period, it is extremely important to avoid putting stress on the incisions. This includes excessive movements, climbing stairs, lifting, or straining. Light activity and return to work may resume after 2 weeks. No strenuous activity or heavy lifting until after 6 weeks. Patients will need to wear the compression garments continuously for the first 2 weeks. After the first 2 weeks, garments may be removed at night, although continuous wear is preferable. After 6 weeks, garments may be discontinued.