Thigh Lift Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- What surgical technique is recommended for me?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with this procedure and how are they handled?
- How can I expect my thigh to look over time?
1. Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
Good candidates for thigh lifts include:
- Individuals who desire their thighs to have a better, more proportional contour and a firmer look and feel.
- Individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery or massive weight loss.
- Individuals who are distressed about loose, flabby skin on their thigh.
- Individuals who have difficulty fitting into clothing because of heavy thighs.
2. Where and how will you perform my procedure?
There are two different types of thigh lift procedures: medial (inner) thigh lift or lateral (outer) thigh lift. In a medial (inner) thigh lift, an incision is made in the groin area, and any excess fat and skin are excised along the inner aspect of the thigh. Liposuction may be but is not always included in this procedure, depending on your individual requirements. The area from the groin to the knee is recontoured and the procedure is repeated for the other thigh. If a more substantial wedge of tissue is removed, the procedure is called a thighplasty. In a lateral (outer) thigh lift, Dr. Hsu usually contours the buttocks as well as the outer thighs and removal of more tissue. Scarring is more extensive, and the skin will be less elastic after the surgery, so weight should be maintained.
3. What surgical technique is recommended for me?
These decisions will be based on the requirements of your specific procedure and in consideration of your preference and Dr. Hsu's best judgment. Dr. Hsu and the assisting staff will fully attend to your comfort and safety.
4. How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
Immediately after your thigh lift, there will be a period of bruising, swelling and soreness. It is vitally important that you follow all patient care instructions provided. This will include information about wearing compression garments, care of your drains, taking an antibiotic if prescribed, and the level and type of activity that is safe. Dr. Hsu will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
During the first ten to 14 days you should only engage in light activities. This is a critical period for healing and you should be watchful for any signs of infection or nonhealing and report these to Dr. Hsu immediately. The pull of gravity and the actions of walking, sitting, and bending put stress on the sutured areas, so you should make careful and deliberate movements. It will be helpful if you have someone staying with you for the first few days of your recovery. In weeks two to eight, you may need to wear a compression garment for the first month to optimize contouring of the thighs. Swelling should subside in three to five weeks. You may resume driving and walking for exercise after the first two to three weeks, when these activities do not cause pain. Avoid heavy lifting and jogging for six to eight weeks.
5. What are the risks and complications associated with this procedure and how are they handled?
All surgical procedures carry some risk. Possible side effects or complications from thigh lift surgery include swelling at the incision site(s), fluid accumulation in the legs, blood clots, changes in the sensation of the skin such as numbness and pain, or poor wound healing. To combat infections/wounds, patients are given the appropriate intravenous antibiotics coverage throughout the surgery and during the hospital stay. Small to moderate wounds usually heal nicely with dressing changes and antibiotic ointment. When a large area of skin is undermined, fluid collects underneath. Drains are placed to evacuate this fluid. After drains are removed, fluid may reaccumulate. The treatment is to aspirate the fluid, which is usually sterile, with a needle.
6. How can I expect my thigh to look over time?
Thigh lift surgery results in slimmer thighs with tighter and more evenly textured skin. These results generally last five to ten years; however, large weight gain or pregnancy will affect how long the results last.