Double Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dallas-Fort Worth
A thigh lift or thighplasty is a procedure that removes excess skin and fat of the thighs. This procedure is often considered by individuals who have undergone massive weight loss or who have troublesome areas of the thighs that do not improve despite diet and exercise. The procedure is usually combined with liposuction.
Am I a candidate for a thigh lift?
Candidates for a thigh lift include healthy, normal weight nonsmokers who have excess skin or fat of their thighs. Patients may have loose, sagging skin due to aging or may have experienced massive weight loss resulting in disfigurement. They may also have difficult fatty areas that persist despite diet and exercise. Patients could have trouble fitting properly into clothes and could feel self-conscious about the appearance of their thighs.
How is a thigh lift performed?
This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about 2-3 hours. It’s basically a medial thigh lift with the incision being placed at the groin and may extend along the inner thigh if there is significant excess skin near the lower thigh and knee. The thigh lift is often combined with liposuction. Liposuction is particularly helpful in contouring the lateral thigh areas also. The lateral thigh can be improved with a buttock lift as well.
What to expect after surgery?
Dr. Farris and his staff at Farris Plastic Surgery will provide specific instructions regarding your surgery. Expect to have some swelling and bruising for several weeks. It will be important to wear your compression garment for 4 weeks and to keep your legs elevated as much as possible. Drains may be used and instructions will be provided regarding their use. Take your pain medication only when necessary and the antibiotic as prescribed. Stitches are placed under the skin during surgery so there is nothing to remove in the office. You may use vitamin E cream and scar products beginning 3 weeks after surgery to optimize healing of your scars. Avoid strenuous activity or exercise for 6 weeks.
For a limited thigh lift, the incision is along the groin. For more extensive work to address excess skin lower in your thigh, the incision extends along the inner aspect of your thigh to the level of your knee.
A thigh lift will help contour your thigh area by removing excess skin and some fat. It does not involve surgery of the muscles of the thigh.
Your weight should be stable with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 35. This will optimize your healing, aesthetic result and safety.
The thigh lift is often combined with liposuction to address the areas of adiposity that are not easily handled with direct excision.
Yes, you will need to wear a compression garment after a thigh lift to help reduce the swelling. Also, leg elevation will be important to help decrease swelling.
Drains are usually required after a thigh lift to help remove fluid from the surgical site. This will decrease the risk of developing a fluid collection.
No, a thigh lift is usually performed in an ambulatory setting, not requiring hospital admission. In this case, your surgery would be performed in our AAAASF accredited surgical suite within our office.
Some of the ways to prepare for thigh lift surgery include:
- Go to your consultation with Dr. Farris
- Learn all about costs, financing, scheduling, and other items from our team
- Schedule your surgery
- Clear your schedule as needed for the one to two weeks of initial recovery
- Assess what obligations, errands, chores, and other daily tasks you are responsible for and ask your spouse, a family member, or friend for help with these things while you recover
- Arrange for someone to bring you to surgery and drive you home
- Arrange for someone to be with you at your home for at least 24 hours after surgery
- Prepare easy meals so you don’t have to cook or get food after surgery
- Fill prescriptions
- Avoid alcohol
- Get a good night of sleep before surgery
- Cease use of certain medications as instructed by Dr. Farris, if applicable
- Stop eating the night before as instructed
This gives you an idea of what to expect. We will of course provide you with exact, complete preoperative and postoperative instructions in advance of surgery.
Yes, all surgical procedures leave scars and the thigh lift is no exception. Most people considering plastic surgery are nervous about scarring - how will it look? Will it be extensive? Will it be a worthwhile tradeoff for the results you get? These are all important questions you should discuss with Dr. Farris.
Overall, candidates for thigh lifts feel the scars are well worth it. Their location depends on the type of thigh lift. Incisions are made along the crevice where the groin meets the upper leg. This incision may extend over the hip bone and/or down along the inner side of your thigh. Dr. Farris will show you which incision locations will best accomplish your results.
The results are semi-permanent with the two most significant factors being the inevitable effects of age and the potential for future weight gain.
As the years go by, gravity and aging will cause skin sagging, collagen diminishment, and loss of skin elasticity. All of these things can and likely will make all of the skin on your body look more wrinkled and saggy than in previous years; however, the skin will be smoother and flatter than it would have been without the thigh lift because all of that deflated, excess tissue will be gone.
If you gain a lot of weight that too will change your results. You will notice more fat accumulation, potentially on your thighs. It’s quite probable that it won’t be as pronounced as before, plus the skin won’t be as saggy as before. Nevertheless, most patients feel highly motivated to maintain a stable body weight and fit lifestyle.
You should plan to rest lying down for at least the first week. You will need to engage in very gentle walking this first week to prevent blood clots, but move with great caution to protect your incisions. If you sit during this first week, don’t sit for prolonged periods of time. Mostly you will be on bed rest.
After the first week, continue to sit and walk gently and limit your movement for another week. After about six weeks you can engage in more strenuous activities.