What is a thigh lift?
Thigh lift is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the upper thighs. Often liposuction is required at the same time to achieve the desired outcome. This surgery can help those who have been left with excess skin following weight loss through diet and exercise, or following successful weight loss surgery. Surgery is not a weight loss treatment. If you plan to do lose more weight, then it is advisable to do so before having a thigh lift. The results of a thigh lift can be long lasting, providing you maintain a healthy weight.
What does this involve?
Thigh lift surgery is carried out under a general anaesthetic and usually requires a one to two night stay in hospital.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make incisions in the groin area and sometimes along the length of the inner, upper thigh. The excess skin and tissue is removed and once surgery is complete, all the incisions are closed with sutures.
Following the procedure you will be taken from the operating theatre into the recovery suite where you will be looked after until you are fully awake. After this, you will return to your room, where nursing staff will check your dressings and monitor your pulse and blood pressure at regular intervals.
The anaesthetist will prescribe painkillers and you should take these regularly for the first week or so. Pain can slow down your recovery, so it is important to discuss any discomfort with the nursing staff.
There may be a drip in one of your arms - this is to keep you well hydrated. This will be removed when you are able to drink a satisfactory amount.
You may have drainage tubes in your legs - these have bottles attached to them and are in place to drain away any excess fluid. The drains are removed before you are discharged home.
You will have wound dressings and a supportive compression garment in place.
When will I recover?
After a thigh lift surgery you are likely to have some pain/discomfort, swelling and bruising in your thighs.
Your surgeon will advise you as to how long you are required to wear your supportive compression garment and whether it is to be worn day and night.
You will receive a post-operative telephone call from the specialist nurse one to two days after your discharge home to ascertain your progress and well-being. You will also receive a follow-up appointment at which your surgeon will assess your progress and give advice on when you can resume your normal activities.
You must avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, swimming and vacuuming for four to six weeks after surgery. You should only resume driving when you are confident that you can safely perform an emergency stop without experiencing discomfort.
The length of time you will need to take off work will depend on your type of employment, but is usually a minimum of one week.
What risks should I know about?
Thigh lift is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure. However, all surgery carries an element of risk.
The possible complications of any surgery can include an unexpected reaction to a general anaesthetic, excessive bleeding, infection and developing a blood clot (usually in a vein in the lower leg, known as a deep vein thrombosis).
You will be left with visible scars following your surgery. Initially they will be red and slightly raised, but they should gradually soften and fade over the following months.