A thigh lift (thighplasty) procedure is intended to lift and reshape thigh skin that is unattractively saggy and dimpled. It is also intended to decrease irregularities in skin surface.
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Many candidates for a thighplasty procedure have excess skin as a result of weight loss, or simply because of the natural effects of aging. A thighplasty procedure removes excess fat and skin from the inner and outer thighs to create a tighter, firmer, more toned thigh appearance.
Although small amounts of fat may be removed with this procedure, along with excess skin, it is not meant to remove significant fat deposits. You should be stable at or near your ideal weight before considering a thigh lift.
If you have had phlebitis (inflamed blood vessels) in either of your legs, you may not be a candidate for thigh lift surgery. Most lifts require fairly lengthy incisions and scarring is visible, and each patient should be prepared for this. As with all elective surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites, but if you want to change the shape of your thighs, then a lift surgery may be appropriate, but:
• Make sure you are not prone to scarring problems such as keloids.
• Make sure you have a good understanding of the healing process and the limitations of the procedure.
Thigh lift surgery can be performed under general anesthesia depending on your health, the extent of the procedure and whether you are having other procedures at the same time. It takes 2-3 hours, but depending on the extent of the procedure, it can take longer.
There are mainly two different ways to perform thighplasty surgery, depending on the areas of concern:
The inside of the thighs are very difficult to shape through exercise. An inner thigh lift procedure involves an incision along the junction between the thigh and pubic area and removal of loose skin, and if necessary fat.
This procedure tightens the skin on the front and outside of the thigh.
The patient is placed in a compression garment (similar to a longline elastic support girdle) at the end of surgery to reduce swelling and assist in the natural shrinking and tightening of the skin. With Thigh Lift, one to three nights care in a hospital are usually required. This allows for pain injections, intravenous catheters, etc.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for surgery but here are some general guidelines:
• Avoid aspirin, any aspirin containing medication or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories for two weeks prior to treatment. Because aspirin thins the blood, it can interfere with normal blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
• Smoking inhibits the healing process, so stop smoking before your procedure and if you start again, make sure it is after you are completely healed.
• Avoid drinking alcohol a few days before your surgery.
• Make sure to follow any fasting instructions the night before and morning of your surgery. Your doctor may insist on an empty stomach depending on the type of anesthesia.
The patient should plan on taking at least 3 weeks off work. You will feel tired and sore for 3 to 7 days after surgery. A compression garment is worn continuously for 2 to 3 weeks, and then at night for a further 2 to 3 weeks. This will help define the new contour of your thighs.
Activities that increase your heart rate above 100 beats per minute for 3 weeks are not recommended.
Although most bruising and swelling will disappear within 3 weeks, some swelling may remain for 6 months and up to a year. The extent of the post-operative swelling and bruising is dependent on whether you tend to bruise or swell easily. The amount you can expect varies for each individual but past surgeries or injuries should be a good indication. Keep your head elevated, above the level of your heart, when lying down. Applying cold compresses, or ice packs will reduce swelling and relieve discomfort. Many patients use a water-tight plastic sandwich bag filled with frozen berries or peas. Regular icing is the key to relieving the swelling.
For the first week following surgery, you will be allowed light activity but you must avoid bending or lifting. Although you may not feel like it, you should try to walk as soon as possible after a Thigh Lift to reduce swelling and prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. While each case is individual, Thigh Lift recovery generally takes one to two weeks; you can usually return to work in a couple of weeks, and resume vigorous exercise or contact sports in approximately four to six weeks. Recovering individual and varies from person to person.
The result of a thigh lift procedure is beautiful, tightened, lifted and flattened contour to the thighs. A more confident and comfortable feeling in clothing, especially sports wear and jeans. If there is continued sagging or weight loss, then a second touch up procedure can help. A natural and presentable appearance in the first week that just gets better over the next three to six months.