Thigh Lift Surgery - Thighplasty
Reviewed by Siamak Agha-Mohammadi, MD, PhD
Chunky, dimpled thighs are the bane of many women's — and even some men's — existence. A thigh lift (thighplasty) can reduce excess skin and fat in the thigh and knee area, resulting in a redefined, slim and taut thigh that will look great in skinny jeans, mini-skirts and bathing suits.
Today's modern thigh lift surgery aims to create thighs that are proportionate to the buttocks, abs and legs. Ideally, the trunk and outer thighs should form an hour-glass silhouette and indent toward the waist, with a smooth outward curve to the outer thighs.
From the back, the thigh should stand apart from the buttock with a ...view middle of the document...
Individuals with more significant fat and loose skin may need a vertical thighplasty.
An outer thigh lift requires an incision that extends from the groin around the hip. A newer procedure called the spiral thighplasty targets the front, back, inner and outer thigh. The incision is below the buttock fold and continues over the groin crease at the junction of the thigh and pubic area. This plastic surgery procedure is ideal for people who have lost weight.
Combination Thigh Lift Surgery
Sometimes, several types of thigh lift are performed at the same time. Which thigh lift or combination of thigh lifts is right for you depends on a number of factors, including:
• How much fat and skin need to be removed
• Your skin quality
• The areas to be treated
• Your doctors expertise and experience
• Your preferences.
Thigh lifts can also be performed in combination with other procedures such as a lower body lift and liposuction.
Thigh Lift Procedure
Regardless of the thigh lift treatment you choose, the main steps are similar.
Your surgeon will choose general or twilight anesthesia (which leaves you sedated, but not unconscious). Next, he or she will make the recommended incision. Whether the skin is excised or lifted varies based on the type of incision and the amount of fat and skin that needs to be removed, re-shaped and/or tightened.
Your surgeon will likely use deep, support stitches that help form and support the new contours of the thigh as part of the surgery. He or she will also close up the incisions with sutures.
The length of the surgery and your hospital stay varies based on which type of thigh lift is chosen and if it is done with liposuction or as part of a lower body lift.
Thigh lift Recovery and Results
Following a thigh lift, there will be bruising, swelling and soreness, but some of the results — namely the smooth, tight contours — will be visible immediately.
Bruising and swelling can be minimized if you take certain supplements before your surgery such as arnica and bromelain. Find out what your surgeon recommends you take — or stop taking — before your surgery to improve the results and minimize the risks.
You will feel some discomfort and tightness for the first 48 to 72 hours after surgery, but you should begin to feel normal after day three. Prescription painkillers can help relieve this pain.
The swelling in your lower body and upper thighs may take three to five weeks to subside.
You will be fitted with a compression garment to protect the incisions and promote shrinking and tightening of the skin after your surgery. Drainage tubes are inserted to reduce swelling and get rid of excess fluid. These tubes can be safely removed when the output of drainage fluid is low.
Your doctor will likely tell you to keep your legs slightly bent at the hips during the first week after your thigh lift. This will minimize any tension on your incision line, reduce pain and result in a thinner,...