Those who have experienced great weight loss can feel ecstatic with their accomplishment and they should. While parts of their body will “shrink” into a nice, healthy shape, other parts may be slower to do so, or may never do so. In particular the skin on the arms, abdomen and thighs have a tendency to sag and droop. So, after all of the accomplishment, some are left in disappointment with their “after” body.
What is a thigh lift?
Thigh lifts can remove excess skin (and sometimes excess fat if it is needed) from inside the thigh, the outside of the thigh, and even on the knee. Usually performed for ptosis (sagging skin), thigh lifts can include some liposuction to remove any excess unwanted fat. Meeting for a consultation with your physician is always your first step towards a thigh lift. At the consultation your physician can determine if you are a good candidate for a thigh lift as well as the extent of surgery that needs to be performed. The amount of skin that needs to be removed in conjunction with the area that needs to be treated all determines the length of incisions (and future scarring), the length of the surgery itself, and the amount of time it may take to heal.
What is the thigh lift procedure?
Great care is taken to place the incisions in the most inconspicuous locations while allowing the surgeon the best access to excess skin, fat, and other tissue. Typically the incision is placed in the groin area, above the bikini line. Depending on the extent of the procedure, the incision can move towards the buttocks, around part of the thigh, or around most of the thigh. If severe ptosis is present or if the knees need to be lifted as well, vertical incisions may be made along the inside of the leg.
During the procedure excess skin, fat, and tissue is removed. Deep sutures help to support the remaining skin, tissue, muscles and ligaments. Thigh lifts are performed under general anesthesia. Often the patient can go home the same day, but if the surgery was more extensive, your physician may want you to stay in the hospital for a day or two. After the surgery drainage tubes will be placed (to help minimize swelling and eliminate excess fluids) and you will be placed in a compression garment to be worn for several days (and may extend into a couple weeks.). Compression garments not only support your new shape and contour but also help to minimize swelling.
What can I expect after a thigh lift?
You will need to take antibiotics and pain medication for several days after the surgery. Most people take about two weeks off from work. It will be important to not drive during that time as well. You should be able to return to most normal activities in six weeks and strenuous activities shortly after that.
What are the potential risks and complications of a thigh lift?
All surgeries come with some level of risks and complications. For thigh lifts,, these include swelling and hematomas, but these happen very rarely. Dr. Volshteyn will go over all possible risks during your consultation, as well as answer any other questions you may have. Those who may not be candidates for this procedure include patients with vascular diseases, those who have had varicose vein operations, or those who are diabetic or in poor health.
The benefits of this procedure are significant. So many who have baggy, hanging skin around their thighs are incredibly embarrassed by it. After losing all that weight they usually want to be much more active and wear all of the clothing they felt they couldn’t wear when they were heavier. Thigh lifts can help reclaim their more active lifestyle and allow them a wardrobe free of “disguises.” And while thigh lifts always come with scarring, many feel the benefits of having smaller, smoother thighs outweighs the scars.
If you would like more information or to find out if you are a candidate for a thigh lift with Dr. Volshteyn, our board certified plastic surgeon, please contact our office today 732-641-3350