A thigh lift is a procedure that can produce significant results for patients who have loose, excessive, sagging tissue of the thighs. This deformity is mainly due to the result of weight loss; as the volume of the thighs decreases, the excessive skin remains. Patients complain of difficulty fitting into clothes; others complain of chaffing and irritation while walking or exercising. Regardless of the reason, this procedure not only decreases the size of the thighs by removing excess skin and fat but also creates a nice, rejuvenated contour to the thighs that are in proportion to the rest of the body. Patients often comment on the ability to exercise and walk without irritation and that they are able to find clothes that fit well, providing an improved self-image.
Some patients only have issues with the upper thigh, while others are more diffuse and involve the entire thigh. For those patients who desire correction of only the upper thigh, an ellipse of tissue is excised near the inner groin crease, with the scar well hidden in this area. Those patients who desire correction of the entire thigh, this incision is extended vertically along the medial (inner) aspect of the thigh, that can end anywhere from the mid-thigh to near the knee, depending on the amount of excision required for improved contouring. Since the incision is located in the inner aspect of the thigh, the scar is typically not noticeable and is well hidden with clothes. Drains are placed to prevent fluid collections. During your consultation, Dr. Tsai will present you with all the possible options in detail and work with you to individualize treatment according to your specific goals and expectations to provide you with the best possible result.
Procedure and Recovery
Depending on how much excision is desired, the surgical procedure typically takes 4-5 hours to complete. It is performed under general anesthesia (fully asleep) in the adjacent surgicenter. Patients return home the same day as the procedure so transportation will need to be arranged. Your first checkup will be the following day in the clinic. Bandages are removed several days after the procedure, drains are removed within 1-2 weeks, and patients usually return to normal daily activities within 2 weeks. Pain is tolerated with prescribed oral pain medication. Exercise is resumed approximately 6-8 weeks after the procedure.
Risks and Pre-Op Concerns
As with all other body contouring surgical procedures, active smoking is a serious contraindication for this surgery. The nicotine creates spasms and constriction of the blood vessels, and after such a large surgery could potentially lead to wound healing problems. However, if smoking and nicotine use is stopped 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery, then this procedure may be performed safely. Dr. Tsai will review your medical history and help optimize your health before surgery in order to perform the procedure in a safe manner so you obtain the results you desire and deserve.
For more information, photos, and videos, please refer to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website for Thigh Lift.