The thighs tend to sag as we age or lose a lot of weight. If you want to achieve more toned and shapely thighs that you can’t obtain through diet and weight loss, you may consider a thigh lift.
A thigh lift, also called thighplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that can eliminate loose and sagging skin and fat in the thighs. The most common reason people have it is to reshape and tone the thighs after significant weight loss. After this surgery, patients typically feel more at ease wearing tight jeans, shorts, or bathing suits.
If you’re considering this procedure, it’s recommended to be at a constant weight for at least six months and near your goal weight.
Dr. Smita R. Ramanadham is a double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in many cosmetic surgeries of the face and body. She will perform your thigh lift to provide stunning results that enhance your body and self-confidence. Dr. Smita also performs her surgical and nonsurgical procedures in the New Jersey, New York City, and Tri-state areas.
Thigh Lift Procedure
There are several types of thigh lift that your surgeon can perform, depending on your anatomy and personal goals:
Inner Thigh Lift
An inner thigh lift is the most common procedure. It reduces sagging skin in the inner thighs with an incision from the groin down to the knee.
Mini Thigh Lift
This procedure doesn’t need as many incisions and only requires one in the groin region. It’s a good choice if you want to slim down the upper-inner thigh area only.
Outer Thigh Lift
This procedure reduces sagging skin on the outside of the thighs. It involves an incision that starts in the groin and goes to the hip and lower back.
Vertical Thigh Lift
If you want to get rid of a lot of extra skin in all parts of the thighs, you may want this procedure. However, it requires the surgeon to make larger incisions down to the knees.
But this procedure has a higher chance of complications, so your surgeon needs to be sure that the benefits outweigh the risks.
Thigh Lift With Liposuction
Some patients may have poor skin elasticity, so your surgeon may perform liposuction in addition to a thigh lift. Liposuction will remove extra fat cells permanently and eliminate sagging skin.
After that, you’ll spend several hours in pre-op and post-op, so you can expect the procedure to take a full day.
You should have someone available to drive you home from your thigh lift and stay overnight if you have complications.
Thigh Lift Benefits
A thigh lift has many benefits that may make it worthwhile:
Many thigh lift patients say it’s easier to find clothes that look good on them. Bathing suits and dresses are more attractive, and pants fit better. You will be able to go shopping and choose snugger-fitting clothing that shows off your new shape.
Most thigh lift patients rave about looking younger with shapelier and firmer thighs. However, it can be frustrating to work out and still see those jiggly thighs in the mirror for people who exercise often.
After a thigh lift, you can enjoy looking and feeling your best, and this will give you more self-confidence.
Easier To Exercise
Many people say it’s uncomfortable or difficult to exercise because of the extra tissue in their thighs. After a thigh lift, you’ll be better able to enjoy exercise with your slimmer legs.
You won’t have to feel your thighs rubbing together anymore when you wear shorts or dresses. Also, having your thighs rub together can lead to rashes and chafing, which is not a problem after the procedure.
This procedure can improve your shape and leg appearance by eliminating sagging skin and tissue. Most patients marvel at their improved leg shape after a thigh lift.
Ideal Candidates For Thigh Lift
If you meet the following guidelines, you may be an ideal candidate for a thigh lift:
- You are near your goal weight and have lost most of the weight you intend to lose.
- You have extra skin and fat in the inner or outer thighs.
- You are healthy and don’t have medical issues that interfere with healing.
- You don’t smoke or can quit before surgery.
- You have a positive outlook and realistic goals.
- You’re committed to a healthy diet and exercise for the rest of your life.
Surgery Preparation For Thigh Lift
Before scheduling your thigh lift, Dr. Smita may advise you to do the following:
- Have a medical evaluation and lab tests to check if you’re ready for surgery
- Take certain medications or stop taking certain ones
- Not smoke or take steps to quit smoking several weeks before and after surgery
- Don’t take aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs
You also should prepare for several weeks of recovery at home, and you’ll need someone to take you home from surgery and stay with you the first night.
Thigh Lift Risks And Complications
Thigh lifts are safe when performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, and most of these procedures go well. But there are risks and potential complications to consider:
You will have scarring from this procedure that usually runs from the groin to the upper thigh or groin to the knee. But a skilled plastic surgeon can ensure the incisions are in places that are hard to see. Some incisions can be covered by a bathing suit or underwear.
Poor Wound Healing
If you move around too much, the incisions may open after the procedure, so it’s essential to take it easy for the first 10 days. After that, Dr. Smita can do a procedure in the office to close them if needed.
Fluid and blood accumulation under the skin is an occasional complication. This can increase swelling and lead to infection. Dr. Smita may insert drains to prevent seromas from forming and will remove them after the first week.
After your procedure, small blood clots can form that may create hard spots near your incision. Usually, they’re minor, but the problem may require treatment.
Any major surgery carries a risk of infection. So it’s essential to protect your incisions and clean them carefully after surgery to avoid infections.
Dr. Smita will provide instructions to help you keep your incisions as clean as possible.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
This is a rare complication where a blood clot moves from the legs to the lungs, brain, or heart. This is a dangerous complication, but it can usually be prevented with anticoagulant medications after surgery.
Thigh Lift Recovery
Before you go home from your thigh lift, Dr. Smita will put dressings on the incisions to protect them and reduce swelling. She also may place a drain to eliminate extra fluid and blood from the surgical site.
You’ll need to have a week or two off work to recover. You will have moderate pain, swelling, and bruising for a few days. After that, the enhanced contours from your thigh lift will be apparent, but it will take several months before you see the final result.
If you experience severe pain or have bled through the bandages, talk to Dr. Smita right away; she may need to perform an additional procedure to address the problem.
You shouldn’t do strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for at least six weeks after your thigh lift.
After you heal, you may have scars, but they shouldn’t be noticeable to most people; the scars are usually hidden by the underwear or bathing suit.
Patients undergoing a thigh lift may choose to have additional procedures during the same session. Having several procedures at once saves money and reduces your recovery time.
Dr. Smita will do a medical evaluation before scheduling your gynecomastia procedure to discuss other procedures you may want.
Thigh Lift FAQ
If you’re thinking about a thigh lift, you may have plenty of questions. Below are the most common questions and answers about this procedure:
How Can I Get Rid Of Saggy Thighs?
You can tighten your upper thighs with exercises, but surgery is the only way to remove sagging skin and fat. If you have a thigh lift, you will enjoy slimmer lines on the inner and outer thighs.
How Painful Is A Thigh Lift?
This is a significant procedure, and you’ll need several weeks to recover. You will probably have moderate pain, swelling, and bruising for several days.
Dr. Smita will prescribe pain medication to make you more comfortable for the first week. After the first week, you can probably use over-the-counter pain medication to manage your pain.
Will A Thigh Lift Get Rid Of My Cellulite?
Your surgeon will cut away extra skin and fat during the thigh lift while tightening what’s left. It can improve the appearance of cellulite and may make most of it disappear.
How Risky Is It To Have A Thigh Lift?
This is a safe procedure when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Typical risks include bleeding, infection, scarring, pain, and anesthesia issues.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Thigh Lift?
In the first week, you should take time off and rest as much as you can. Swelling and bruising can last two or three weeks, and you can go back to regular activities after three or four months.
Can I Sit After A Thigh Lift?
Yes. But you shouldn’t sit for a long time during the first week. Many surgeons recommend bed rest for the first week because the incisions can split from excessive movement.
It’s important to rest as much as you can after this procedure because you have extensive incisions.
Will My Insurance Pay For A Thigh Lift?
Most health insurance companies won’t pay for a thigh lift because it’s usually considered cosmetic surgery.
Are Thigh Lifts Usually Successful?
A thigh lift is helpful to obtain more attractive upper legs. It’s perfect for patients who have loose skin from weight loss.
How Bad Will The Scars Be After A Thigh Lift?
Thigh lift scars are usually in the crease between the front of the upper thigh and the groin. The scars are substantial, but a skilled plastic surgeon can usually hide them well.
Can I Have A Thigh Lift In A Mommy Makeover?
You can have many procedures in a mommy makeover, including a thigh lift, arm lift, or tummy tuck.
Will I Need Drains After A Thigh Lift?
You will usually need drains after this procedure; they will drain the fluid made under the skin as you heal. If you don’t have drains, the fluid can build up and become infected.
Dr. Smita will remove the drains after a week or two and instruct you on caring for them.
How Long Will I Have Pain After A Thigh Lift?
Most patients experience the most pain during the first week, but it fades after that. But you may have considerable swelling for several weeks.
How Should I Sleep After A Thigh Lift?
You should sleep with a pillow between the thighs and keep them elevated for the first three days. After that, you may not be able to extend your legs for a week or so fully.
Walk when you feel you can without too much pain. However, it’s important not to overdo it in the early part of the recovery.
Will My Scars Go Away?
Your surgery will result in visible scars, usually from the groin to the hip or groin to the knee in a medial thigh lift.
But the scars fade after several months, and Dr. Smita will place them in strategic locations that are hard to see.
A thigh lift can reduce sagging skin and tissue in the thighs, but it’s best for those near their goal weight. Also, remember that you need to commit to regular exercise and a healthy diet to maintain your results.
Talk to Dr. Smita today to determine if a thigh lift can help you meet your aesthetic and personal goals.
When you notice hanging skin on your thighs that creates embarrassment or anxiety, we encourage you to contact our practice in New Jersey to find out more about thigh lift surgery. It is typical for patients to combine a thigh lift surgery with one or more body contouring surgeries, particularly ones that address nearby areas, such as a tummy tuck or a lift for the lower body, based on your specific goals. Schedule your appointment with plastic surgeon Dr. Ramanadham to get the tighter look you want.
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