The thigh lift cosmetic procedure is an increasingly popular surgical option for improving the shape and contours of the upper legs. Thigh lift surgery effectively targets the skin and underlying tissues of the upper thigh, which is a common trouble spot, particularly for women and individuals who have undergone major weight loss.
Diet and exercise play a significant role in the appearance and shape of the thighs. However, genetics also plays a large role in the contours of the thighs. The skin of the inner thighs is thinner than skin in other areas of the body. Due to the thin skin, this area is more prone to the negative consequences of aging including sagging and rippling.
After weight loss, the thin skin is unable to tighten as one might hope. Unfortunately, many individuals are left with skin laxity, and sagging. Creases, ripples, and wrinkles make the thighs look older than they are. For many people, this area keeps them from feeling confident in certain clothing or bathing suits.
The ideal candidate for a thigh lift may be looking to:
- Improve the contours and balance of his or her figure
- Enhance self-esteem and confidence
- Remove excess skin or sagging tissue over the thighs
- Smooth the skin of the thighs
- Fully enjoy the accomplishment of successful weight loss
A surgical thigh lift addresses these concerns by tightening the soft tissue structures found under the thigh, while removing excess skin and fat. It is ideal for individuals with poor skin elasticity, often due to aging or major weight loss. All thigh lift candidates begin their journey with an individualized consultation, in which the surgeon can determine if a thigh lift is the best option for the desired results.
The surgeons at OMNI Surgery + Anti-Aging Centre pride themselves in their thorough consultation, in order to set realistic and attainable outcomes for ultimate patient satisfaction. For individuals who are primarily looking to remove excess fat but have good skin elasticity, liposuction is usually the best option. Some patients with excess fat and poor skin elasticity benefit from a combination of thigh lift with liposuction.
Surgical Thigh Lift Procedure
Patients are given anesthesia to ensure patient comfort and safety throughout the procedure. The surgeon creates an incision along the inner aspect of the thigh or over the groin and extending downward and toward the back of the thigh. Some people only require an incision in the groin area, depending on the extent of lift required. This incision will leave a scar that typically fades with time. The surgeon strategically places the incision in a region that will allow for surgical technique but that can also be partially hidden with clothing or natural skin folds.
Once the incision is created, the underlying soft tissue structures of the thigh are reshaped, tightened and sutured. Deep support sutures are used to support the newly shaped contours of the upper leg. Excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is re-draped for improved body contours. Additionally, sutures are placed to close the incisions through the skin.
Because the unwanted sagging skin is removed and the soft tissue and muscle structures underneath are sutured, the patient is left with a tighter and firmer thigh appearance. The results of the thigh lift are visible almost immediately, but improve after swelling and bruising resolve.
What to Expect with Thigh-Lift
The thigh lift procedure requires recovery time to ensure proper healing of the involved soft tissue structures. Recovery includes one week of very restful and limited physical activity. After one week, most patients are able to return to work. Patients can then gradually return to a normal social schedule and increased physical activity. Most patients return to exercise within 4-6 weeks after surgery.
What to Expect during Recovery
During the recovery, surgical dressings and bandages are applied over the incisions and the thighs may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or compression garment. The compression garment helps to reduce swelling and supports the newly shaped contours of the thigh during healing. Some patients will have small, thin drain tubes placed under the skin to drain excess fluid from the surgical area. Prescription pain medications may be utilized to control any discomfort during healing.
Patients should expect mild swelling and bruising over the surgical region, which will subside over the course of several weeks. It is important that patients adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to support healthy weight management and reduce the chance of regaining fat tissue in the thighs, which may alter the surgical results. Many patients undergo a thigh lift after already completing major weight loss, so continuing a healthy lifestyle is a top priority.