Massive weight loss can lead to heavy skin folds in the upper thigh area that lead to chronic skin infections, chaffing and difficulty wearing clothing. A thigh lift removes excess skin and fat from the thighs. Thigh lift surgery is an important operation to help reshape the thighs to match a patient’s smaller body frame. A vertical thigh lift is a powerful operation that removes large wedges of excess skin from the inner aspect of the thigh. The subsequent scar is located horizontally within the groin crease and also vertically from the groin to the knee joint. A horizontal thigh lift removes a horizontal crescent of skin from the inner groin and upper thigh area. The subsequent groin crease scar is less obvious but does not tighten the middle or lower thigh areas.
Thigh lift surgery is most effective at tightening the skin of the inner and front thigh. The outer and front thigh areas are further tightened with an extended tummy tuck or total body lift. Abdominal reshaping operations are best performed prior to thigh lift surgery.
Patients with extremely large, heavy thighs often need their thigh lift staged into two procedures. In the first operation, liposuction is used to reduce the overall size of the thighs. A thigh lift operation is then performed at least 3 months later to remove the loose skin achieved by the liposuction.
While you will be able to see an instant improvement in the contour of your thighs, it will take 3 months before your swelling subsides.
A vertical thigh lift is a 3-4 hour procedure that is performed under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital. The surgeon will initially mark the surgical plans on the patients skin. Once the patient is asleep, liposuction will be used to remove any remaining fat from the front and side areas of the thighs. Liposuction can also be used to thin the skin to be removed from the inner thigh. This allows your surgeon to carefully identify and preserve the lymphatic vessels, veins and nerves that run in the fat of the inner thigh. The loose inner thigh skin is then peeled away. The wounds are closed using three layers of dissolving stitches and the patient is place into a well fitting garment.
Recovery from thigh lift surgery
Most patients remain in hospital for 2 nights following thigh lift surgery. The garment is extremely helpful in managing movement and pain following the surgery. Most patients will have their drains removed the day after surgery. The garment is worn day and night for three weeks. After that, most patients find it comfortable to wear bike pants during the evening only when swelling is at its most obvious. It is possible to return to work three weeks after surgery. Scar management begins with the use of micropore tape along the length of the wounds. This can be swapped to silicone scar gel sheets or ointment after several weeks, and continued for at least 3 months.