What is a thigh lift?
A thigh lift (thighplasty) is an invasive cosmetic surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the thigh area.
Perhaps the most common reason for a thigh lift is to help reshape and smooth the thigh area after losing weight. Some people also opt for the procedure to gain more shapeliness and to feel more comfortable wearing swimsuits, shorts, and jeans.
Types of thigh lift surgery
Thigh lifts remove excess skin and fat, but there are different types that are achieved via different incisions. Your surgeon will help you choose the best surgery to meet your individual needs. Below are the types of thigh lifts to consider.
Inner (medial) thigh lift
A medial thigh lift is the most common form of this cosmetic surgery. It addresses sagging skin in your inner thighs via an incision from your groin down toward your knee or toward the back of your thigh area.
Mini thigh lift
Depending on your individual needs, your surgeon may determine that you qualify for a mini thigh lift. This procedure requires fewer incisions than other types of thigh lifts, only involving an incision in your groin area. It works well if you’re wanting to focus on the upper-inner part of your thigh only.
Outer (bilateral) thigh lift
An outer thigh lift addresses the outside portions of your thighs. The procedure involves an incision that starts in you groin area, then extends outward to your hip and lower back area.
Vertical thigh lift
If you’re looking to address a lot of excess skin in all areas of your thighs, you may consider a vertical thigh lift. It requires larger incisions that extend down to your knees. However, due to a higher risk for complications
Trusted Source, your surgeon may not recommend this type of thigh lift.
Lift with liposuction
In some cases, the thigh area may have poor skin elasticity. Your surgeon may recommend liposuction in addition to thigh lift surgery to help remove excess fat cells and prevent sagging skin.
Thigh Lift recovery
Before you go home from your operation, your surgeon will place dressings against the incisions to help ease swelling. They may also insert a tube to help drain excess blood and fluids from the area. You’ll need to make a follow-up appointment to have your surgeon remove these items.
Like other cosmetic surgeries, thigh lifts are considered major procedures and you’ll need to take time off work to recover.
You’ll likely experience pain, bruising, and swelling for a few days after the procedure. You should notice more contour to your thighs right away, but you won’t see full results for several months.
Any worsening pain or the onset of bleeding through sutures or dressings should be addressed with your doctor right away. You should also see your doctor if you experience:
- wound separation
Thigh Lift results
In general, you’ll need several weeks to recover from thigh lift surgery, so you should plan your work schedule accordingly. You’ll also need to refrain from any heavy lifting and strenuous exercises for at least 6 weeks after your procedure.
You’ll want to elevate your legs as much as possible during this time, and you may be able to go outside after a few days. It’s normal for the ankles to swell as you gradually move around more.
Once healed, there may be scars from where your surgeon made incisions to remove excess skin around your thighs. However, when done by an experienced surgeon, the scars shouldn’t be very noticeable to others, especially if they’re placed in inconspicuous areas.