A thigh lift helps to contour the inner thighs, removing any extra skin and fatty tissue that has accumulated in the area. In many cases, men and women will undergo this procedure to help get rid of excess skin after they have achieved their weight loss goals. An inner thigh lift is often coupled with liposuction; liposuction removes any lingering fat that remains in the thigh area, while the thigh lift procedure is designed to remove excess, overlying skin.
The Inner Thigh Lift Procedure
The inner thigh lift procedure is performed in several stages:
- Anesthesia is the first step of the surgical process. Anesthesia options include local, general, twilight sedation, or a combination of the three, depending on the patient and the surgeon’s preferences. Most surgeons will generally administer general anesthesia for the thigh lift procedure.
- After anesthesia is administered, the surgeon will begin by making an incision, usually starting in the groin area; the incision may extend down the inner thigh if the patient has a significant amount of excess skin. The incision allows the surgeon to access the skin and tissues of the inner thigh. The skin and tissue are separated from the muscles, and the skin is re-draped and positioned on the thigh so that it does not sag and looks tight and firm against the tissues.
- Once the surgeon has smoothed out the skin, he will excise any excess skin and tissue and close the incisions. Sutures can be used to close the incision and ensure that the incision properly heals.
Inner Thigh Lift Candidates
Surgeons require that candidates for any plastic surgery be relatively physically fit and healthy enough to undergo surgery. Plastic surgeons will be wary of performing this surgery on anyone who is still dieting or on a fitness regimen to lose weight, as further weight loss after this surgery can result in the need for additional surgery. In general, thigh lift candidates should be within the healthy weight range for the patient’s height and body type. In addition, patients must be healthy enough to go under general anesthesia. Finally, the ideal patient will be a non-smoker and understand the limits of an inner thigh lift.
Depending on how extensive the surgery is and how well the patient follows the doctor’s post-surgical instructions, the recovery process should last for about six weeks. The first two weeks are the most difficult, as this is when patients experience higher degrees of discomfort and bruising.
In some cases, the surgeon will insert a drain to get rid of fluids that collect around the surgery site; the drains will need to be monitored and emptied regularly. Patients will return to the surgeon’s office about a week after surgery to have the drains and stitches removed.
For the first six weeks after surgery, patients should wear a compression garment on the thighs and avoid any strenuous exercise. The compression garment will prevent swelling and other complications, and also improve the body contouring results. Avoiding exercise and a rise in blood pressure during this time will reduce inflammation.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.