Loss of muscle mass, sagging skin, and various genetic factors can all affect the appearance and contours of your thighs. Once the skin begins to lose elasticity, it can be challenging to regain the firm and tight skin you used to have, even with diet and exercise. Thigh Lift surgery helps remove excess skin and fat, giving you a firmer, more youthful body. Liposuction can remove minor fat excesses, but if there’s excess skin, our physicians may recommend a Thigh Lift which can reshape the thighs by reducing excess skin and fat. Our Plastic Surgeons can perform a thigh lift in Washington, DC, to slim the legs while tightening the excess skin. If you think a thigh lift may be the right surgery for you, call Peel Haus today to schedule your consultation with one of our physicians.
Ideal Candidate for a Thigh Lift
In general, candidates for a thigh lift are:
Suppose diet and exercise have not gotten rid of stubborn pockets of fat around the thighs, and a patient’s weight is stable. In that case, the patient might be a good candidate for one or both of these procedures. If the skin around the thighs is youthful and has some elasticity to it, then liposuction may be the best option. On the other hand, if the skin around the thighs has lost elasticity or is stretched, then a thigh lift is probably a better option. Sometimes it is best to have both procedures (usually liposuction followed by a lift a few months later). However, the only way to know which procedure will best help you meet your goals is to consult with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that can slim and contour specific body areas by removing excess localized fat deposits. In experienced hands, liposuction is an effective way to reshape the thighs and help keep fat from returning to the treated area. During thigh liposuction, a cannula is inserted into a small incision at the treatment area. The surgeon uses the tube to loosen fat deposits and then suck the fat out of the area. After the procedure, the incisions are closed with sutures. An experienced plastic surgeon will remove just the right amount of fat for an attractive and natural look.
Also known as a medial thigh lift, the inner thigh lift begins with an incision at the junction where the thigh meets the pubic area. The incision gives your surgeon access to the underlying tissues while making the incision as discreetly as possible. A wedge of skin is removed, along with unnecessary fat (some fat needs to stay), and the remaining skin is pulled upward.
Depending on your individual needs, your surgeon may determine that you qualify for a mini thigh lift or crescent thigh lift. A mini thigh lift is a procedure used to reduce sagging in the upper part of the inner thigh. Instead of tightening the entire thigh, only the small portion of the upper third of the thigh is addressed. This procedure is used for patients who don’t have a particularly large amount of excess fat or skin but just want to trim the area down. This procedure only involves an incision in your groin area.
Outer Thigh Lift
Sometimes referred to as a bilateral thigh lift, the outer lift has the goal of tightening the skin on the front and outside portions of the thighs. For the outer lift, your surgeon makes the incision at the top of the leg near the hipbone, creating a “V” shape. This incision is intentionally made to hide beneath the panty line. The incision may wrap around your hip or buttocks area, depending on your needs. Your surgeon will first trim the excess skin, then pull and attach the remaining skin to the same area. An outer lift can remove larger amounts of tissue, and it can lift your buttocks along with your thighs.
Thigh Lift surgery ——also known as Thighplasty — is a surgical procedure designed to reshape and contour the upper thigh by removing excess skin and tissue. It involves making incisions so our plastic surgeon can reduce excess skin and fat. There are various incision options for thigh lift procedures. One of our plastic surgeons will discuss your options and what she feels will work best for your particular situation during your consultation.
In all cases, skin and/or fat is removed; underlying tissue is reshaped and tightened with support sutures, and the remaining skin is lifted and smoothed and sutured into place at the incision site. Drains may be placed to keep fluid from building up; if so, they are removed after a few days. Surgery typically takes 2 to 3 hours. Post-surgery, a compression garment is worn to minimize swelling and promote healing.
Incision length and pattern during thigh lift surgery depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as the best judgment of your plastic surgeon. Incisions are generally placed on the inside or back of the thigh, depending on the surgeon’s preference. Excess fat may be directly excised or treated with liposuction.
Depending on your specific condition, incisions may be more limited. Then, underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your thigh. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be strategically placed where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits. Your plastic surgeon will advise you on what technique will help you reach your desired outcome.
Once the excess skin and fat have been removed, your incisions will be closed either with absorbable sutures or stitches that will be removed within one to two weeks following your arm lift. The smoother, tighter contouring that results from an arm lift is apparent almost immediately, although initially obscured by swelling and bruising.
Thigh Lift Surgery Risks
Thigh lift surgery is a safe procedure, but it is complex. As with any surgery, there are risks of infection, poor wound healing, accumulation of fluids, and skin loss. With thigh lifts, other possible side effects can be asymmetry of your legs and numbness or changes in skin sensation in the surgery areas. In some cases, tissue sagging will not be fully alleviated, or patient expectations may merit a secondary office procedure to fine-tune the contour of your thighs. Revision surgery may be necessary to correct these types of problems.
Some complications that may occur are:
Incision locations are based on the area or areas to be treated, degree of correction, and patient and surgeon preference. One technique used for a thigh lift places incisions in the groin, extending downward and wrapping around the back of the thigh. Another technique removes excess skin from the groin down to the knee using an incision along the inseam. Depending on your situation, you may be able to have a minimal incision inner thigh lift that involves an incision only in the groin area. Improving the contours of the outer thigh may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip and across the back.
Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be strategically placed where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits. One of our plastic surgeons will advise you as to what technique will help you reach your desired outcome.
Once the excess skin and fat have been removed, deep sutures will be placed within underlying tissues to form and support the newly shaped contours. Sutures, skin adhesive tapes, or clips may close the skin incisions. The smoother, tighter contouring that results from a thigh lift is apparent almost immediately, although initially obscured by swelling and bruising.
After thigh lift surgery, you will be taken to post-op, where you will come out of anesthesia and be on pain medication. Depending on your situation, you may be kept overnight at the hospital or may be able to go home. You will need someone to drive you home afterward and stay with you for at least 24 hours. You will be able to shower the day after your surgery.
Your plastic surgeon will send you home with detailed instructions for changing bandages, cleaning incision sites, showering, and other post-op activities. She will see you in her office one week after your surgery. At that time, she would remove drains if they were placed.
Your board-certified plastic surgeon will give you a prescription for pain medicine preoperatively. You will be on narcotic pain medicine for around 2 to 3 days following the surgery. Tylenol is used to transition off narcotics, and then NSAIDs (Motrin, Advil) can be used after the first two weeks. You will be able to drive once you have stopped taking narcotics.
It’s essential to line up help for at least two or three days once you’re home following surgery, as your thighs will be sore. You will be prescribed pain medications and have somewhat limited mobility. Having someone to help around the house during the initial period after surgery can make a recovery significantly easier. Plan to take a week off of work and other responsibilities after your surgery. You will need this time to rest and recover. You will need to rest and will be given instructions to move about to help prevent any blood clots.
Expect soreness, tenderness, and sensitivity during recovery, especially during the first six weeks post-op. It is still essential to wear breast garments and to ensure the incision sites are kept clean to prevent infection. This should be worn both night and day for an additional two weeks. After four weeks from your surgery date, you may stop wearing a bra at night, although some women continue to wear one at night. Wear a supportive, non-underwire bra for two more months before returning to underwire bras.
For the first six weeks, you will not be able to exercise or do any heavy lifting and should sleep on your back or side during this time. If you have young children, you will want to enlist help to assist with childcare, as picking up children (or heavy objects) for the first six weeks is strongly advised against. However, driving, cooking, or shopping is often manageable after a week or two. Some patients opt to take a few weeks off work for recovery. If you have a physically demanding job, it’s crucial to take plenty of time off, so you don’t jeopardize your recovery. Of course, you will also want to avoid exercise for the same reasons.
Initially, your legs will have more of a contour, but they will also be swollen and bruised and in compression garments. You will need some patience here, as the tissue repositioning can cause some enduring swelling. Some patients may take up to a full year for their thighs to fully recover. But when the swelling has passed, and your scars have started to fade, you’ll notice slimmer, younger-looking thighs with great contour!
This thigh lift timeline can help you make an informed decision about when to have surgery. All of these factors should be taken into consideration when making your surgery plans, and it can be helpful to think about what works best for you, as well as for anyone who will be helping you during the healing process. This can help you plan the ideal time for your thigh lift and recovery.
There are many important factors to consider when scheduling thigh lift surgery:
If you are bothered by excess fat and loose skin on your thighs, a thigh lift may be an excellent option. It’s important to ensure that you’re a good candidate for this surgery and have realistic goals. Take the first step by reaching out to Peel Haus today to schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons.
A $50 deposit is required to secure all appointments. This deposit will be used towards your treatment.
As a courtesy to others, please arrive for your appointment 15 minutes early. Because we’re on a strict schedule, patients more than 15 minutes late may need to be rescheduled.
We understand that scheduling conflicts may arise. Please be courteous and reschedule or cancel for a full refund at least 24 hours prior to your appointment date. Any cancellations made after this period is subject to a penalty of your $50 deposit.
All balances of payments must be made in full at the time of your treatment. If payments are not made, an additional $50 will be charged to your bill weekly and your account may go to collections.
Meet with one of our practitioners to learn more about which treatments will work well for you.