Thigh lifts are reshaping cosmetic surgeries that are used to remove extra loose or sagging skin from the inner thighs, as well as the outer sides of the thighs. For people who have had massive weight loss in a relatively short period of time, such as after gastric weight-loss surgery, the weight stops being an issue. However because their body underwent a radical change, a lot of excess skin is left behind. This skin hangs down in loose folds ruining their silhouette as well as impacting their self-esteem and body image, and they may feel self-conscious about wearing form fitting clothes or swimwear, shorts, etc., despite the significant weight loss. For older people, natural loss of skin elasticity is also a factor. This is why thigh lifts come as a blessing for so many people.

While some people opt only for thigh lifts, others choose to get an entire lower body sculpting package with both tummy tucks and thigh lifts. Again, for people who have dropped massive amounts of weight, these procedures are almost necessary because the body cannot simply ‘reabsorb’ the excess skin.  If the sagging skin around your thighs is preventing you from moving properly or is causing skin irritation or infections, you may be able to demonstrate a medical need for this surgery, in which case your insurance may cover a part or all of your expenses. Thigh lifts help in giving people a chance at appearing proportionate again, and not having to disguise their shape. Not only does this improve physical appearance, but it can also improve self-esteem and self-confidence as well.  As a word of caution, If you have not yet reached your weight loss goals, losing further weight could cause your thigh tissue to droop again. In addition, gaining significant weight after your procedure can also interfere with your results.

Inner-Medial Thigh Lift:

An inner thigh lift, once the patient has been transferred to the operation theater and anesthetized, will proceed in this way:  the surgeon will make an incision along the inner (medial) aspect of the thigh in the groin area. The extra folds of skin are incised and removed, along with any excess loose fatty tissue. Sometimes liposuction may also be included. Depending upon the extent of loose skin and excess fat, the incision may be extended vertically down towards the knee, and the entire structure is re-sculpted for a smooth, even contour.

Outer-Lateral Thigh Lift:

In an outer thigh lift, the buttocks are also involved. Not only are the outer (lateral) margins of the thigh reshaped following the same procedure, but the buttocks are also ‘lifted’ to match the tone of the newly lifted thighs. However, outer thigh lifts are more complex and take longer for recovery as the skin is tougher and less elastic in this region, and more prone to scarring if good care is not taken.  Scarring is more extensive, and the skin will be less elastic after the surgery, so it is important that weight be maintained. The surgeon will attempt to place the incisions where the scars can be hidden by clothing, but the incisions will be more extensive than for a medial thigh lift.

Recovery:

The length of the surgery and your hospital stay varies based on which type of thigh lift is chosen and if it is done with liposuction or as part of a lower body lift.  After the surgery is complete, usually the patient may either go home (out-patient surgery) or spend one night in the hospital. Even after discharge from the hospital, certain precautions are to be taken to promotes healing.  Heavy exercise or strenuous exertion is to be avoided, as well as rapid movements, to avoid stretching the skin any more than necessary. Strained wounds have a longer healing time and may cause wider scars.  Sometimes a compression garment may need to be worn to help with optimum blood circulation, usually only for a few days.  The recovery is complete within 5-6 weeks, but that is if these requirements are followed. Any discharge or pus from the incised region should be reported immediately to head off surgical site infections.

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