What is a Thigh Lift?
This is a procedure which corrects loose skin and excess fat on the upper inner thighs. This can be a problem arising from weight gain or sudden weight loss or simply age related changes. If there is predominantly excess fat then liposuction on its own can be considered. However, if there is predominantly loose excess skin then an excision of the skin and a tightening procedure is required. In some minor cases the use of VASER liposelection can avoid skin excision and the resulting scars since VASER has an enhanced effect on skin retraction after fat removal. The scar from a thigh lift is of variable length depending on the extent of the problem. In a minithigh lift skin and fat is removed below the groin crease and the skin is lifted leaving a scar in the groin crease where it is relatively well concealed beneath clothing. In a standard thigh lift the scar is longer and runs a variable distance vertically down the inner aspect of the thigh. Mr Chana will carefully examine you and advise you of the most suitable procedure at the time of the consultation.
What happens during the operation?
A thigh lift is carried out under general anaesthesia and takes approximately 1 and a half hours to 2 hours. A one night stay in hospital is necessary.
Before surgery Mr Chana will draw markings on inner thighs which determine the degree of fat removal and skin excision.
During the surgery excess skin is removed from the inner thigh. During a minithigh lift the loose skin is removed and tightened with an upwards pull leaving the scar is in the groin crease. In a standard thigh lift the loose skin is removed vertically and the surgery is designed such that the scar is located along the inner aspect of the thigh so that the scars are relatively hidden. The length of scarring will be discussed prior to surgery. It is quite common to perform some liposuction at the same time as the skin excision to refine the result of the surgery. A supportive garment is applied after the surgery.
What is the recovery?
There is usually only very minimal discomfort after this operation and this is easily relieved by mild analgesic tablets which will be prescribed. Aspirin or aspirin like medication (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory tablets) must not be taken.
After surgery gentle mobilisation is encouraged. There will be some degree of swelling and bruising for up to 2 weeks. A compression garment will need to be worn for 3-6 weeks after the surgery depending on the extent of surgery. Occasionally there will be some puffiness of the lower legs and ankles but this is normal and will settle within 2 to 3 weeks. There may be some minor thickening of the tissues where the surgery has been carried out but this will soften and become smooth over a few months. The scars can often take 12 to 18 months to fully mature.
What are the risks?
Serious complications of thigh lifts are rare. Infection and bleeding are risks of any surgery. Some minor alteration in sensation in the skin can occur but this normally returns to normal with time. Delayed would healing is a risk especially in smokers and therefore it is important to stop smoking prior to surgery. Rarely there may be a small fluid collection under the skin (seroma) even two to three weeks after the surgery which sometimes requires aspiration in the clinic. Mr Chana will provide you with a detailed information leaflet prior to surgery.