Procedure – A thigh lift removes excess, sagging skin of the inner thighs and is usually performed after massive weight loss but can also be performed for naturally sagging thigh tissue. Fat alone without skin excess can be treated with liposuction. The outer thighs can be treated by combining liposuction and bodylift procedures.
Surgery and incisions – The operation itself takes about 2 hours, and can be combined with other procedures. Most surgeries are performed in an outpatient or inpatient operating suite, under twilight or general anesthesia. Other procedures can be performed in the office with local anesthetic. Dr. Brown will discuss all options that are right for you during your consultation. Depending on how much skin must be removed incisions can extend all the way down to your inner knee region. The incisions can be kept entirely in the groin crease in some cases.
Preparing for surgery – Tell Dr. Brown about any medical problems you have, and any problems you may have had with surgery in the past. A history of bleeding problems, nausea with surgery and high blood pressure are important to disclose to your surgeon, because these are risk factors for post-surgical bleeding. If you smoke, you will be asked to quit for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to surgery as well as 4 weeks after surgery. You will be told which medications to stop and which to take before surgery. The night before surgery you should shower and wash your armpits with antibacterial soap. If you get sick or have any health issues in the days before surgery, please notify the office at once in case we have to postpone your operation.
Can I go home the day of the surgery? – Thigh lifts can be done safely as an outpatient, and most patients will be able to go home the same day. Some patients may prefer to spend a night or two in the hospital on their own accord if they have young children at home or live alone and do not have any help at home.
After Surgery Care
What kind of swelling can I expect? – You will have drains in place beneath the skin in each leg. These drains will be removed 1-2 weeks after surgery. You will also have wraps around each leg from the toes to your thigh region to help control post-operative swelling. Swelling is a normal signs of the healing process and occurs after any surgery to varying degrees. Swelling peaks at about 48 hours, and then rapidly decreases. By the end of the first few weeks, 50 percent of the swelling is gone. By 6-8 weeks, a majority of the swelling has diminished. By six months, almost all the swelling is gone.
What restrictions are there? – You can not shower until Dr. Brown removes your dressings. You should not take a bath, use a hot-tub, or go swimming for at least two weeks. The first day after surgery is usually spent lying in bed or sitting in a chair. Most patients then begin walking around the house. By the end of the first week, you will probably be ready to leave the house for short trips and light walks. More vigorous walking and mild stretching exercises can be resumed two weeks after surgery. Strenuous activities should not be done until 6 weeks after surgery. Also, you shouldn’t do any heavy lifting (over 10 pounds) during these 6 weeks.
When can I travel? – Traveling after surgery (air travel, long distance car trips, train rides, etc) should not be done before you have had your first postoperative visit. Typically, this occurs 5-7 days after surgery for suture removal. Patients who are at high risk for developing a blood clot should not travel until instructed by their surgeon. Short car trips under 60 minutes can be done before the first visit. A good rule of thumb is when you are off the stronger pain medication and can get up without assistance you are ready to go for a short drive. You should not drive the car yourself, until Dr. Brown gives you clearance for this.
What if I have a problem? – When should I call the office? We always welcome calls from patients. If you have any concerns at any time, please feel free to contact our office. If it is an emergency, the answering service is available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.