Thigh lift surgery can be performed to improve the loose skin and overall contour of the inner or outer thighs, or both. The incision depends on the type of patient’s features, including the amount and location of fatty tissue to be removed.
The outer thighs are commonly lifted as part of a procedure called a lower body lift that involves an incision around the entire circumference of the trunk, at the level of the pelvic bones. The procedure is often combined with liposuction of the lateral thighs, plus a technique to help mobilize the skin so the excess can be removed.
There are two common surgical incisions used for inner thigh lift surgery:
- Horizontal incision hidden in the groin crease: This technique can be effective in cases where there is only modest skin laxity. It can be combined with liposuction to improve the overall contour of the inner thighs as well as tighten the skin.
- Longitudinal incision along the inner thigh: This technique is effective in cases in which there is a substantial amount of skin to be excised. Although the resulting scar is more visible than with the horizontal incision technique, generally the degree of contour improvement is greater.
The assessment includes determining the location and degree of skin laxity, and whether there is cellulite (lipodystrophy). The thickness of the fatty layer is measured, and liposuction might be considered to debulk the fat. The blood supply, sensation, and strength of the lower exterminates are noted. If significant varicose veins are present, these should be treated prior to considering thigh lift surgery. The person’s overall health is noted, particularly conditions that might affect wound healing, such as diabetes, vascular disease, or smoking.
Dr. Andrade also recommends all patients undergo a full general physical examination by their family doctor prior to considering surgery. Occasionally preoperative bloodwork and possibly other tests are ordered, although this is not usually necessary for healthy patients undergoing elective surgery.
Day of Surgery:
Depending on the person’s health, their preferences and the amount of surgery required, thigh lift surgery is either performed at Southlake Hospital in Newmarket, or at Dr. Andrade’s private cosmetic surgical facility. Prior to surgery, with the patient awake and in a standing position, Dr. Andrade discusses the location of the incisions on the thighs. The operation takes several hours and it can either be done with an overnight stay, or on an outpatient basis.
Drains are not always required but if they are used, they are generally removed within a few days. Showering is permitted after 48 hours, or after all drains have been removed for at least 24 hours. Dissolving sutures are used. The wounds from thigh lift surgery are more prone to infection, delayed healing, chronic swelling and other problems. This is due to their location near the groin which is moist and has more bacteria than other regions of the body, and also due to the fact that the incisoins rub together whenever the person walks. It is not uncommon for patients to report discomfort and irritation along the incisions for many weeks after the operation. People should plan for 4-6 weeks of minimal lowe body exercise after this procedure, although walking around he house to do activities of daily living is acceptable.
The majority of patients are satisfied with he contour improvement achieved with thigh lift surgery. However, the scars associated with this operation tend to widen over time, and they may not be located in exactly the same position on each thigh. Asymmetry can result, and revisionary procedures may be required. Thigh lift surgery performed with the more discrete horizontal scar has an increased risk of affecting the shape of the genital area (labia major and minora). Damage to nerves and blood vessels in the lower extremities can occur, or the lymphatic vessels that drain excess fluid from the legs can be injured, resulting in permanent swelling called lymphedema. As with any surgical procedure, significant bleeding, infection, or major life-threatening complications can develop. It is important to discuss these issues in detail with your surgeon to understand any unique risks, surgical limitations, and anticipated results. This information is intended to complement the advice of a plastic surgeon obtained during a proper consultation, and it is by no means exhaustive or complete.
STATE-OF-THE-ART SURGICAL FACILITY
"Yorkville of the North"™
Conveniently located off highway 404 in Newmarket Ontario, The York Plastic Surgery Centre is a cosmetic surgical facility that meets the highest standards of safety, technology and patient care. Dr. Andrade is a trusted member of the healthcare community. Also, all of the medical staff that work at the facility include board certified anaesthesiologists and fully credentialed OR nurses.
Operations performed at the facility are done on an out-patient basis with in home nursing care as needed. Patients requiring more complex surgeries stay overnight at the hospital.
The entire staff at The York Plastic Surgery Centre work hard to make every patient feel welcome, comfortable and well informed.
Disclaimer: Images and videos on this page are models. See Dr. Andrade's photo gallery for hundreds of actual patient outcomes. It is not possible to guarantee a specific result because outcomes vary from patient to patient.