Thigh Lift Surgery
The inner or outer thighs can sometimes hang excessively and have a lot of loose skin and cellulite. This can occur after massive weight loss, such as after bariatric surgery or with aging, or even after poorly performed excessive liposuction. In these cases, liposuction alone will make the skin hang more, making the thighs look worse. When this occurs, thigh lift surgery is a better procedure because the excess skin is removed during thigh lift surgery.*
How Inner Thigh Lift Surgery Is Performed
A thigh lift involves different incisions depending on whether the inner or outer thigh is lifted. An inner thigh lift is performed by an incision in the natural crease at the top of the thigh near the genital and buttock area. The incisions run along the pubic area next to the labia, underneath, and back towards the crease under the buttocks. An incision is made in this crease, and then the skin of the upper thigh is undermined, pulled upward, and the excess skin is excised. In addition to cutting out the extra skin and pulling upward, liposuction is almost always a part of inner thigh lift surgery. Usually, a small surgical drain is placed on each side. The drains are usually removed after a week. Inner thigh lift surgery improves the appearance of the inner thigh, but it does not improve the appearance of the outer thigh. If a patient desires an improvement in the outer thigh area, they will need either outer thigh liposuction and/or an outer thigh lift.
How Outer Thigh Lift Surgery Is Performed
Often, the outer thighs can be significantly improved with liposuction surgery alone (see the liposuction section of this website.) However, when the outer thigh skin is extremely saggy or has a lot of cellulite, outer thigh lift surgery may be a better option.
If the outer thigh is lifted, the incision is over the hip area. An outer thigh lift is frequently combined with tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty surgery), and the tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) incision is simply extended over the outer thigh area. The outer thigh lift is performed by first liposuctioning the outer thigh area. After liposuction, a large amount of skin and fat is cut out in an elliptical shape. The two edges are pulled together, which lifts the thigh. The incisions are then closed. This effectively thins the thigh, removes extra skin and fat, and lifts the thigh. Usually, we place a small drain on each side. The recovery after an outer thigh lift is usually quicker than after an inner thigh lift.
Recovery And Risks After Thigh Lift Surgery
The long incisions are the main disadvantage of thigh lift surgery in Las Vegas. Fortunately, the incisions will usually fade to almost invisible, which may take up to two years. If the patient is only having thigh lift surgery, they may go home the evening of the surgery. Usually, a patient may return to work after two weeks, but sometimes three weeks are needed before returning to work. No exercise or heavy lifting should be done for at least 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. After thigh lift surgery, the patient must walk to prevent blood clots.
All the general risks of surgery and anesthesia exist with thigh lift surgery. The most common risk after an inner thigh lift is dehiscence which can occur as often as 10% to 15% of the time. Dehiscence means a small separation along the incision line, which most commonly occurs in the crease near the labia in the innermost portion of the thigh. This will usually heal with minor wound care, such as applying antibiotic ointment and washing the area 2 or 3 times a day. However, the healing is slow and can take as long as a month to heal.
If you have questions regarding whether a thigh lift may be the right procedure for you, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Lane Smith at (702) 838-2455. Dr. Lane Smith has performed many of these procedures. An appointment can also be made by filling out the appointment request form.