As we age, have weight fluctuations, or massive weight loss, the skin on our thighs can become loose and hanging despite regular exercise and a healthy diet. A thigh lift or thighplasty removes unwanted excess skin and tissue to improve the shape and contour of the thigh. Patients can feel more confident in form-fitting pants and less discomfort while exercising.
Dr. Kimberly Carpin is an American Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is specially trained in plastic surgery, aesthetic surgery, and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Carpin is committed to helping her patients find their confidence by addressing their cosmetic concerns. Call (281) 333-4600 today to request a consultation in our Webster, TX office.
Are there different types of thigh lift surgical techniques?
Depending upon where you are having the loose, sagging skin, Dr. Carpin will adjust her surgical technique to fit your unique needs. There are two basic approaches for thigh lifts that we’ll describe, but your surgery will be tailored to you.
Sometimes referred to as a medial thigh lift, the inner thigh lift is done with an incision at the junction where the thigh meets the pubic area. This gives Dr. Carpin access to the underlying tissues while making the incision as discreet as possible. A wedge of skin is removed, along with unnecessary fat (some fat needs to stay), and the remaining skin is pulled upward.
Sometimes referred to as a bilateral thigh lift, the outer lift has the goal of tightening the skin on the front and outside portions of the thighs. For the outer lift, Dr. Carpin makes the incision at the top of the leg near the hipbone, creating a “V” shape. This incision can be hidden beneath the panty line. The incision may wrap around to your hip or buttocks area, depending on your needs. Excess skin is trimmed, and the remaining skin pulled up and attached to the same area. An outer lift can remove larger amounts of tissue, and it can lift your buttocks along with your thighs.
If we are combining a tummy tuck with an outer thigh lift, the incision will simply be an extension of the horizontal tummy tuck incision, wrapping around your hips.
Who is a good candidate for a thigh lift?
The thigh lift procedure is ideal for patients who are in good general health but have excess skin and tissue within the thigh area as a result of the natural aging process, pregnancy or significant weight loss. A thigh lift should not be considered an easy weight loss solution. This procedure is most effective on patients who are close to their ideal weight but unhappy with the appearance of their thighs. It is important for patients to maintain realistic expectations in order to be satisfied with the results of their thigh lift procedure. To find out if you are a good candidate for a thigh lift, call (281) 333-4600 today to request a consultation.
How does the thigh lift procedure work?
A thigh lift procedure is performed in the operating room under general anesthesia or heavy sedation. The procedure length ranges from 2 to 4 hours. The incision used is dependent on the amount of skin laxity. Mild laxity can be treated with an incision inside the thigh crease, along with the panty line. Severe laxity may require a longer incision placed inside the thigh, from the pubic area to above the knee. The excess skin is removed and the thigh is reshaped. Incisions are closed with sutures. Additional liposuction may be beneficial to remove excess fat. A light dressing is applied and a compression garment is placed. Some patients require a small drain placed for a few weeks after surgery. Patients may require an overnight stay at the hospital.
What will my thigh lift recovery entail?
Recovery from a thigh lift generally requires around three weeks. Due to the tissue removal and re-draping, it’s advised to consider bed rest for up to seven days. This helps avoid putting any pressure on your thigh tissue, and speeds recovery. Climbing stairs, squatting, or any strenuous activity of any sort is out of the question. Walking during these first few days should really only be to the bathroom. You’ll definitely need help around the house.
You’ll have bandages and compression garments on your thighs. The compression garments will initially hold your sutured incisions tightly in place. Then as your recovery progresses, they will help your thighs adapt to their new slimmer contours. You’ll wear your compression garments for one full month.
You can’t sit for two weeks, to keep pressure off your sutures. After one week, you’ll be allowed to walk around the house, but driving is out for at least three weeks. After about six weeks you can resume your normal activities. This all can sound quite inconvenient, but Dr. Carpin will stress to you in your consultation the importance of following these instructions to speed your healing and minimize your scarring.
How much does a thigh lift cost?
A thigh lift costs between $6,500 – $7,000. After your consultation with Dr. Carpin, a customized quote will be given.
What are the risks and side effects of thigh lift surgery?
Thigh lift surgery is a safe procedure, but it is involved. As with any surgery, there are risks of infection, poor wound healing, accumulation of fluids, and skin loss. With thigh lifts, other possible side effects can be asymmetry of your legs and numbness or changes in skin sensation in the surgery areas. In some cases, tissue sagging will not be fully alleviated, or patient expectations may merit a secondary office procedure to fine-tune the contour of your thighs. These issues are all quite rare with these procedures. That’s especially true considering Dr. Carpin’s board-certified training, expertise, and experience, which work to deliver the satisfying results you’re seeking to achieve with your thigh lift.
Thigh Lift FAQs
Dr. Carpin works to place these incisions so they can be effectively hidden under panties or a bikini bottom, but there will be scarring. The inner thigh lift scarring is well hidden on the inside of the upper thigh and pubic area. The outer lift is basically an extension of the incision made for a tummy tuck. It can be hidden under a bikini bottom, but there will be a scar.
If you work to not place any stress on your healing incisions, and if you are diligent about keeping all sun exposure off your incisions, you’ll be amazed at how thin and light they become. After your initial recovery, their appearance will continue to decrease.
The pain involved in your recovery isn’t sharp, acute pain. For the first two to three days, you’ll have the most discomfort and your thighs will feel tight. Your pain medication handles this and after day three you’ll notice a real decrease in any pain or discomfort.
With thigh lifts, the “pain” of your recovery is more of a result of the inconvenience of not being able to use your thighs. No sitting. No climbing stairs. Minding your recovery instructions will dramatically improve your healing, but it can be a little tedious. Your end results, however, will make it all worth it.