Tucson Thigh Lift Surgery Information, Benefits and Risks

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What is a thigh lift?

A thigh lift is a surgical procedure that physically removes excess skin of the inner and/or outer thighs.

When is a thigh lift used?

A thigh lift is best for people who are young, healthy and within their normal weight range. This surgery is good for people who have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin on their inner or outer thighs that needs to be removed.

What is involved at a consultation for a thigh lift?

When you come in for your initial consultation, you will meet with Dr. Maloney and Lindsay, the clinical coordinator. Dr. Maloney will determine if you are a good candidate for this surgery. He will discuss details of the surgery, show you before and after photos and answer any questions you may have. Lindsay will review surgical fees and financing options with you.

If you choose to have surgery, you will return for another consultation about 2 weeks prior to your scheduled surgery. At this appointment, Dr. Maloney will review the surgical plan with you, go through consent forms, take pre-operative photographs and give you your prescriptions. Lindsay will go over surgical instructions and give you a packet of information so when you leave the appointment, you will have everything you need for surgery.

How do I prepare for a thigh lift?

After meeting with Dr. Maloney and choosing a surgical date for your thigh lift, plan for your care and recovery after surgery. You will need to arrange a ride to and from the surgery center or office the day of surgery. Arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after you go home. Plan to take 1 to 3 weeks off work after surgery, depending on the type of work you do (speak to Lindsay, the Clinical Coordinator, for additional information). If your employer requires paperwork for time off, please obtain it ahead of time and bring it to our office.

If you smoke, you must quit a minimum of 2 weeks before surgery. We suggest 6 to 8 weeks, but 2 weeks is the minimum. Smokers heal slower and can have wound healing problems.

If you take aspirin or other medication that may cause bleeding, stop taking them 3 weeks before surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding. If you are taking any diet pills (prescription or over-the-counter) or Metformin (a common diabetes medication), stop 1 week prior to surgery to avoid anesthesia risks. All medications, herbs, vitamins and dietary supplements you take should be carefully reviewed with Dr. Maloney prior to surgery. If you are under the care of a physician for any health issues, we may require surgical clearance from your physician and/or cardiologist.

At your pre-operative consultation with Dr. Maloney you will be given a map to the surgery center and your prescriptions. Get your prescriptions filled before surgery so they are at home when you need them. You should find a few old towels to put on your bed, the couch and in your friend’s car on the way home from surgery. You may ooze fluid after surgery through your small incisions especially if you are having liposuction at the same time. This is normal. Pick up some bags of frozen peas or corn to use as icepacks after your procedure. You need to stay hydrated, so have plenty of water or sports drinks at home. You should mix sports drinks and water 50/50. Begin taking a stool softener as narcotic pain medication and anesthesia can make you constipated.

The morning of surgery, you may not have anything to eat or drink after midnight, including water. Take a shower using an antimicrobial soap. Do not wear any lotions, deodorant or make-up on the day of surgery. Do not wear any jewelry to the surgery center.

Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to put on and take off. Loose fitting shirts that button up the front and workout pants or sweat pants tend to work best. Bring your photo ID to check in to the surgery center. You will be taken back to the preoperating area where Dr. Maloney will come and discuss the surgical plan, answer any additional questions you have and mark the surgical site. You will also meet the anesthesiologist and may ask him/her any questions you have.

How is a thigh lift performed?

The inner thigh lift takes about 2 to 3 hours and the outer thigh lift takes about 2 hours. The anesthesiologist will put you to sleep for this surgical procedure to ensure your safety and comfort. For the inner thigh lift, Dr. Maloney will make an incision in the crease of the leg in your groin area, as well as a vertical incision that extends from your groin to roughly half way down your inner thigh. This allows him to pull the skin in both the horizontal and vertical direction. For an outer thigh lift, an incision is made from roughly the hipbone to the back. In both surgeries, the skin and extra tissue are removed and the incision is closed with both dissolvable and nondissolvable sutures. A compression garment will be put in place. You will wake up in the recovery room and be ready to go home in about an hour.

What should I expect after a thigh lift?

You will wear a compression garment over the surgical area to minimize swelling, bruising and hold your dressings in place. You may ooze some fluid from the incisions, but this is normal. Rest and eat a healthy, high-protein diet to help speed up recovery. You should also avoid alcohol and refrain from smoking. All surgeons recommend early and frequent ambulation after surgery to reduce the risk of blood clot formation in the legs and to speed up recovery. You may be stiff and sore when you first get up and walk around, but the more active you are, the better you will feel. It is not uncommon with inner thigh lift surgery for you to have slow wound healing where the vertical incision meets the horizontal incision in the groin. You will need to wear the compression garment to hold some dressing in place in this area. Biking shorts or Spanx also work quite well. Occasionally, some of the sutures may break and the incision can open slightly. If this happens, call our office; additional sutures may need to be placed in the problem area. This is a common occurence so don’t panic and go to the emergency room. This is something we can easily handle in the office. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to recover from this surgery, so be patient during the recovery process. You may remove your dressings and shower 1 to 3 days after surgery depending on what our office staff advises. You will return to the office for your first postoperative exam 1 to 3 days after surgery. A low-grade fever is not uncommon after any operation. If you have any questions during the recovery phase, please call our office any time, day or night.

What are the benefits of a thigh lift?

After the procedure, excess skin will be removed from the inner and outer thighs.

What are the risks of a thigh lift?

A thigh lift has both aesthetic and health risks, and it is your personal decision whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Common risks include scarring (these scars can be thicker scars), bleeding, slow wound healing, infection, asymmetry, excessive firmness, need for additional surgery or changes in skin sensation. There are also more uncommon, complicated risks, such as deep-vein thrombosis. For a full list of risks, go to plasticsurgery.org.