A thigh lift is a procedure that reshapes the thighs by removing excess skin, and in some cases excess fat, resulting in a more aesthetic and contoured shape of the thighs and lower body.
Thigh lift surgery is suitable for people who have been left with significant amounts of extra skin, often due to weight loss, pregnancy, or simply due to the natural ageing process. For many reasons this excess skin won’t retract (shrink) back by itself, resulting in many patients feeling disappointed and unhappy with their body image.
Using plastic surgery techniques the excess tissue can be removed and the remaining tissue remodelled, helping to tighten the thighs and create a more toned looking shape. A thigh lift may also alleviate problems caused by the excess thigh tissue, such as rashes and emotional discomfort.
You may be suitable for a thigh lift if you:
Have suitable amounts of excess thigh skin and fat .
Have been weight stable for at least six months.
Are in good medical health.
Are a non-smoker, or able to stop smoking completely one month before hand.
You have realistic expectations.
A thigh lift aims to tighten the skin and improve the contour of the inner thigh. This is done by using both liposuction and tissue excision, resulting in a scar on the inside of the thigh. This scar usually runs along the length of the inside of the thigh, while in some situations only a scar along the groin crease (limited thigh lift) may be needed.
A thigh lift is performed under general anaesthesia (with you asleep) and as an inpatient (staying in hospital overnight). Once the surgery has been performed dressings or bandages are placed on the incisions. Sometimes there are small temporary drain tubes inserted to help collect any excess body fluid and blood.
You will be bruised and swollen for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, and during this time you should avoid performing anything greater than gentle walking .
After this period you will be able gradually increase your level of activity, performing light activities at 2 to 3 weeks, and more strenuous activities after 6 weeks.
It's important to stay active during your recovery as this will dramatically reduce your risk of complications such as deep vein thrombosis.
Thigh lift surgery aims to reshape and tighten the thigh by excising excess skin and fat.
Unfortunately it is impossible to change the shape of an area without operating on it, meaning that there is a scar placed along the inside of your thigh.
Depending on the location of your excess tissue the scar may either be placed near the groin crease, or along the inside of thigh.
Thigh lift surgery is associated with the following risks:
Bleeding, bruising, haematoma: haematoma refers to a collection of blood that needs to be removed in the operating room.
Swelling and lymphedema: the thigh may become swollen in some patients, and sometimes this may take some time to resolve.
Infection: wounds may become infected after the operation, resulting in you requiring antibiotics or further surgery.
Scarring: body contouring surgery relies on swapping extra tissue for scars. The scars may be long but are placed in positions to help hide them. The scars are initially lumpy and bumpy, but will usually settle down and improve over time.
Nerve injury: small branches of nerves that supply the thigh skin may be damaged, resulting in areas of temporary or permanent numbness.
Delayed wound healing, including fat necrosis: diabetics, smokers, and people who have lost large amounts of weight often have reduced healing ability, resulting in a higher risk of delayed wound healing. If this occurs it is usually managed with dressings, with regular review by Dr Colbert.
Further operations: body contouring surgery is often viewed as one or two larger operations, plus some smaller operations to improve scar irregularities or scar puckering.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE): DVT refers to a blood clot in a limb vein, that can break off and travel to your lungs (PE). This can be very serious, but thankfully is not common due to routine practices that take place to help reduce this risk.
Thigh lift surgery is like any other surgical procedures in that it carries risks, and therefore before having any operation you should also seek advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Costs associated with cosmetic plastic surgery can be confusing. To help make things clearer we have listed the the following fees that make up the final cost.
Surgical fee: Medicare will partly pay for some surgical procedures that are itemised by the government, however depending on the nature of your operation there will be some out of pocket expenses. Dr Colbert will discuss these costs with you during your consultation.
Anaesthetic fee: Medicare covers most of the anaesthetic fee, except in the case of some cosmetic operations.
Hospital fee (this includes operation room fee, bed costs, surgical or medication fees, and any other hospital extras): Medicare does not cover this fee. If you have private health insurance then this may be covered by your insurance fund, but you should check with your fund if there is any out of pocket expenses. If you have no private insurance then you will have to pay this fee on discharge from the hospital.