Thigh lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to lift and smooth sagging skin of the outer and inner thigh. The decision to investigate a thigh lift is often prompted by discomfort from the inner thighs rubbing together because of loose, lax skin after weight loss. The effect of aging changes can also leave the inner and outer thighs with poor contour and dimpled, loose skin. Even when an exercise regime is effective at toning the muscles of the thighs and reducing the underlying fat, the skin is not very forgiving when it is stretched or simply ages. The outer thigh is usually addressed with a procedure requiring a lower body lift, extended abdominoplasty and/or liposuction. The anticipated surgical result of thigh lift is decreased skin irregularities and tighter, more contoured skin of the thighs.

Procedure Description

Inner thigh lift is performed by Dr. Hand at our accredited Marin County outpatient surgical facility but may also be scheduled at Marin General Hospital depending on the procedure required. This procedure is always done under general anesthesia and is usually completed in 2 to 3 hours. Several different surgical techniques are utilized in inner thigh lift depending on the extent of skin sag and poor contour. Most procedures involve a crescent shaped incision that extends from the front of the groin, around the crease of the inner thigh to the buttock. For patients that have experienced large weight loss, an additional extended procedure may be necessary requiring another incision along the inner aspect of the thigh tapering to the knee. This technique allows Dr. Hand to remove a much larger amount of the inner thigh skin and fat, significantly reducing the girth of the thigh and allowing for a more toned appearance. Liposuction is often used in both procedures to sculpt the fat of the thigh region.

Recuperation and Healing

Immediately after the procedure, dressings and a compressive garment are applied and are to remain undisturbed until the 1st postoperative visit the following day. Small amounts of slow, indoor walking are encouraged on the 1st postoperative day with special care taken to not disrupt incision sites. With a smaller thigh lift, a return to work may be possible in 7 to 10 days and exercise may be resumed in 4 to 6 weeks. A larger procedure usually requires assistance at home for at least a week or several days of rest in an aftercare facility. Modified work may be resumed in 3 to 4 weeks and exercise in 6 weeks. Oral medications will be prescribed for pain management.

Bruising and swelling usually subside within 4 weeks. The initial scars may readily visible for up to a year. The compression garment should be worn almost continuously for 3 weeks to control swelling and to support the recontoured thighs.

Other Options

As with other body lift procedures, many options and combinations of body rejuvenation techniques are possible including liposuction of the trunk, outer thighs, buttock and back, lower body lift, abdominoplasty and breast rejuvenation with breast lift, breast augmentation or breast reduction. During consultation, Dr. Hand will evaluate all options that can be performed or combined and a surgical plan will be defined.