Frequently Asked Questions About a Thigh Lift
What is a thigh lift?
Is it right for me?
Candidates for a Thigh Lift are:
- People whose weight is relatively stable
- Individuals with excess soft tissue along the inner or medial thigh region and/or the outer thigh
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase the risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what thigh lift surgery can accomplish
- Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and fitness
What it won’t do: Thigh lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where the skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and thigh lift techniques may be recommended.
What to expect during your consultation
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome
- The options available in thigh lift surgery
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
- Previous surgeries
Dr. Rocheford may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine and measure your body, including detailed measurements
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of thigh lift surgery and any risks or potential complications
Preparing for surgery
When preparing for a thigh lift, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the day of surgery
- The use of anesthesia during your thigh lift
- Post-operative care and follow-up
You’ll need help
If your thigh lift procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Dr. Rocheford will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Incision patterns vary based on the area or areas to be treated, degree of correction and patient and surgeon preference. One common technique used for a thigh lift places incisions in the groin, extending downward wrapping around the back of the thigh. The underlying tissue matrix will be reshaped and tightened, and skin will be reduced and re-draped resulting in more proportionate and smoother body contours. You may qualify for a minimal incision medial thigh lift which involves an incision only in the groin area. Dr. Rocheford will determine what’s appropriate.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Deep support sutures within underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours. Sutures close the skin incisions.
Step 4 – See the results
The smoother tighter contouring that results from a thigh lift is apparent almost immediately, although initially obscured by some swelling and bruising. You may be required to wear a compression garment for several weeks following your procedure to minimize swelling and support the tissues as they heal. Following a thigh lift, skin quality is dramatically improved both in appearance and feel.
Important facts about the safety and risks of thigh lift surgery
Possible risks of thigh lift surgery include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Fluid accumulation
- Poor wound healing
- Skin loss
- Blood clots
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Anesthesia risks
- Skin discoloration and/or swelling
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Major wound separation
- Pain, which may persist
- Unsatisfactory results such as highly visible surgical scar location, unacceptable visible deformities, bunching and rippling in the skin near the suture lines or at the ends of the incisions
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- The recurrent looseness of skin
- Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that requires removal
- The possibility of revision surgery
When you go home
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself. Be sure to ask questions: It’s very important to ask Dr. Rocheford questions about your thigh lift procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with her or her staff.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
- When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
The results will be long-lasting
Questions to ask Dr. Rocheford
Use this checklist as a guide during your consultation:
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery?
- How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure?
- If so, at which hospitals?
- Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- What surgical technique is recommended for me?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- How are complications handled?
- How can I expect my thighs to look over time?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my thigh lift?
- Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?