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Body Contouring Thigh Lift
Thigh Lift in Birmingham, Alabama
Cosmetic Surgery Body Contouring at Hedden Plastic Surgery
If fitness and weight loss efforts have not achieved your goals for a body that is firmer, more youthful-looking and more proportionate to your overall body image, a surgical lift may be right for you.
A Thigh Lift reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin and in some cases excess fat. The result is smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body.
Thigh lifts have grown increasingly popular in recent years for patients who have lost a large amount weight with a gastric bypass or other bariatric procedures. Our board-certified plastic surgeons in Birmingham, Alabama treat many men and women who choose body contouring as an important step in achieving a slimmer profile and a more pleasing body shape.
Thigh Lift Candidates
In general, candidates for a thigh lift are:
- People whose weight is relatively stable.
- People with excess soft tissue along the inner or medial thigh region and/or the outer thigh.
- Healthy people who do not have medical conditions that impair healing or increase surgical risks.
- People with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what a thigh lift can accomplish.
- Non-smokers committed to leading a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and fitness.
Thigh lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to the new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and thigh lift techniques may be recommended. A thigh lift may also be performed in combination with other body lifts.
Your Thigh Lift Consultation
By choosing a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) for your thigh lift procedure, you can be assured that you are choosing a highly-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon. ASPS Member Surgeons must meet rigorous standards for training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery.
The success and safety of your procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your thigh lift consultation. Be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals.
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments.
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
- Previous surgeries.
Your thigh lift surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
- Examine and measure your body, including detailed measurements.
- Take photographs for your medical records.
- Discuss your body contouring options and recommend a course of treatment.
- Discuss the likely outcomes of thigh lift surgery and any risks or potential complications.
Be sure to ask questions at your consultation. It is very important to understand all aspects of your thigh lift. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether preoperative stress or excitement about your anticipated new look. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
Thigh Lift Risks and Safety Information
The decision to have thigh lift surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits of a thigh lift will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
The risks of a thigh lift include:
- Anesthesia risks.
- Poor wound healing.
- Bleeding Infection.
- Fluid accumulation.
- Major wound separation.
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications.
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis).
- Persistent pain.
- Skin discoloration and/or swelling.
- Skin loss.
- Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal.
- Unfavorable scarring.
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation.
- Recurrent looseness of skin.
- Possibility of revisional surgery.
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.
Preparing for Thigh Lift Surgery
In preparing for thigh lift surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, as they can increase bleeding.
Your thigh lift may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, licensed ambulatory surgical center or hospital. If your thigh lift is performed as an outpatient procedure, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first night.
Thigh Lift Procedure
Anesthesia options for thigh lift surgery include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best option for you.
Thigh Lift Incisions
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 and wrapping around the back of the thigh. The underlying tissue matrix is then reshaped and tightened. The skin is reduced and re-draped, resulting in more proportionate and smoother body contours.
You may qualify for a minimal incision medial thigh lift that involves an incision in the groin area only. Your surgeon will determine what's appropriate.
Medial thigh lift incision:
Improving the contours of the outer thigh may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip.
Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits. However, incisions may be extensive.
Outer thigh lift incision:
Deep support sutures within underlying tissues help to form the newly-shaped contours. The skin incisions are closed with sutures.
Thigh Lift Recovery
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself. Following your physician's instructions is key to the success of your surgery and recovery. These instructions may include:
- How to care for the surgical site and drains.
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection.
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
- When to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
During your thigh lift recovery, dressing or bandages may be applied to your incisions and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or compression garment to minimize swelling and support your new contours as you heal. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluids or blood that may collect.
It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing.
If you experience any shortness of breath, chest pains or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what to expect during your recovery period:
- 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, and when will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed, and when?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Thigh Lift Results
The smoother, tighter contouring that results from a thigh lift is apparent almost immediately. However, the initial results are obscured by swelling and bruising. It may take several months for the final results to fully develop, dramatically improving your skin quality in both appearance and feel.
Some visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long-lasting provided you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. It's natural to lose some firmness as your body ages, but most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent.
Although good results are expected from your thigh lift, there is no guarantee. In some situations it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Thigh Lift Words to Know
- General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
- Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
- Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection to help you relax.
- Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, a procedure which vacuums out fat from beneath the skin's surface to reduce fullness.
- Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision to relieve pain during an operation.
- Medial thigh lift: A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the inner thigh.
- Outer thigh lift: A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the outer and mid-thigh.
- Sutures: Stitches used to hold skin and tissue together.
Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons
To find out more about contouring your body with a Thigh Lift, please contact the Birmingham, Alabama plastic surgeons at Hedden Plastic Surgery today.