A thigh lift, aka thighplasty, consists of the removal of excess skin and fat from either the inner or outer thighs. This body contouring procedure is often performed after substantial weight loss or when dieting and exercise have failed to reduce excess tissue in the thighs. During a thigh lift, Dr. Capek may also utilize liposuction in combination with surgical skin removal to further improve the shape of your thighs. You can enjoy your thigh lift results for years, although individual results will vary depending on lifestyle, weight changed and your rate of aging. Patients throughout the Capital District areas of Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga trust New York Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lucie Capek to perform their thigh lift surgery. Many of our patients also travel from New York City, Vermont, Massachusetts and beyond to receive her skilled and compassionate care.
Am I a Good Candidate?
If you are in general good health and have positive, realistic expectations for your procedure, you are most likely a good candidate. Other common reasons why you may consider a thigh lift include:
- If you want your thighs to have a better, more proportional contour and a firmer look and feel.
- If you have undergone bariatric surgery or massive weight loss.
- If you are distressed about loose, flabby skin on your thighs.
- If you have difficulty fitting into clothing because of heavy thighs.
Before Your Procedure
During your initial consultation with Dr. Capek, you will have a chance to discuss what you wish to achieve with a thigh lift procedure. After reviewing your medical history, physical anatomy, and your desired changes, Dr. Capek will suggest a specific procedure for you that is most likely to achieve your goals. She will also review the alternatives, risks, and benefits of your procedure, and the pre- and post-operative instructions that are critical to follow for optimal results.
Before your surgery, you should quit smoking at least six weeks before, and 6 weeks after your surgery to ensure proper healing. It is also important to avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication since this can increase bleeding. As always, it is necessary to follow Dr. Capek’s pre-operative guidelines to have the best chance of a successful outcome from your surgery.
A thigh lift, or thighplasty, is typically performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. There are several kinds of thigh lifts, including Medial (Inner) and Lateral (outer) thigh lifts.
Medial Thigh Lift
This can be done using 2 main types of incisions. For patients with less loose skin and fat, Dr. Capek will make an incision in the groin area, and any excess fat and skin is removed along the upper inner aspect of the thigh. Liposuction can be used depending on your individual requirements. The scar falls along the front and inner part of the groin and the upper inner thigh appears tighter and slimmer after the procedure.
If you have a lot of loose skin that also affects the front and back of the thighs, you may be a great candidate for a vertical (extended) medial thigh lift. The incision is placed vertically along the inside of the thigh, where the inseam of your pants would fall, and extends from the groin to the knee in most cases. VASER LipoSelection is frequently done at the same time to remove excess fat and recontour the thigh and knee. This surgery gives the most dramatic improvement in thigh contour because it reduces the tissues around the whole ‘cylinder’ of the thighs making them noticeably thinner and tighter.
Lateral Thigh Lift
Dr. Capek typically performs an outer thigh lift as part of a belt lipectomy and lower body lift in patients who have undergone major weight loss. The scar usually goes all the way around the lower body, including a typical tummy tuck scar above the pubic area and groins. The outer thighs are usually contoured with VASER LipoSelection at the same time and the buttocks are also lifted. The appearance of cellulite on the outer thighs can be improved with this procedure. As well.
After Your Procedure
After Dr. Capek completes your procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area to be monitored and then discharged home. Immediately after your surgery, you can expect to wear a compression garment to minimize swelling and bruising. This is usually worn for a few weeks, though you can briefly remove the garment to shower beginning 2 days after surgery. Dr. Capek uses dissolvable sutures inside the incisions and glue on the outside, so wound care is minimal unless you have a complication. You can expect some discomfort, but this is significantly reduced with prescribed pain medications.
After your surgery, you should get up and walk around frequently to help with circulation and to minimize the risk of blood clots. You can expect some bruising and swelling during recovery, which usually heals over several weeks, though finally results take 6 months or longer. Generally, patients can drive and return to work 1-2 weeks after surgery. You can resume more intense physical activities after about eight weeks. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled with Dr. Capek to ensure you are healing properly.
It is critically important to follow Dr. Capek’s post-operative instructions, which include details on post-operative activity and healing expectations. Be carefully not to overdo it and remember that recovery times may vary from patient to patient. It’s also important to live a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise, to maintain your results.
What are the risks?
Although serious complications from thigh lifts are rare, every surgical procedure carries some risk. Potential complications of all surgeries include an adverse reaction to anesthesia, infection, bleeding, sensation alteration (numbness), poor scarring or wound healing problems, and allergic reactions. However, under the care of Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Capek, the risk of adverse events can be reduced by following her advice and instructions before and after surgery.
If you are dissatisfied with the excess skin and fat on your thighs, contact us today to see if a thigh lift is right for you!