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A thighplasty, also known as a thigh lift, is a procedure that reshapes your thighs by tightening loose skin and removing excess fat.
Excess skin at the thighs tends to occur following natural aging or substantial weight loss. Your thighs may look dimpled with sagging skin or have a flabby appearance. There may be skin problems related to excessive rubbing with movement, skin infections, and you may find it difficult to exercise and wear form-fitting clothes. While exercise can strengthen and improve muscle tone in the thighs, it cannot reduce excess skin that has lost its elasticity.
A thighplasty can remove excess skin and fat from your thighs to give them a more toned and shapely look. However, the trade-off is a lengthy scar along the groin crease which may need to be extended down the insides of your thighs if you have very flabby thighs. This is more common in patients who have had massive weight loss.
There are different types of thigh lift procedures. The commonest thigh lift procedure is the inner thigh lift (also known as the medial thigh lift). This procedure is often preferred because it removes excess skin and fat from the inner thighs using scars placed either in the groin crease or along the inner thighs where they will be less visible when the patient stands with his or her feet together. The more excess skin you have, the longer the surgical scar has to be. The outer thighs can be slimmed down during the same procedure using liposuction.
The outer thighs may also be addressed in conjunction with other body contouring procedures such as the Tummy-Tuck (Abdominoplasty) & Lower Body Lift.
Thighs before surgery
An incision in the upper inner thigh area is suitable for limited skin and fat excess at the upper thigh.
Thighs after surgery
Incisions are required at the groin and along the full length of the inner thigh `if there is substantial skin and fat excess along the whole thigh.
Your incisions will be dressed and your thighs will be wrapped in elastic bandages to minimize swelling and bruising. Small tubes (drains) may be placed to remove the excess blood and fluid for several days. A tight compression garment will usually be fitted afterwards to keep the swelling down. This will need to be worn continuously for several weeks until your surgeon advises otherwise. It will usually take at least 4 to 6 weeks before you can perform physical activities such as jogging.
As long as your weight does not fluctuate, the results of your thigh lift should last for many years. Even though your skin continues to age over time, the subsequent thigh flabbiness is usually far less significant than what it was before your surgery.
Every year, thousands of people undergo successful thigh lift surgery and are pleased with the results. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of the possible risks, which include:• Anaesthesia risks• Prolonged swelling or bruising• Excess blood accumulation (haematoma)• Excess fluid accumulation (seroma)• Infection• Poor wound healing• Poor scarring• Contour irregularities• Asymmetry• Numbness, which may be temporary or permanent
You may need to undergo revision surgery to correct some of these problems. The subject of risks, as well as potential complications of surgery are best discussed on a personal basis between you and your plastic surgeon.