Be honest. Do you wear long pants in the middle of summer to cover loose skin on your thighs? Do you worry people are staring at your thighs when you go walking or jogging? Are you uncomfortable about wearing shorts in public? Have you tried to reshape and tone-up your thighs with diet and exercise, and still they seem flabby? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, a thigh lift may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

A thigh lift is a type of plastic surgery Dr. Deutsch provides for his patients to reshape and slim down their inner or outer thighs. Medically called thighplasty, thigh lift surgery removes loose skin and excess fat on the thighs while tightening the remaining skin, to reduce overall circumference and improve the contour and shape of the legs.

Realistically, loose or sagging skin may not be limited only to the thigh area, and for that reason, thigh lifts are often combined with other body contouring procedures to address sagging skin in those areas (buttocks, tummy, arms, etc.). Procedures often combined with thigh lifts include arm lifts, breast lifts, butt lifts, liposuction or tummy tuck. Keep in mind there is a limit to how many procedures can be performed at the same time, so patients must decide which areas are most important to address. (This is for safety reasons—to ensure patients aren’t under general anesthesia for too long, and to minimize the risk of complications during surgery and recovery.) Of course, many people are primarily concerned with their thighs and choose to have only a thigh lift as a stand-alone procedure, and that is perfectly fine.

thigh lift

Who’s a Good Candidate?

The best candidates for thigh lifts are people with sagging or excess skin on their thighs, along with persistent fat or cellulite. Often men or women opt for a thigh lift following extreme weight loss. Generally, patients who benefit most from this procedure are people who are at a stable and healthy body weight; are in overall good health; and do not smoke. The patient should have realistic goals for his or her surgery, and be willing to cope with the recovery process after the operation.

While a thigh lift can dramatically improve the appearance of the thighs, it may not be the right solution for everyone. If you are seriously overweight, a thigh lift may not provide you with the results you need and want; a diet and exercise program may be the answer. Or, if you are primarily interested in reduction of fatty deposits, liposuction may be the best procedure for you, as it is specifically designed for removing areas of stubborn fat, and is less invasive than thigh lift surgery.

What to Expect During Thigh Lift Surgery
Thigh lift surgery can take anywhere from two to four hours, using either general or local anesthesia. Exactly how long the procedure takes and what type of anesthesia is utilized depends on the complexity of the thigh lift and whether additional procedures are being done.

thigh lift resultsWhen performing a standard thigh lift, Dr. Deutsch generally starts by making an incision. The exact length and placement of the incision varies, depending on the aesthetic goals of the patient. Often the incision is made inside the thigh where the leg meets the groin; other times the incision extends from the groin around to the back of the body. Incisions are placed as discreetly as possible, so patients will be able to wear their bathing suits in the future without any scarring being visible.

Once the incision is made, Dr. Deutsch removes pockets of excess fat and trims away extra skin. The remaining skin is then repositioned and gently placed back over the thigh until it is taut. Stitches are then used to close the incision. Next, dressings and bandages are applied, and surgical drainage tubes are placed to remove any fluid that accumulates. The patient will also be fitted with compression garments (one on each thigh) to promote proper healing.

Recovery After Thigh Lift Surgery
Following your thigh lift, Dr. Deutsch will send you home to rest, with your drainage tubes in place (these will be removed at a follow-up visit with Dr. Deutsch about two or three days after the operation). If you have undergone a more extensive thigh lift or a combination procedure, you may need to stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 nights before being sent home.

The compression garment you were given after the surgery will need to be worn for the next couple of weeks to minimize swelling and help support your tissues as they heal. Even so, you will experience some swelling, along with bruising, feelings of tightness and pain, all of which will subside on their own and can be managed with prescribed pain medication.

Dr. Deutsch will send you home with specific instructions for your recovery. He may advise you to keep your legs elevated to help reduce swelling, and to start doing some slow walking about two days after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work one or two weeks after surgery. Full recovery may take 4 to 6 weeks, at which at time normal physical activities can be resumed.

Your New Look
You will be able to see some of the results of your thigh lift almost immediately after the operation. However, you probably won’t see the full results until the bruising heals and the swelling completely subsides, and that may take a couple of months. Although some scarring will remain, your final results will be dramatic. Your thighs will be smoother, tighter, more sculpted, and in better proportion with the rest of your body. Any dimples, saddlebags or cellulite that you were embarrassed about before, will be gone.

The results of a thigh lift can be permanent, as long as patients maintain a fairly stable weight and healthy lifestyle following the surgery. Of course, a thigh lift can’t stop the natural aging process, so some minor loss of firmness in the years that follow are inevitable.

Want to Learn More?
Get the answers you need during a complimentary thigh lift consultation with Atlanta area plastic surgeon, Dr. Mark Deutsch. Contact Perimeter Plastic Surgery by phone at 404-255-0886 to schedule your consultation, or fill out our online appointment request form. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will schedule your consultation at your earliest convenience.