A thigh lift (“thighplasty”) is designed to improve the appearance of the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases, excess fat. This surgical procedure offers smoother, better-toned skin and more proportionate thigh contours in relation to the rest of the lower body.
Ideal candidates should be both physically and mentally healthy, with realistic expectations and goals, before undergoing any type of cosmetic surgery. Generally, ideal candidates have loose skin in their hips and thighs with thin layers of fat below the skin, in addition to excess soft tissue along the inner or medial thigh region and/or the outer thigh. Those who have lost an extensive amount of weight through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery are usually good candidates for the procedure. In addition, your weight should be stabilized and as close to your ideal body weight as possible.
In cases where there is poor skin elasticity and a substantial amount of excess fatty deposits, Dr. Chiu may recommend a combination of liposuction and thigh lift surgery.
After intravenous sedation or general anesthesia has been administered, incisions will be made in strategic locations so that they can be hidden inconspicuously. You and your surgeon will decide which method — medial thigh lift or thigh reduction — is right for you based on the area(s) needing treatment. With both techniques, excess skin is removed and redraped following the tightening and reshaping of underlying tissues. If desired, liposuction may be used to remove unwanted fat from beneath the skin. Deep support sutures are used to form a new contour in underlying tissues, and then incisions are closed with sutures.
The medial thigh lift uses an incision in the groin area that extends downward and around the back of the thigh. This method is best for correcting excess skin and fat on the front, back, and inner parts of the thigh. A minimal-incision medial thigh lift uses an incision in the groin area only and is designed for patients who desire only a small amount of correction.
If the whole thigh needs reduction, the incision for this lift will be made from the groin down, as far as the knee, so that tissues in the whole thigh can be tightened for a smooth, better-toned thigh contour.
Some swelling and bruising may result from surgery, and a compression garment or elastic bandage should be worn for several weeks following surgery in order to reduce swelling and support newly-formed tissues. Any excess fluid and blood that accumulates will be drained with small, thin tubes placed below the skin for about two to three weeks or longer, if necessary. Dr. Chiu will provide specific instructions regarding how to care for your incisions and to help reduce the risk of infection, as well as when you can return to work and your normal activity level.
Results will be apparent almost immediately following surgery and will become more distinct as bruising and swelling resolve. Full results can take several months to fully develop. As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and a stable weight, the results of your thigh lift will be long lasting.