If you struggle with loose skin around your thighs due to excessive weight loss, a health condition or just genetics, you may have stumbled across the procedure “thigh lift” as a possible solution to your problems. Thigh lift surgery is a popular solution to sagging thigh skin. The procedure helps redefine, tighten and re-contour the thighs and lower body. The benefits of a thigh lift are improved contour and smoother, tighter skin on the thighs. Many patients report feeling more confident wearing shorts or skirts after undergoing a thigh lift, and typically experience a big boost in self-esteem.
Despite its many benefits, thigh lift surgery is a serious procedure, and potential patients should research it thoroughly before making any decisions. Additionally, not all potential patients qualify as good candidates for a thigh lift.
Below we go over how to decipher if a thigh lift is the right choice for you:
1. You are Able to Take at Least Three Weeks off of Work and Other Activities
Because a thigh lift is an extensive procedure, plenty of downtime is required for patients after the surgery. For a thigh lift, a large incision will be placed on the thigh. Once the incision is made, excess skin (and fat, if necessary) is removed, and the remaining skin is tightened and contoured to improve the overall shape of the thighs. Support sutures may be used to help shape and hold the tissues as well. Immediately after surgery, dressings are placed over wounds. Patients will be given compression garments to provide support and reduce swelling throughout the healing process. In some cases, temporary drain tubes may also be placed for a week or so.
Patients who undergo a thigh lift must have preparations made to help them with their daily activities after the procedure. A loved one of caretaker can help the patient with making meals, taking required medicine, and moving around while the patient is still sore. Additionally, if the patient has children, a family member or nanny should be enlisted to assist with childcare while the patient’s body is recovering.
2. You are at a Healthy Weight
Patients considering thigh lift surgery must be at a stable weight and able to maintain that weight following surgery, as the skin will still expand and retract as normal once the surgery is performed and the incisions heal. Patients with stubborn fat whose skin elasticity is still intact can consider liposuction instead of a thigh lift, which may yield better results.
In order to determine that you are of a healthy weight for surgery, you will likely be asked what your body mass index is, or BMI. BMI is a simple calculation made using a person’s height and weight. Most plastic surgeons have a cap of BMIs they will operate on in order to keep patients safe and to guarantee the best surgical results.
3. You do not Suffer from any Serious Health Conditions
Being in good health is very important for a major procedure like a thigh lift. By taking a series of lab tests ahead of the procedure, surgeons can determine if you have any major health concerns such as rampant inflammation or an infection, heart or liver problems, or other serious concerns. Certain lower risk conditions can be worked around as long as your surgeon is aware and creates a special plan to ensure your health and safety during and after the procedure.
4. You Have Realistic Expectations
Lastly, is it important that you have realistic expectations of what your thigh lift results will look like. While the procedure can substantially lift and tighten skin around the thigh area, it is also likely to leave a prominent scar (your surgeon will do their best to hide this). Additionally, depending on your current weight and anatomy, there may be some limitations to what the procedure can do for you. Your surgeon can give you a good idea of what to expect from the procedure and if it is in line with your vision.