Loose skin and residual fatty tissue in the upper and inner thigh region is common after weight loss. At Tulsa Surgical Arts, we offer several procedures to deal with this problem. In some cases, if you still have extra fatty tissue present, we may recommend doing liposuction first to debulk the area. This can then be followed by a thigh lift several months later. Sometimes the liposuction is combined at the same time as the thigh lift. At your complimentary consultation, we will examine the thighs carefully and determine what procedure is right for you.
Techniques for thigh lift surgery
There are several types of thigh lifts. A medial thigh lift is commonly used to tighten the skin and remove excess fat from the inner thigh region. The incision is made it the inner crease of the leg. On excessively large legs, this incision may extend down the inner aspect of the leg down to the knee.
In some cases the medial thigh lift is combined with a butt lift and gluteal crease recontouring. This combination procedure is called a spiral lift. The spiral lift is best suited for patients with a sagging buttock, poorly defined gluteal crease and loose skin and fat in the inner thigh region.
The incisions for these lifts are closed with dissolvable sutures and drains are usually placed to remove excess fluid that accumulates in the first week after surgery. The incisions are covered with tape and a compression garment is worn for 4 weeks to help reduce swelling and assist the skin in contracting to the new contour of the leg. The drains and tape are removed one week after surgery.
Recovery following Thigh Lift surgery
Expected recovery is between one to two weeks. It is important to begin walking the day after surgery to prevent blood clots from forming in the deep veins of the leg. You can resume light exercise after two weeks and more vigorous exercise after six weeks.
Some bruising is normal after surgery. This usually goes away in the first few weeks. Your incisions will be noticeable immediately following surgery but they will gradually fade and flatten for up to a year after surgery. You will also have some puckering around the incision after surgery. This will smooth out over a month or two. If your skin has lots of stretch marks or is extremely thin, this is a sign of poor skin elasticity.
Patients with poor skin elasticity may be more prone to widening of the scar after surgery. Sometimes patients elect to do a scar revision procedure 8 -12 months after initial healing to improve the appearance of the scars. Your skin will also be firm and numb at the outset. It will soften and normal sensation will return gradually.
In your initial consultation, we will evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits lie, and carefully assess your skin tone. We will fashion a treatment plan best suites your needs. If you are a smoker, you will need to quit for a minimum of 4-6 weeks before surgery to minimize the risk of complications. Smokers are much more prone to delayed healing and wound breakdown.