Thigh lift

A thigh lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the thighs, more specifically the inner thighs.

During an thigh lift — also known as thighplasty — excess skin and fat are removed from between the groin and knee, along the inseam. The remaining skin is placed back over the newly repositioned contours to create a more toned look. Occasionally, liposuction may be required to further improve the contours.

As you get older, the skin on your thigh changes — sagging and becoming loose. Significant weight loss also can cause the undersides of your thighs to droop. While exercise can strengthen and improve muscle tone in the thighs, it cannot address excess skin that has lost elasticity.

The consultation

After taking a thorough history, you will be examined to assess the amount of excess skin and fat that requires removal. I will explain to you in detail what can be achieved and aspects that will remain unchanged after surgery.

The procedure

All the procedures described above are performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation takes between 2 and 3 hours depending on the procedure. You will require an overnight stay in hospital.

It is common to have some bruising and swelling post operatively. This is more obvious if the operation includes liposuction. This settles over a few weeks. The final shape may not be seen for at least 6 months after surgery. Please remember that any change in your weight will impact on the shape of your arms, even after surgery.

Potential risks

Other information

General anaesthesia: Any operation involving a general anaesthetic carries a risk of developing blood clots in the calves (deep vein thrombosis – DVT), which could break off and move to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism (PE). Early mobilisation and keeping hydrated will reduce this risk, as will avoiding smoking before and after surgery for at least 6 weeks. There is a risk of allergy to the drugs for anaesthetic and antibiotics / pain relief, and a very small but theoretical risk of major life threatening complication / death related to the anaesthetic (1 in 100,000 risk).

Work and leisure activities: It is recommended that you take 2 weeks off work. Avoid swimming, the gym or strenuous activities for 6 weeks. Avoid stretching your thigh muscles for three to four weeks.

Diet: Maintain a healthy nutritious diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, as this is important for wound healing and comfortable bowel movement.

Flying: Avoid flying for the first six weeks, wear flight socks and take low dose aspirin (75mg) before flying. Additionally, if there are any major problems, I would like to be able to see you within those 6 weeks.