Dr. De Fazio Plastic Surgeon :: Procedures :: Body :: Thight Lift: more toned appearance of the legs

Thigh lift


Thigh lift is a procedure aiming to remove excess skin and underlying fatty tissue from the inner thighs, then redraping the whole thigh skin resulting, at the same time, in more proportioned and better-toned body contours.

spinal or epidural / general
2.5 to 3 hours
1 day / day surgery
2 to 3 weeks

The procedure

Thigh lift is performed in a surgery room with spinal/epidural or general anesthesia. It implies some incisions, which, starting from the inguinal region, reaches the internal side of the thigh root an, then, wraps around the back of the thigh towards the gluteal region. 

In this way, the thigh skin, and sometimes the buttock skin as well, is redraped upwards and, as consequence, its excess is removed. The skin is then sutured in the new position.
This procedure leaves scars where the incisions have been made as described above; these scars can be more or less visible and, anyhow, considering their position, they can be easily covered by normal underwear; the scars can also be corrected later with proper surgery with local anesthesia but not earlier than six months after the thigh lift procedure.
In some cases, drains might be necessary during surgery.

The result is normally very good already just after surgery; in some cases, though, if the patient's skin tends to be lax (loose), the original condition could gradually come back. This is anyhow not happening in most of the cases.

Preoperative Preparation

The patient will be asked to stop taking aspirin or other drugs containing it 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery. Aspirin can cause bleeding and, as a consequence, increase the risk of complications. 
It is recommended to stop smoking for at least 2 weeks before surgery. Some research studies have shown the risk for complications becomes 10 times higher if you smoke. If the patient stops smoking at least 10 days before the operation, the risk of complications will be the same as for non-smokers.
It is recommended to female patients taking oral contraceptives to stop taking them one month before surgery.

Post-operative care

The patient can walk already on the first day after surgery and within 24 to 48 hours the drains, if they had been placed during the operation, will be removed. The patient can be dismissed on the day of surgery or, at latest, the day after.
The stitches will be removed within 7 to 15 days after surgery.

After the procedure

It is recommended to rest as much as possible for 10/15 days after surgery, in order to avoid straining the surgical wounds while they are still healing. Already from the first day after surgery, a course of Tecar® Therapy is recommended to facilitate the absorption of edema (swelling) and ecchymosis (bruises). The surgeon, together with the physiotherapist performing the therapy, will decide the number of sessions.

Possible complications

Possible complications connected to the procedure are limited. Infection. It can be considered as the most common complication and it can occur in the postoperative period. This complication is easily treated with antibiotics; it can make the hospitalization longer and affect the wounds healing.
Wound dehiscence. It is a surgical complication in which a wound breaks open in some parts along the surgical suture, due to excessive tension on the wound edges caused by straining or to intercurrent infections. This complication affects the final appearance of the scar, but it can be corrected with a minor revision surgery with local anesthesia, to be performed not earlier than 6 months after the thigh lift.
Asymmetry. When occurring, this complication could require a revision surgery after 6 months. It will be with local anesthesia and the surgeon is normally not charging for his fee.

Recovery time (back to social life)

Physical activity can be resumed moderately already from the first day after surgery. Nevertheless, during the first two weeks after surgery, it is recommended to rest and, in particular, to avoid straining the treated area. After this period, physical activity can be gradually resumed. Driving can be resumed one week after surgery, as well as sexual activity (within reasonable limits). Sports can be resumed 4 to 8 weeks after surgery, depending on how intense the effort required is.