The procedure is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis unless otherwise advised by the surgeon. Dr. Patterson will show you what procedures are available to solve your particular problem. Wide variations in the design of the incisions to meet clothing or personal desires are possible. Lifting the inner thighs requires only short incisions extending from the anterior part of the thigh/groin crease around to the buttock crease. Lateral or anterior thigh lifts can be performed as separate procedures if desired. Lifting the entire thigh and buttock (circumferential lower body lift) will require much longer incisions that start in the buttock crease, extend around the groin, up over the side of the abdomen, over the flank and across the back. The buttocks can be lifted with upper or lower scars.
- If you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity of the thigh, hip, or buttock areas
- If your skin area is saggy, has an orange peel, flabby and/or dimpled appearance
- If your thigh appearance improves dramatically when you lift the lax skin
- If you are self-concious about your lower body-appearance
- Additional procedures that may enhance the result include Liposuction/Liposculpture, Breast Enlargement, Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), etc.
- This procedure is considered cosmetic and therefore is not covered by insurance. The patient is responsible for payment.
Side Effects & Risks
EXCESSIVE SWELLING: Occasionally, the superficial lymphatic system in the medial part of the groin is interrupted during the surgical process. If this should occur, excessive swelling will probably occur for several weeks as the lymphatic channels form again. This is an uncommon problem, but it requires some patience and understanding if it does occur*.
ASYMMETRY AND UNEVEN SKIN CONTOURS: Minimal asymmetry of the scars and of the skin contours may occur. Every attempt will be made to make the result as equal as possible. You must understand that very few people are entirely symmetrical prior to surgery and, healing may not occur evenly from side to side*.
SCARS: Standard incisions for a thigh lift are usually places as high in the groin as possible in order to reduce their visibility when you are wearing panties or a bathing suit. It usually takes a month or two* for tenderness and tightness to disappear and for the scars and area to feel completely comfortable.
Because the weight of the inner thigh skin “hangs” on the scars, the scar will gradually tend to pull downward. The scars may migrate interiorly as much as 1-2cm with time. Migration of scars may occur unevenly from side to side, so the ultimate scars may not remain exactly the same height on each leg. Because of the weight of the thigh skin, and the location of the incisions, the ultimate scars will probably widen no matter how well they have been repaired.
PLANNING THE INCISIONS: Dr. Patterson discussed your incision previously. You need to understand that there is a wide variability in how the incisions can be planned. If you do not completely understand the information, ask Dr. Patterson to talk to you again before surgery. Observe the marking of the incisions carefully and make your wishes known.
INABILITY TO MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS: People having thigh lifts hope or fantasize that the thigh lift surgery will make their thighs look perfect. In truth, this seldom occurs. Thigh lift surgery makes your thighs look better-NOT PERFECT.
WOUND SEPARATION: Because of the unusual tension on thigh lift incisions and the tendency for wound infections and inflammation, wound separation and breakdown in localized areas occurs somewhat more often than in other surgeries. Although this is not a common problem (if the skin is cleansed properly), it can still occur. Local wound care, dressings, and time usually lead to normal healing, but there can be a delay of several weeks or more*.
- The patient is placed in a compression garment (similar to a long-line elastic support girdle) at the end surgery to reduce swelling and assist in the natural shrinking and tightening of the skin.
- Smaller thigh lifts: initial discomfort is usually easily controlled with prescription pain medication.
- Larger thigh lifts: One or two night's care in a skilled nursing facility or hospital are usually required. This allows for pain injections, intravenous catheters, etc.*
- Bruising and swelling usually subside within a month*, strenous activities are usually possible in 6 weeks* and almost all symptoms are gone in 4-6 months*.
- Tighter, more attractive thigh and buttock skin.
- Improved contours.
- Decreased irregularities in skin surface.