What is a Thigh Lift
A thigh lift, also known as thighplasty, is a surgical procedure that aims to reshape the thighs by reducing excess skin and, in some cases, fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body. This procedure is particularly beneficial for individuals who have loose, excess skin as a result of weight loss, ageing, or other factors, where skin elasticity is diminished.
The primary goal of a thigh lift is to achieve firmer thigh and lower body contours. During the procedure, Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Bish Soliman makes incisions in predetermined areas depending on the type and extent of the surgery. Through these incisions, excess skin and fat are removed, and the remaining skin is lifted and tightened to create a different thigh contour.
There are different techniques used in thigh lift surgery, each tailored to address specific areas of the thighs. These techniques include an inner (medial) thigh lift, targeting the inner thigh; an outer (lateral) thigh lift, focusing on the outer thigh; and a bilateral thigh lift, which targets the front and outside of the thigh. The choice of technique depends on the patient’s anatomy and Dr Soliman’s recommendations based on the desired outcomes.
It’s important to note that a thigh lift is not a surgical procedure for removing excess fat. In cases where skin elasticity is good and excess fat is the primary concern, liposuction alone may be recommended. However, in cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and thigh lift may be suggested to achieve optimal results.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Thigh Lift Surgery
Good candidates for thigh lift surgery are individuals who are concerned about excess soft tissue along the inner or outer thigh. It is important for candidates to have realistic expectations regarding the outcomes of the surgery. The following criteria generally define good candidates for a thigh lift:
- Healthy Individuals with No Medical Conditions that Impair Healing: It’s crucial that candidates are in good overall health, do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk during surgery, and are non-smokers, as smoking can significantly compromise the healing process.
- Stable Weight: Candidates should be at a stable weight. Significant weight fluctuations after the surgery can affect the surgical outcome. Ideally, patients should be close to their ideal weight for at least six months before the surgery.
- Excess Soft Tissue along the Thigh Region: Individuals who have a significant amount of soft tissue along the inner or outer thigh may be good candidates for thigh lift surgery.
- Positive Outlook and Realistic Goals: Having a positive outlook and specific, but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of thigh appearance is important.
- Commitment to a Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and regular exercise is vital for the longevity of the surgical results.
- Psychological Stability: Mental well-being is as important as physical health when undergoing any surgical procedure. The candidate should have a stable psychological state.
It is important that candidates for thigh lift surgery consult with Dr Bish Soliman to discuss their goals, expectations, and potential risks. Dr Soliman will evaluate the individual’s overall health, examine the thigh area, and determine the most appropriate surgical plan to achieve the desired aesthetic outcome.
Thigh Lift SurgeryBenefits of Surgery
Thigh lift surgery offers different benefits for individuals seeking changes in the appearance of their thighs. These include:
- Improved Contour and Shape: One of the primary benefits of thigh lift surgery is the significant change in the contour and shape of the thighs. The procedure removes excess skin and fat, resulting in smoother, more toned, and better-proportioned thighs.
- Enhanced Comfort: Excess skin in the thigh area can lead to discomfort and chafing, especially during physical activities. A thigh lift reduces this discomfort by removing the redundant skin, improving the individual’s comfort during daily activities and exercise.
- Long-lasting Results: While no surgical procedure can stop the ageing process, the results of a thigh lift are generally long-lasting, especially when accompanied by a stable weight and healthy lifestyle.
- Reduction in Skin Irritation and Infections: Redundant thigh skin can lead to skin irritation, rashes, and infections due to friction. Thigh lift surgery can alleviate these issues.
Before any surgical procedure, you will need some personalised guidance from your surgeon, as well as the time to discuss your personal needs and desired results to create an appropriate treatment plan for you.
During your consultation, you will receive in-depth information and advice about your individually tailored procedure, including preparation and recovery instructions and what to expect before the procedure, on the day of your procedure and after surgery.
Dr Bish Soliman will need to assess whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. You may be asked about your health history, history of past surgical procedures, and lifestyle factors to determine if the procedure is right for you. Your consultation will also provide you with a personalised quote, taking all of your personalised procedure steps into consideration, so that you can understand the costs of your procedure.
The decision to undergo thigh lift surgery is personal, so having a thorough consultation beforehand will help you to make an informed decision and feel comfortable with your surgeon, ensuring that you have a mutual understanding of your desired results for the procedure.
You can book your consultation at our Sydney or North Shore locations if you would like to discuss undergoing thigh lift surgery .
Types of SurgeryThigh Lift Surgery
There are several types of thigh lift procedures, each designed to address specific concerns in different areas of the thigh. The most common types include:
- Medial (Inner) Thigh Lift: This type targets the inner thigh. The incision is usually made in the groin area, extending downward and wrapping around the back of the thigh. It’s a good option for those with moderate amounts of excess skin and fat in the inner thigh.
- Lateral (Outer) Thigh Lift: This type focuses on the outer thigh and can be combined with a buttock lift. The incision might extend from the groin around the hip. This lift is suitable for individuals with significant loose skin in the outer thigh and buttock areas.
- Bilateral Thigh Lift: This procedure targets the front and outside of the thigh. The incision is made at the top of the leg where the lower edge of a bikini bottom would be. This lift is beneficial for those who have excess skin both in the front and outer parts of the thigh.
- Spiral Thigh Lift: A more complex procedure, the spiral thigh lift addresses the front, back, inner, and outer thigh. The incision runs along the groin, up over the hip, and around the back. It’s suitable for individuals with significant laxity in multiple areas of the thigh.
The choice of thigh lift procedure depends on the patient’s specific needs, the amount of excess skin, and the desired outcome. A detailed consultation with Dr Bish Soliman is essential to determine the most appropriate type of thigh lift.
Thigh Lift – Procedure Details
The thigh lift procedure is performed under general anaesthesia and can take 2-4 hours, depending on the extent of the surgery and whether additional procedures, such as liposuction, are performed simultaneously.
- Preoperative Preparation: Before the surgery, patients may be asked to get lab testing, take certain medications, or adjust their current medications. It’s also important to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.
- Anaesthesia: General anaesthesia is commonly used during a thigh lift to ensure the patient’s comfort throughout the procedure.
- The Incision: Depending on the type of thigh lift, Dr Soliman will make incisions in the designated areas. For a medial thigh lift, the incision is in the groin, extending downward and possibly wrapping around the back of the thigh. For a lateral or bilateral thigh lift, the incision may be more extensive.
- Reshaping the Thighs: After making the incisions, Dr Soliman will remove excess skin and fat and reshape the underlying tissue to create a smoother appearance.
- Closing the Incisions: The skin is then smoothed over the new contour of the thigh, and the incisions are closed. Deep support sutures within the underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours.
- Postoperative Care: After surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to the incisions, and small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
Recovery after SurgeryThigh Lift Surgery
- Post-Surgical Care and Initial Recovery Phase: The recovery period following a thigh lift is essential for ensuring the best possible outcome. Immediately after the surgery, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimise swelling and support the new contours as you heal. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
- Pain Management and Medications: Pain and discomfort are common in the initial days following the surgery. Dr Soliman will prescribe pain medication to make the recovery period more comfortable. It’s important to take these medications as directed. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent infection.
- Activity Restrictions and Self-Care: You will be advised to take it easy for a few weeks. Most patients can return to work and normal activities within several weeks, but this can vary based on the individual and the extent of the surgery. Avoid strenuous activities, including heavy lifting and vigorous exercise, for at least 4-6 weeks after the surgery. It’s also essential to keep the incision sites clean and to follow all care instructions provided by Dr Soliman.
- Monitoring for Complications: During your follow-up appointments, Dr Bish Soliman will monitor your progress and check for any complications. It’s important to attend all scheduled appointments and to contact your surgeon’s team if you have any concerns or notice any unusual symptoms.
- Long-term Care and Scar Management: The final results of your thigh lift are visible several months after the surgery, as it takes time for swelling to resolve and incision lines to fade. While most scars from a thigh lift are hidden in natural body contours, some visible scarring may remain. Dr Soliman may recommend scar treatment options to minimise their appearance.
- Emotional Recovery: Apart from physical healing, emotional recovery is also an essential aspect of post-surgical care. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions, including impatience or anxiety about the results. Support from family and friends, along with clear communication with your surgeon, can greatly assist in this phase.
Risks and Complications Associated with Thigh Lift
- Infection: Infection is a risk with any surgical procedure. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, and fever. If an infection occurs, it develops within the first few weeks after surgery and is treated with antibiotics.
- Bleeding and Haematoma Formation: Bleeding can occur during or after surgery. In rare cases, a haematoma, which is a collection of blood outside of blood vessels, may form. If a haematoma is large or growing, additional surgery may be needed to drain it.
- Poor Wound Healing: Some patients experience delayed wound healing or wound separation. This risk is higher in individuals who smoke, have poor nutrition, or have certain medical conditions. Proper wound care and following Dr Soliman’s instructions can help minimise this risk.
- Scarring: Scarring is an inevitable part of thigh lift surgery. While surgical techniques are designed to place scars in less visible locations, the quality of scarring varies among individuals. Some may experience thick or wide scars, and there are treatments available to address these issues.
- Asymmetry: Asymmetry in the shape and size of the thighs may occur after a thigh lift. While some degree of asymmetry is normal, significant differences may require additional surgery for correction.
- Changes in Skin Sensation: Temporary numbness or changes in skin sensation near the incision sites are common. In most cases, this is temporary and resolves over months, but it can be permanent in some cases.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Complications: Though rare, blood clots in the legs or lungs are serious complications. These can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
- Anaesthesia Risks: Like all surgeries that require anaesthesia, there are risks associated with being under anaesthesia. These risks will be discussed with you in detail by your anaesthesiologist prior to the surgery.
- Long-term Results: Finally, the results of a thigh lift are generally long-lasting, provided you maintain a stable weight and healthy lifestyle. But the natural ageing process and gravity will eventually cause some degree of laxity.
Medical References about Thigh Lift
- A Liposuction-Assisted Medial Thigh Lift – PMC
- Thigh Lift Results – American Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Complications Associated With Medial Thigh Lift – NCBI
- Thigh Lift (Thighplasty): Types, Surgery, Recovery & Scars – Cleveland Clinic
- How to Lose Thigh Fat – WebMD
Learn More About Dr Bish Soliman
Dr Bish Soliman is a Sydney based Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon specialising in complex microsurgical reconstruction including breast reconstruction, aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body as well as skin cancer surgery.