Aims to address excess skin particularly in the inner thigh and, to a lesser extent, tighten the skin on the outer aspect of the thigh.
It is not a method purely to remove excess subcutaneous fat (diet and exercise are the best methods for this) but more to address the sagging skin left behind after weight loss. It can be combined with liposuction if further contouring is needed despite adequate weight loss.
Results will visible at 3 months but skin quality will continue to improve in appearance and feel for up to 12 months.
How does thigh lift surgery work?
A thigh lift works by tightening the skin and underlying tissues of the thigh and re-suspending them from their original attachments (after excising or reefing the stretched elements). In this way, a rejuvenated appearance of the thigh is achieved.
What are the scars like?
There are two main types of thigh lift, which have different patterns of scars:
A limited incision medial thigh lift: this will address small to moderate amounts of excess skin in the inner upper thigh region only, leaving a well-hidden scar in the groin crease.
A full thigh lift: this addresses both the vertical and circumferential skin excess on the inner thigh and the front of the thigh. The scar will run from the groin to the knee in the same line as a trouser seam, with an additional scar in the crease of the groin (like a medial thigh lift).
How long does thigh lift surgery take?
Thigh lift surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, a medial thigh lift will take between one to two hours with a full thigh lift taking between three to four hours.
How long is the recovery process after a thigh lift?
The procedure requires an overnight stay in hospital. When combined with other procedures a two-night stay may be required. For the two weeks following the operation, you will be restricted in your ability walk long distances (though it is essential that you mobilise as much as you can to reduce any risk of DVT formation).
You will need to wear a support garment that will run from your waist to your ankles (think a very elasticated pair of leggings) for six weeks following the operation. Depending on the extent of your procedure you should be able to return to work between two and three weeks after your surgery, by which time your wounds should have healed. You should be able to drive after a similar period of time. By six weeks you should be able to return to all normal activities.
Is there anything else I should know?
The groin is one of the most difficult areas on the body to keep clean! Additionally after a thigh lift, sitting down can be uncomfortable (though lying down or standing is not a problem). This makes going for a wee (if you are a lady) whilst trying to not to get your wounds wet difficult initially. A shewee is a great way to solve the problem (sheewee.com), but it does take a bit of practice beforehand to master using it (therefore it is worth purchasing one before the operation and becoming accustomed to using it with ease so that post-operatively you are confident in its use).
How well do thigh lifts work?
You will see an instant change in the shape of your thighs following the procedure, however, as the scars mature the shape will change a little, and there will inevitably be a degree of stretching of the tissues with the effects of gravity. The final results will be apparent by nine to 12 months after surgery and are long-lasting.
Have a question?
If you’ve decided to have cosmetic surgery, you now need to choose a surgeon with the appropriate training, skills and experience to carry out your procedure.
It’s important to talk to your surgeon about what you want to change and why.
Anthony specialises in aesthetic surgery; he is registered with BAAPS, a specialist register of Plastic Surgeons maintained by the General Medical Council.
He is nationally acknowledged for providing outstanding medical care and achieving results which meet or exceed patients’ hopes and expectations.
Before & Afters
What’s the difference between a thigh lift and thigh liposuction?
For many patients, the thighs can be one of the hardest parts of the body to tone up. Even after following a healthy diet and a strict exercise regime, you may still find it difficult to achieve more sculpted thighs.
When diet and exercise alone isn’t working, cosmetic surgery can lend a helping hand. There are two main procedures available to help patients achieve leaner looking thighs and these include a thigh lift and thigh liposuction. So, what’s the difference and which procedure is right for you?
What is a thigh lift?
A thigh lift procedure is carried out to sculpt and tone the thighs. It removes excess skin and fat, leaving behind a more contoured, firmer appearance.
The procedure is typically carried out under general anaesthetic and takes approximately two hours to complete. There are two different types of thigh lifts including medial and lateral thigh lifts. The only difference here is the area each type targets. A medial thigh lift focuses on the inner thighs, while a lateral thigh lift focuses on the outer thighs. In some cases, patients may benefit from a combined lateral and medial thigh lift procedure.
What is thigh liposuction?
Thigh liposuction aims to eliminate excess fat from the thighs. It targets localised areas, leaving behind a slimmer and much more contoured appearance. This procedure is largely used on the inner thigh area. However, it can occasionally be used to remove excess fat in the outer thighs, commonly referred to as saddlebags.
Tiny incisions are made within the target area before a cannula is used to break up the fat cells and suction it out of the body. This procedure can result in a lot of swelling which should largely go within four weeks.
How to tell which one is right for you
Both procedures result in slimmer, more contoured thighs. However, the type of procedure which is right for you will depend upon whether you have excess skin or not. Liposuction only removes excess fat, not skin. So, if there is additional skin, it will end up sagging around the thighs. A thigh lift removes both the excess skin and fat.
If you do have excess skin as well as fat and you want to maximise your results, a combined procedure could be ideal. Anthony will talk through your options, helping you to determine which one is right for you.
Patients also need to understand that both procedures are only designed to remove small amounts of fat from the body. They are a contouring procedure, rather than a weight loss procedure. So, if you have excessive levels of fat which need to be removed, you will need to try to lose weight prior to having either procedure carried out.
If you’re interested in undergoing either procedure, it’s a good idea to book a consultation. Call 0117 325 5034 to arrange a consultation.