The inner thighs are cosmetically an area of much dissatisfaction for many weight loss surgery patients. The skin in this area is often thinner than other places and has less elasticity. Subsequently, as people lose weight it often becomes lax, sags more and shows more wrinkles. While for many people this may be mild, for others it can be their main area of cosmetic concern. It is not unusual for people who have achieved their target weight explain that the appearance of their thighs keeps them from wearing shorts or swim suits.
Many procedures have been described over the years for improving the contour of the thighs. However, in the past the procedures have not gained much traction with either surgeons or patients. This has changed over the past few years. As more people have had success with weight loss from bariatric surgery more experience has been gained in this area and more effective procedures have been developed. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that in 2007, 18,431 thigh lifts were performed compared to 2,895 ten years ago.
For many weight loss surgery patients, the laxity of the inner thighs covers a variable distance from the top of the thigh and may extend down to the knee. To address this, an irregularly shaped ellipse of tissue is removed from the crease at the top of the thigh, along its inner aspect, to just below the area of redundancy, usually the knee. The procedure does more than just remove extra skin. It also tightens the underlying soft tissue so the results are more durable and smoother. The surgery usually lasts 3 hours and patients spend one night in the hospital.
As with any surgery, the key to a smooth recovery is planning well. Two drains are placed, one in either leg and the dressing consists of a compressive garment. While patients are encouraged to ambulate early after surgery, it is important to rest. Most people will take one week off of work and will resume exercise three weeks after surgery.
Thigh lift surgery permanently reduces the extra skin so many people find objectionable after weight loss. The surgery does, of course, result in a scar along the inner aspect of the thigh and every effort is made to keep this as fine as possible. Our current methods offer many improvements and are helping more patients than ever before.
Location of Surgery
Inner Thigh Lift surgery is an in-patient procedure. Dr. Shuster these surgeries in the hospital (Mount Sinai Medical Center or Memorial Regional Hospital) and patient spend one night. When appropriate, this surgery may be combined with other body contour procedures.
The recovery following an inner thigh lift varies from patient to patient. Patients should rest and relax during the first week after surgery. During the second week they can begin to resume activities. Exercise can be resumed 4 to 6 weeks following surgery.
While patients are generally able to see changes in their appearance shortly after surgery, the results become even more apparent as the swelling subsides and the incisions settle down. This typically takes several weeks. The results of thigh lift surgery are permanent. However, excessive weight gain can jeopardize the final results.
As with any surgery, complications can occur following a thigh lift. These include bleeding, infection, fluid collections and wound healing problems. Some of these may require additional surgery. Dr. Shuster will discuss these with you in detail.
Following thigh lift surgery, Dr. Shuster requests frequent follow up visits to ensure a healthy recovery and monitors his patients' progress for an extended period. Dr. Shuster and his staff in South Florida are committed to the well being of each patient and are able to provide assistance following your thigh lift surgery.
To arrange for a personal consultation, please contact our office by email, or by phone at 954-961-5500. You can also arrange for a Virtual Consultation to help determine if you are a good candidate for a thigh lift procedure.
For driving directions to our office in South Florida, which is easily accessible from both Fort Lauderdale and Miami, please visit our Location Page.