Thigh Reduction / Lift

Length of operation: From 2 to 3 hours
Type of Anaesthesia: General
Length of stay in hospital: One night
Recovery time:
Time off work: 1 to 2 weeks after operation

About thigh lift: Many women or men who may have lost a lot of weight may have loose skin and fat on their thighs so that their skin hangs or is too loose.

Thigh lift helps contour the thighs, giving them a more streamlined appearance. This is, however, at the expense of some scarring.

Suitable candidate:  If you have  loose or hanging skin and fat of the thighs  then you would be an ideal candidate for a thigh lift.  This may involve liposuction but mainly  skin and fat excision.

Reasons not to go ahead: Patients on blood thinning medicine, active smoking, overweight patients and patients who do not want any scarring.

Pre op: You can discuss your expectations, learn about the surgery and clarify any doubts you might have at the consultation. The surgeon will perform an examination in order to be able to assess your individual needs and discuss the results in length with you.

On the day: If you decide to go ahead, you will receive advice about what to do and what to avoid, prior to surgery.  Plastic tube drains may be inserted under the thigh skin to remove any excess blood or fluid for the first 24 to 48 hours. These drains are removed before being discharged home. The incision site will be  covered with tape and the thighs may be  bandaged with an  elasticated bandage  that helps in  healing. Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to best care for the bandage and how to position yourself while sitting or lying down to help ease pain. Most patients are discharged the following morning from the hospital. An appointment is made for removal of sutures a week to two weeks following surgery and for a review in about four to six weeks after surgery.

Post op: The skin will be bruised and swollen and may feel tight and numb for the first few days after the operation. This will soften and normal sensation will return gradually. The bandage must be worn constantly for the first 2 weeks. Patients are encouraged to gently exercise  after the first couple of weeks.

Convalescence:  Within a week or two of the procedure, swelling and bruising will begin to reduce.  It may take between  three to six  months for the swelling to settle and to see the full results of the procedure.

Risks and complications:  A small percentage of patients can have complications just like for any surgical procedure.
Infection – can be usually readily treated with an antibiotic.
Haematoma (blood clot under the skin) or bleeding – a re-visit to the operating theatre may be necessary.
Delayed healing of the wound – particularly true in case of diabetic patients or those who smoke. This needs to be discussed with the surgeon during the consultation stage.
Scars – scarring will normally heal well, but will differ from patient to patient. There is a risk of hypertrophic ( thick and lumpy) scarring in the thigh.
Skin necrosis (death of tissue)- is rare but has a higher incidence in smokers. This could lead to delayed healing.

Effects of the procedure: Your thighs should remain firm for many years. If, after a period of years, you again become dissatisfied with the appearance of your thighs, you may choose to undergo a second procedure to restore a more streamlined body contour.