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During a  thigh lift, excess skin is lifted and removed through incisions made in the inner thigh and/or high upper outer thigh. The incisions are extensive but are usually not visible when clothing is worn. Simultaneous lifting of the thighs and buttocks is done using incisions that follow a French-cut bathing suit line only a bit higher up on the hip. The surgeon lifts and removes the excess skin down to the muscle and removes the thick layer of fat beneath the skin. Drain tubes may be placed at the incision to draw out fluids. The surgery usually takes two to three hours.

THE THIGH LIFT PROCEDURE
Anesthesia is general and the procedure takes about two hours.

The incision is very inconspicuous and is located in the groin beneath the bikini line. It has a tendency to heal slightly wide and dark but this gets better over time.

The procedure involves liposuction of any excess fat in the thighs and legs, then removing a crescent of skin high up in the groin, loosening the tissues below this and pulling them up and sewing the edges together. Deep stitches are secured to the ligaments and bone so there is less of a tendency for the skin to fall down. The length of the incision depends on the amount of excess skin. It is not unusual to remove 5-10 inches in length!

Drains are used for two days. These are soft and comfortable and removed without pain.

Dressings and a light compression garment are used for several days.

This can be combined with other plastic surgical procedures.

THE RECOVERY FROM A THIGH LIFT
You can go home after several hours but it is usually more comfortable to stay overnight.

You can shower on the second or third day after surgery after the drains are out.

There is only minimal pain that is mostly gone by the second or third day and easily controlled by medications.

Swelling is mild to moderate and peaks at two to three days then disappears rapidly over the next three weeks.

Minimal or no bruising is the usual.

Some grogginess is present which persists for about a week.

You can resume many activities within the first week, and most by at least three weeks.

The stitches are removed at ten days.

Expect to be off of work for a full week, but you will be able to be up and around.

THE RESULT OF A THIGH LIFT


Beautiful, tightened, lifted and flattened contour to the inner thighs.

More confident and comfortable in clothing, especially sports wear and jeans.

Lasts the rest of your life and always looks better than if you didn't do it. If there is continued sagging or weight loss, then a second touch up procedure can help.

Natural and presentable appearance in the first week that just gets better over the next three to six months.

Q: I am interested in plastic surgery to slim my inner and outer thighs, knees, and buttocks. How do I know if I should have liposuction or a thigh lift?
A: The answer to your question lies in the tone of your skin. In general, liposuction is best for those who have good skin tone (no stretch marks, loose skin, or wrinkles in the areas of lipo). Liposuction will reduce the volume of fat in the areas treated, but will only slightly tighten the skin (provided it has good tone). A thigh lift is more appropriate for those who have loose, sagging skin, with or without excessive fatty deposits. A thigh lift will tighten loose skin and may even improve cellulite in some people. Liposuction can also be incorporated into a thigh lift for those who seek this.