Weight loss after bariatric surgery or after multiple pregnancies can create sagging skin and fat in several areas of the body including the thighs. I treat lateral thigh lift mostly with liposuction but also have performed direct excision of profound excess skin and bulging. More commonly patients seek improvement of their inner thighs. If fat alone is the issue, then conservative liposuction may be of benefit. But like all other things in medicine, we must determine the diagnosis. If the diagnosis is excess skin and fat of the inner thighs, then a thigh lift is indicated.
Usually the excess skin and fat is circumferential or around the thigh. Therefore, the incision must be vertical. It begins at the groin crease and extends to usually just above the knee. More modest excisions will have a shorter scar. Additionally, some degree of adjustment in the groin area may be a requirement. Sometimes in the form of a T at the upper groin area.
Body contouring patients in my practice must acknowledge that they rather have the scar with the improved contour more than they want the excess tissue. This is their way of saying of course I want the best scar. However, I’d rather have the improvement of the thinner smoother firmer inner thighs.
Nonsurgical Thigh Lifts
Nonsurgical thigh lifts are counterproductive because they usually minimally address the excess skin. The application of energy to the skin of the medial thigh can take one of several forms. Either laser or radiofrequency. Neither of which will give the maximum improvement.
Scar length in a thigh lift is determined by the degree of excess. Usually from the inner groin area down to just above the knee. As stated in some instances this scar can be shorter. Closure of the medial thigh lift incision is a challenge. This is because of the post-operative activity of the patient. These scars have a tendency to widen and possibly separate over small areas. Suture closure is essential. And, I perform a very meticulous layer closure with most all of the stitches internal. I usually follow with Steri-Strips and a compression garment. Usually, an ace wrapping for the first several days and then switch out to a compression garment. This plays a very important role in molding and compressing this surgical site.
Recovery can be 4 to 6 weeks or possibly two months. This depends upon the quality of the healing incision. As I state above, once the initial wrap is taken away the compression garment is worn for several weeks postoperatively. Patients are usually very happy with this operation and its improvement once they accept the incision site.