The thigh lift is a plastic surgery procedure that addresses aesthetic flaws in the thighs. As you age, signs of aging may start to emerge on your body areas, including your legs. Stubborn fat pockets, saggy skin, cellulite, and dimpling may appear on your thighs. These signs can make you look aged and aesthetically unwelcoming. Saggy thighs look aesthetically unpleasant, which is why many patients who develop a saggy skin on the thighs experience lower self-esteem. Even though some people may achieve good outcomes with exercise and diet, for others these approaches may not work. What is the thigh lift? The thigh lift is effective interventions that can get you rid of the saggy skin on the thighs and restore your youthful, firmer, and toned thighs. The procedure does so by surgically removing the saggy skin, excess fat, and excess tissue from the upper legs. There are different incisions and surgical techniques to perform the thigh lift. Which technique is best for you depends on your aesthetic goals, the extent of skin sagginess in the thighs, and the surgeon’s preferences. The thigh lift is an excellent procedure to contour your upper legs, making them look smoother, sexier, and attractive. If your thighs have become saggy and you have already tried diet and exercise without getting successful results, you may consider a thigh lift surgery. While the surgery can tone your thighs, making them firmer and beautiful, it is not meant specifically for fat removal. In fact, liposuction alone is enough to remove fat from the thighs. The primary goal of the thigh lift is to remove the excess skin from your upper legs. However, liposuction can also be used during the surgery to deliver you the desired outcomes. How is the thigh lift performed? A thigh lift is a major surgery that is performed under general anesthesia. After administering anesthesia to the patient, the plastic surgeon will place incisions on the thighs. The size, shape, and pattern of the incision will be discussed with you during the consultation. The incision technique depends on the extent of the aesthetic flaws in the thighs and your aesthetic expectations. One of the common incision techniques is the inner thigh lift incision. This incision starts at the groin, runs down and shawls about the rear of the thigh. Another incision technique excises the surplus skin from the groin area, with the incision running down to the knee. Moreover, your plastic surgeon may recommend you the minimal incision thigh lift that involves only one incision placed in the groin. All of these are inner thigh lift techniques. The second incision is called groin thigh lift incision. If you require contouring of your outer thigh, this incision technique may be used. The incision starts at the groin and goes around the hip and through the back. It is important to keep in mind that the more advanced and sophisticated the incision, the more strategically it can be placed, so the resulting scars are perfectly hidden in the skin folds and clothes. However, all thigh lift incisions leave behind considerable scars. After placing the particular type of incision on the thigh, the plastic surgeon will surgically remove the excess skin that is making your thighs look poorly contoured. The surgeon will make sure the thighs are properly shaped, so they appear firmer and sexier. In the last step, the surgeon will re-drape the remaining skin and place deep sutures in the tissue, so they keep your newly shaped thighs in place until your body heals. The incisions will then be closed, and dressings will be put in place. Recovery after thigh lift Given that thigh lift is a major operation, the patient is required to take enough time off work for a smoother and safer recovery. The primary recovery period can extend over 2-3 weeks, meaning you must take this much time off work for your recovery after the surgery. After the surgery, you may be allowed to go home after a few hours, depending on your health condition. If your health is not stable, you may be told to stay overnight in the hospital or surgical facility. You will see that your thighs have been dressed to reduce the swelling after the surgery and decrease the discomfort. Thigh lift patients may experience some level of pain for the first 24-72 hours following the surgery. The intensity and length of the pain depend on your pain tolerance level and how the surgery has been performed. Normally, oral pain medications are enough to contain the pain and discomfort. You would also see that drain cannulas have been placed under the skin in your thighs. These are meant to carry away any fluids and blood that may be discharged at the incision sites, preventing complications like seroma and hematoma. During the recovery period, you must take care of the incisions. Do not touch them or let anyone else touch them because that can cause infection and bleeding. If the doctor has prescribed you medication, be sure to take them according to the instructions. You would also be required to follow up with the surgeon after a few days. Patients must not engage in physical activities for six weeks after the surgery. You should take enough rest for the first 2-3 weeks. Avoid bending, stretching, running, weightlifting, and other similar activities that require physical dexterity. If your work requires you to engage in physically strenuous activities, you must take more time off work. Six weeks after the surgery, you may resume physical activities gradually. Results of thigh lift While some of the outcomes of the thigh lift will be visible immediately after the intervention, the final results would transpire only after the post-operative swelling has disappeared and the thighs have fully healed. You would notice that after the thigh lift, your thigh skin has become firmer, tighter, and smoother. The results of thigh lift are mostly excellent and sustainable; however, the incisions will develop into scars after the surgery. Scarring is completely unavoidable for the thigh lift procedure. The scars will fade and become less visible with the passage of time. However, you must avoid exposing the scars to direct sunlight for the first six months following the operation because that can make the scars worse and abnormal. In order to prolong the results of the thigh lift, you must maintain a stable weight after the intervention. Weight fluctuations can affect the aesthetic features of your contoured thighs. Aging will take a toll on your thigh; however, they will still appear youthful and sexier than thighs of people who didn’t undergo thigh lift. Risks associated with thigh lift The thigh lift is not risk-free. In fact, the surgery is riskier than many other plastic surgery procedures. During the consultation, be sure to ask the surgeon the specific risks you will be exposed to during the procedure. If the risks are greater than the benefits of the surgery, you should not go under the knife. The risks associated with the thigh lift include the following: • Infection • Excessive bleeding • Poor wound healing • Loss of skin sensation • Anesthetic reaction • Seroma • Hematoma • Wound opening • Thigh asymmetry • Heart attack • Respiratory problems • Severe and prolonged pain and discomforts • Fat necrosis • Death of skin • Abnormal and large scarring • Recurrent skin sagging if your skin quality is poo Candidacy for thigh lift In order to be a good candidate for the thigh lift surgery, you must have good health. If you have serious illnesses, you must discuss it with the surgeon before the surgery because the surgery can be risky for you in that case. For example, if you have diabetes, you will be at greater risk of bleeding and poor wound healing during and after the surgery. Also, if you are taking medications, be sure to bring this to the knowledge of the surgeon. If you are smoking, you must stop smoking two weeks before the procedure. Smoking can trigger blood clotting and poor wound healing after the thigh lift surgery. Moreover, your aesthetic goals must be realistic and achievable. Make sure to tell the surgeon what you expect the surgery can do for you and how you want your thighs to look after the intervention.