Laxity of the thighs and buttocks is almost always the result of weight loss and aging. It remains the hardest problem to correct, but it is the most common one. It is usually more frequent and imperative to correct in women.
The surgical approach by the plastic surgeon depends on the degree of laxity. In mild cases, the surgeon may be able to correct the problem with incisions on the groin crease, so they can be covered by underwear. The results are definitely better than the preexisting condition, but a few months later, the plastic surgeon may be unable to keep the lower middle of the thigh lifted, while the scar may move and not be hidden inside the underwear any more. In more severe cases, the incisions have to be made along the inner thigh. These incisions aim at removing excess skin and correcting laxity in the lower tertile of the thigh and knee. The scars are not very visible when the patient moves or is at the beach and can be improved later with local anesthesia. Over time, these scars become whiter and resemble stretch marks.
Just like all other surgeries, patients have to arrive at the hospital on an empty stomach and undergo a preoperative checkup. Then they will undergo thigh lift surgery with general anesthesia or an epidural. The procedure lasts 1.5-3 hours, depending on the nature of the problem and the technique that has been selected. None of the techniques presents difficulties to the surgeon, but it may be time-consuming. Complications are not expected and even if they do occur, patients are at no more risk than any other surgical procedure. After the procedure, patients have to be hospitalized overnight and wear an elastic compression garment to the knee for 20 days. The wounds are redressed on the second postoperative day, while on the fourth redressing is followed by a shower, which should be taken daily thereafter. The patient is significantly immobilized and the postoperative course is not as painless as other plastic surgeries, such as those of the breast. Patients may return to their normal activities approximately 15 days after the operation.
Mild laxities (without excess skin) may be treated conservatively with the use of radio frequencies in 7-8 sessions every 15 days and improve the look of the knee. In addition, lymphatic massages may improve the image of cellulite.
Useful Facts about Thigh Lift
Length of surgery: 2 h – 3.5 h
Anesthesia: General or epidural
Duration of Hospitalization: 1 to 2 days
Return to normal activities: 2-3 weeks
Postoperative care: First dressing change on the second postoperative day. Shower on the fourth postoperative day. Stitches removed on the seventh postoperative day. Compression garment is worn for a few months (4-5).