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People who have lost an incredible amount of weight may experience undesired excess skin in the upper thigh area that becomes very difficult to tone with exercise and diet, making them look heavier than what they actually are.

A thigh lift or thigh reduction describes a surgical procedure which removes unwanted loose skin and fat from the upper inner thigh, commonly from the inner aspect of the knee to the groin. This surgery may be considered by individuals who have lost significant weight and have loose excess skin on the upper inner thigh. Some people may want a thigh lift because they find the upper thigh area out of proportion to the rest of the body, without this being related to significant weight change.

Loose skin due to weight loss or aging may be uncomfortable, producing skin irritation and difficulty with clothing and other activities such as walking and running. By removing the excess skin and underlying fat tissue, a thigh lift can help create smoother and tighter body contours.

These are some of the benefits of a thigh lift or thigh reduction surgery:

Generally, a thigh lift procedure can reduce the excess skin, cellulite and fat tissue from the thigh area. This surgery can also reshape the thighs to improve the body’s contours following weight loss and can enhance body symmetry. Liposuction is frequently part of this procedure and helps to remove fat and shape the thigh area.

A thigh lift may also be considered with other surgical procedures referred to as body contouring surgery, when an individual seeks to remove unwanted skin and soft tissue from many parts of the body that can become problematic after significant weight loss.

At Avery, we welcome the opportunity to have an open conversation with you to understand the changes you are looking for with surgery. Our patients’ stories matter a great deal to us. You can

discover some of our wonderful patients’ journeys here.

Wherever you are on your personal journey, we would like to assist you. Dr Avery will listen to your concerns and what you want to achieve with surgery. Dr Avery will assess your health and medical history to ensure any surgical procedure you are considering is a safe and appropriate choice for you.

Procedure

The condition of the individual’s thighs will determine incision placements, taking into consideration the patient’s desired results and unique body shape. The incision length will depend on the amount of excess skin and tissue to be removed and is generally placed at the groin crease. A longitudinal incision along the inside part of the upper thigh or a combination of both may be required. The length of the longitudinal incision will vary based on the contour that needs to be corrected, but it can extend as far down as the knee.

The excess of fat may be directly removed using liposuction. Dr Avery chooses incisions carefully to minimise scarring, locating the incisions in naturally occurring folds of skins where possible. Sutures may be placed beneath the skin, where they will be gradually absorbed by the patient’s body.

Surgical drains may be used to drain any excess of fluid if needed. These are generally removed the day following surgery. If there is a large amount of fluid, drains may be left for several days.

To aid the patient’s recovery, a compression garment will need to be worn by the patient for several weeks after surgery to retain the shape and reduce swelling.

The scars will vary depending on the amount of excess skin removed in the procedure and the skin elasticity of each individual. Scars tend to fade and soften over a period of time, but they will never disappear. However, the majority of patients scar well and report pleasant results after surgery.

Consultation

There are two main pathways to a consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Your GP or another health practitioner can make a referral to Dr Avery. Alternatively, it is possible to refer yourself for a consultation. The decision to have a consultation may be made after talking with family or friends or following your own research into plastic surgery and Dr Avery.

The purpose of your initial consultation with Dr Avery is to discuss both your concerns and your goals. It is an opportunity to openly communicate what you want to change, alleviate, improve, restore, enhance, or remove. We will discuss any concerns you may have about your potential surgery and its outcome. We will also collect information that is specific and tailored to you, to add to the knowledge you acquired through your research outside of the consultation process.

When you arrive at Avery, you will check in with our front-desk team and complete a medical history form, if not already completed. We encourage you to bring a supportive family member or friend who can remain with you throughout the consultation if you like, and be a sounding board during your decision-making process following the consultation.

The consultation with Dr Avery will include an examination of the area of your body that you are concerned with and considering changing. Our aim will be to determine if plastic surgery can achieve what you hope it will, and if so, what specific plastic surgery procedures will address your concerns and meet your expectations in a realistic way.

Plastic surgery procedures generally impact both physical appearance and your psychological response to the new changes in your body. Besides all the advantages to having plastic surgery, it is important to be fully aware of any potential limitations of the operation and how they apply to your unique situation. This includes possible complications and what can be done if these occur.

We will discuss what the surgery involves, how it relates to you specifically given your uniqueness and current state of health, what the possible risks of the surgery are, and then decide if having the surgery is a safe and appropriate choice for you as an individual.

After your consultation, our support team will be there to talk through any further questions you have, including the cost of the surgery.

At Avery, our goal is to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge needed for you to feel empowered throughout the decision-making process, surgery and post-surgery.

Recovery

Several nights in hospital are generally required following a thigh lift to aid with your recovery. Depending on the complexity of the surgery and any additional procedures, 2-6 weeks off work may also be recommended.

There will be some bruising and swelling, which generally subsides about 2-6 weeks after the operation. You will be required to wear a compression garment or bandages for approximately 6 weeks to provide support and reduce post-operative pain or swelling.

A customised pain relief program will be created for you and issued before you leave the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, then the pain medication or follow up appointments can be adjusted accordingly.

Thigh Lift FAQs

How long after weight loss can I have thigh lift surgery?

The best time to proceed with any body contouring surgery, such as thigh lift, is when your weight loss is mostly complete, and your weight has been stable for several months. If you have had surgery to help achieve weight loss, you may be required to wait at least a year before any aspect of body contouring surgery. It is advisable to have surgery once you’ve reached your preferred weight, and you are able to maintain your new weight.

It is possible to have a consultation regarding potential surgery during your weight loss journey, i.e., before your weight loss has stabilised.

What are the risks associated with thigh lift surgery?

Like any surgery, there is always an element of risk and a possibility of complications. Complications such as blood clots, infection, bruising, bleeding, poor wound healing and unsightly scarring can be experienced after thigh lift surgery.

As part of the consultation process, Dr Avery will have a more in-depth discussion with you regarding potential complications and how to reduce the risk of these.

Will I have a general or local anaesthetic?

Most body contouring surgical procedures such as a thigh lift require general anaesthesic. Dr Avery will talk through the potential risks of general anesthetic during your consultation.

How long does the effect of a thigh lift last?

Provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness, the results of the surgery are long-lasting. However, a thigh lift will not prevent the effects of aging. If you decide to keep losing weight, excess of skin will return.