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Thigh Lifts in Virginia Beach

Sometimes as a consequence of substantial weight loss or natural aging, the development of excess skin can occur in a portion of the inner thigh. The thigh lift procedure is designed to remove this unwanted skin and restore a smoother contour to the thigh area.

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What is a Thigh Lift?

A thigh lift, also known as thighplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to reshape and tighten the thighs by removing excess skin and fat, resulting in a more toned and contoured appearance. Thigh lift surgery targets areas of the thighs that may be affected by sagging skin, excess fat deposits, or loss of skin elasticity due to aging, weight loss, or other factors. The procedure helps improve the overall appearance of the thighs, enhancing body contour and proportion.

During a thigh lift, the surgeon makes incisions in strategic locations to remove excess skin and fat from the thighs. The specific technique used may vary depending on the patient’s unique anatomy, goals, and the extent of correction needed. Common types of thigh lift procedures include:

  • Medial Thigh Lift: This procedure focuses on the inner thighs and involves making incisions along the groin crease or inner thigh to remove excess skin and fat. The remaining skin is then lifted and tightened to create a smoother, more toned appearance along the inner thigh.
  • Lateral Thigh Lift: Also known as a lateral thighplasty or outer thigh lift, this procedure targets the outer thighs and hips. The surgeon makes incisions along the outer thigh or hip area to remove excess skin and fat, lifting and tightening the skin to improve contour and reduce sagging.
  • Vertical Thigh Lift: In cases where excess skin extends along the length of the thigh, a vertical thigh lift may be performed. This technique involves making incisions along the inner thigh and extending vertically down the leg to remove excess skin and fat, resulting in improved thigh contour and definition.
  • Combined Thigh Lift: In some cases, patients may benefit from a combination of medial and lateral thigh lift techniques to address both inner and outer thigh concerns comprehensively. The surgeon customizes the surgical approach to meet the patient’s specific needs and achieve optimal results.
After removing excess skin and fat, the surgeon carefully closes the incisions, typically using sutures or surgical adhesive. Compression garments may be worn over the thighs to support the tissues, minimize swelling, and promote optimal healing during the recovery process.
Thigh lift surgery can help patients achieve firmer, more youthful-looking thighs and enhance their overall body contour. It’s essential for individuals considering a thigh lift to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in body contouring procedures to discuss their goals, candidacy, and the most appropriate treatment options for achieving their desired outcome.

Ideal Candidate for a Thigh Lift

An ideal candidate for a thigh lift (thighplasty) typically exhibits certain characteristics and meets specific criteria that make them well-suited for the procedure. While individual candidacy may vary, ideal candidates for a thigh lift generally include individuals who:
  1. Have Excess Skin and Fat: Ideal candidates have loose or sagging skin, excess fat deposits, or poor skin elasticity in the thigh area, often due to aging, significant weight loss, or genetic factors. They may be bothered by the appearance of “saddlebags,” “thigh gap,” or “bat wings” on the thighs.
  2. Are in Good General Health: Candidates should be in good overall health and free from any medical conditions that could increase the risk of complications during surgery or impair the healing process. Conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or cardiovascular disease may affect candidacy.
  3. Maintain Stable Weight: Ideal candidates have reached a stable and healthy weight and maintain a stable lifestyle. Significant fluctuations in weight can affect the results of thigh lift surgery and may necessitate additional procedures in the future.
  4. Have Realistic Expectations: Candidates should have realistic expectations about the outcomes of a thigh lift procedure and understand the limitations of the surgery. While thigh lift surgery can improve thigh contour and reduce excess skin, it may not achieve perfection or address all aesthetic concerns.
  5. Are Non-Smokers or Willing to Quit: Smoking can impair circulation, decrease oxygen supply to the tissues, and interfere with the healing process, potentially increasing the risk of complications and compromising the results of thigh lift surgery. Ideal candidates are non-smokers or willing to quit smoking before and after surgery.
  6. Are Committed to Post-Operative Care: Candidates should be committed to following all post-operative instructions provided by their surgeon, including wearing compression garments, attending follow-up appointments, and avoiding strenuous activities during the initial recovery period.
  7. Have Realistic Body Proportions: Ideal candidates have realistic body proportions and an overall balanced physique. The surgeon evaluates the patient’s body proportions and thigh anatomy during the pre-operative consultation to ensure that the desired outcome is achievable and harmonious with the rest of the body.
  8. Are Dissatisfied with Thigh Appearance: Candidates should be bothered by the appearance of their thighs and motivated to undergo surgery to improve thigh contour, reduce sagging skin, and achieve a more toned and youthful appearance.
By meeting these criteria, candidates can ensure that they are suitable candidates for a thigh lift and are likely to achieve safe and satisfactory results from the procedure. It’s essential for candidates to undergo a thorough evaluation and consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in thigh lift surgery to determine their candidacy and discuss their goals and expectations before undergoing the procedure.

What Happens During a Thigh Lift?

During a thigh lift (thighplasty) surgery, several key steps are typically involved to reshape and tighten the thighs by removing excess skin and fat. While the specific technique used may vary depending on the patient’s anatomy and goals, here is an overview of what happens during a thigh lift procedure:
  1. Anesthesia: The surgery begins with the administration of anesthesia to ensure the patient’s comfort throughout the procedure. The type of anesthesia used may vary depending on the extent of the surgery and the patient’s medical history. Options include general anesthesia, local anesthesia with sedation, or epidural anesthesia.
  2. Incision Placement: The surgeon carefully plans and marks the incision locations based on the patient’s unique anatomy and the desired extent of correction. Common incision patterns used in thigh lift surgery include:
    • Medial Thigh Lift: Incisions are typically made along the inner thigh, extending from the groin crease to the knee or upper thigh.
    • Lateral Thigh Lift: Incisions are made along the outer thigh or hip area to address excess skin and fat on the outer thighs.
    • Vertical Thigh Lift: In cases where excess skin extends along the length of the thigh, vertical incisions may be made along the inner thigh and extended vertically down the leg.
  3. Skin and Fat Removal: Once the incisions are made, the surgeon carefully removes excess skin and fat from the thighs using surgical techniques such as excision and liposuction. The amount of tissue removed depends on the patient’s specific concerns and the desired outcome of the surgery.
  4. Tissue Tightening and Sculpting: After removing excess skin and fat, the surgeon tightens and reshapes the remaining tissue to create a smoother, more toned thigh contour. This may involve lifting and repositioning the skin and underlying tissues to achieve the desired appearance.
  5. Closure of Incisions: Once the desired contour is achieved, the surgeon closes the incisions using sutures or surgical adhesive. The incisions are carefully closed to minimize scarring and promote optimal healing.
  6. Placement of Drains and Dressings: In some cases, drainage tubes (drains) may be placed under the skin to prevent fluid buildup and promote healing. The incision sites are then covered with sterile dressings to protect the wounds and promote proper healing.
  7. Compression Garments: Following the procedure, the patient may be instructed to wear compression garments over the thighs to support the tissues, minimize swelling, and promote optimal healing. These garments help reduce post-operative discomfort and improve the final results of the surgery.
  8. Monitoring and Recovery: After surgery, the patient is monitored in a recovery area until they are fully awake and stable. Pain medication may be prescribed to manage discomfort during the initial recovery period. Patients are typically advised to avoid strenuous activities and follow all post-operative instructions provided by their surgeon to facilitate healing and optimize results.By following these steps, thigh lift surgery can help patients achieve firmer, more contoured thighs and enhance their overall body shape and proportion. It’s essential for individuals considering a thigh lift to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in body contouring procedures to discuss their goals, candidacy, and the most appropriate treatment options for achieving their desired outcome.

Recovery Timeline Following a Thigh Lift

The recovery timeline following a thigh lift (thighplasty) surgery can vary from patient to patient depending on factors such as the extent of the procedure, individual healing characteristics, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. While every patient’s experience may differ, here is a general overview of the typical recovery timeline following a thigh lift:
  1. Immediate Post-Operative Period (Day 1-2):
    • Patients may experience grogginess and discomfort as the effects of anesthesia wear off.
    • Pain and discomfort in the thigh area are common and can be managed with prescribed pain medication.
    • Swelling, bruising, and temporary numbness in the thighs are expected.
    • Patients are encouraged to rest and avoid strenuous activities during the initial recovery period.
  2. First Week:
    • Swelling and bruising typically peak within the first few days after surgery and gradually begin to improve.
    • Patients should keep the legs elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling and promote healing.
    • Compression garments may be worn over the thighs to support the tissues and minimize swelling.
    • It’s important to avoid bending at the waist or placing undue stress on the incisions to prevent complications and promote proper healing.
  3. First Month:
    • Swelling continues to subside gradually, and patients may begin to see initial improvements in thigh contour and shape.
    • Patients may gradually increase their activity level as tolerated but should still avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and exercise that involves the lower body.
    • Compression garments may be worn as directed by the surgeon to help shape and support the thighs during the healing process.
  4. First Few Months:
    • Swelling may persist for several weeks to months after surgery, gradually resolving over time.
    • Patients may gradually resume more normal activities and exercise routines as instructed by their surgeon.
    • Final results become more apparent as swelling subsides, typically within a few months after surgery. However, it may take up to six months to a year for the final outcome to fully stabilize as the tissues continue to settle and heal.
Throughout the recovery process, it’s essential for patients to follow all post-operative instructions provided by their surgeon, including attending follow-up appointments, taking prescribed medications, and avoiding activities that may strain or disrupt the healing tissues. By adhering to these guidelines and allowing ample time for healing, patients can optimize their thigh lift results and enjoy smoother, more contoured thighs over the long term.

Maintaining Results

Maintaining the results of a thigh lift (thighplasty) surgery requires a combination of lifestyle habits, ongoing self-care, and periodic follow-up with your plastic surgeon. While the surgery can provide long-lasting improvements to thigh contour and appearance, it’s important to take steps to preserve the results over time. Here are some tips for maintaining the results of a thigh lift:
  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: One of the most important factors in maintaining the results of a thigh lift is to maintain a stable and healthy weight. Significant fluctuations in weight can affect the contour and appearance of the thighs, potentially undoing the results of the surgery. Adopting a balanced diet and regular exercise routine can help support weight maintenance and overall health.
  2. Regular Exercise: Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can help tone and strengthen the muscles of the thighs and improve overall body contour. Focus on exercises that target the thighs, such as lunges, squats, leg lifts, and cycling. However, avoid high-impact activities or exercises that may strain the thighs during the initial recovery period.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for maintaining healthy skin elasticity and promoting overall skin health. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated and support optimal healing and tissue integrity.
  4. Skin Care: Proper skincare can help maintain the health and appearance of the skin on the thighs. Moisturize the skin regularly to keep it hydrated and supple. Use sunscreen with a high SPF to protect the skin from sun damage and prevent premature aging, which can affect the appearance of scars and the overall aesthetic outcome of the thigh lift.
  5. Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Smoking can impair circulation, decrease oxygen supply to the tissues, and interfere with the healing process, potentially compromising the results of thigh lift surgery. Avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption to promote optimal healing and preserve the longevity of the results.
  6. Follow Post-Operative Instructions: Adhere to all post-operative instructions provided by your plastic surgeon, including wearing compression garments, attending follow-up appointments, and avoiding activities that may strain the thighs during the initial recovery period. Follow-up appointments allow your surgeon to monitor your progress and address any concerns that may arise.
  7. Be Mindful of Clothing and Activities: Choose clothing that provides support and compression to the thighs, especially during the initial recovery period. Avoid wearing tight clothing that may constrict blood flow or cause irritation to the surgical incisions. Be cautious when engaging in activities that involve repetitive or strenuous movements of the thighs, as these may affect the healing process and the final outcome of the surgery.
  8. Regular Follow-Up: Schedule regular follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon to monitor the long-term results of your thigh lift and address any concerns or questions that may arise. Your surgeon can provide personalized recommendations for maintaining the results and address any changes in thigh contour or appearance over time.
By incorporating these tips into your lifestyle and following the guidance of your plastic surgeon, you can help preserve the results of your thigh lift surgery and enjoy smoother, more contoured thighs over the long term. It’s essential to prioritize self-care and maintain a healthy lifestyle to optimize the longevity of your thigh lift results.

Possible Complications

While thigh lift (thighplasty) surgery is generally considered safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, like any surgical procedure, it carries the risk of potential complications. Patients considering a thigh lift should be aware of these risks and discuss them with their surgeon before undergoing surgery. Possible complications of thigh lift surgery may include:
  1. Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or after surgery is a potential complication of thigh lift surgery. While rare, it may require surgical intervention to control bleeding and prevent complications.
  2. Infection: Infection at the surgical site is a risk following any surgical procedure, including thigh lift surgery. Symptoms of infection may include redness, warmth, swelling, pain, and discharge from the incisions. Prompt treatment with antibiotics may be necessary to prevent the spread of infection and promote healing.
  3. Poor Wound Healing: Some patients may experience delayed wound healing or wound breakdown at the incision sites. Factors such as smoking, poor nutrition, diabetes, and certain medications may increase the risk of wound healing complications.
  4. Seroma Formation: Seromas are pockets of fluid that can accumulate under the skin in the surgical area, resulting in swelling, discomfort, and potential complications. Seromas may require drainage through needle aspiration or surgical intervention to prevent infection and promote healing.
  5. Hematoma: A hematoma is a collection of blood that can accumulate under the skin, causing swelling, pain, and bruising. While rare, hematomas may require surgical drainage to prevent complications and promote healing.
  6. Numbness or Altered Sensation: Temporary or permanent numbness, tingling, or altered sensation in the thighs may occur following thigh lift surgery due to nerve damage or disruption during the procedure. Sensory changes typically improve over time but may persist in some cases.
  7. Scarring: Thigh lift surgery results in permanent scars at the incision sites. While efforts are made to minimize scarring and place incisions in inconspicuous locations, the appearance of scars may vary depending on factors such as skin type, genetics, and post-operative care.
  8. Skin Irregularities or Contour Abnormalities: Some patients may experience irregularities or contour abnormalities in the skin or underlying tissues following thigh lift surgery. This may include asymmetry, rippling, or uneven skin texture. Revision surgery may be necessary to address these issues in some cases.
  9. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE): Blood clots can form in the deep veins of the legs (DVT) and travel to the lungs (PE), causing potentially life-threatening complications. Measures such as early ambulation, compression garments, and blood thinners may be used to reduce the risk of blood clots after surgery.
  10. Anesthesia Risks: General anesthesia carries inherent risks, including allergic reactions, respiratory complications, and adverse reactions to medications. Patients should discuss their medical history and any concerns with their anesthesiologist before surgery.
  11. Unsatisfactory Results: Despite the surgeon’s best efforts, some patients may be dissatisfied with the results of thigh lift surgery. It’s essential to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the procedure and communicate openly with the surgeon about goals and concerns.
It’s important for patients considering thigh lift surgery to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in body contouring procedures and undergo a thorough evaluation to assess their candidacy and discuss potential risks and complications. By understanding and addressing these potential complications, patients can make informed decisions and minimize the risk of adverse outcomes from thigh lift surgery.

Thigh Lift Before & After Photos