Thigh Lifts

Dr. Capella has performed over 1000 thigh lifts and has the largest published series of thigh lifts on massive weight loss patients in the world.
Background On Thigh Lifts

The effects of time and gravity can cause the skin of the inner and outer thigh to lose tone. This loss of tone can cause the skin to sag or lose the smooth appearance of an earlier age. This condition can be exaggerated by weight loss and by liposuction performed as a sole procedure in the past. In general, the inner thighs are affected earlier than the outer thighs. Along with sagging skin, the thighs can be an area of fat collection. Excessive fat can produce an unpleasant contour. For many individuals, in particular women, the fatty deposits do not respond to weight loss or exercise. Liposuction alone may improve the contour of the thighs when skin tone is good and excessive fat is the primary problem. However, when liposuction is performed alone on an individual with loose skin or existing cellulite, these conditions are usually worsened. The thigh lift procedure usually involves both liposuction and the removal of excessive skin from either the inner or outer thigh or both. Dr. Capella usually performs an outer thigh lift procedure as part of a Body Lift (see Body Lift procedure), and an inner thigh lift as a separate procedure.

Dr. Capella has found that by performing a body lift first, a procedure which is a combination of an abdominoplasty, thigh lift and buttock lift, many individuals have sufficient improvement of inner thigh contour to not need an inner thigh lift. The body lift only entails a scar along the bikini line and easily hidden. For those individuals who request additional improvement of the thighs following a body lift, an inner thigh lift is then considered. Dr. Capella typically requests that individuals wait three months following a body lift to have and inner thigh lift.

Thigh Lift Consultation

During his initial evaluation, Dr. Capella will take a thorough medical history and perform a directed physical examination. He will assess skin tone and determine whether excessive fat is contributing to the patient’s concerns regarding thigh contour. The techniques of liposuction and thigh lifting will be described in detail.

Thigh Lift Pre-Operative Visit

Approximately two weeks prior to surgery, you will meet with Dr. Capella once again to discuss the surgery and to have any further questions answered. It is imperative that you discontinue any medications that may cause bleeding at this time. These medications will be reviewed at the time of the visit. You will be asked to sign a consent form for surgery. Dr. Capella performs thigh lift procedures with general anesthesia.

Photographs will be taken and information provided regarding the date and time of your procedure. You will need an escort to drive you to and from the operating suite on the day of surgery. You should wear loose fitting clothing that will wash easily in the event they are soiled. Do not wear jewelry, contact lenses, or bring valuables to the operating room. Remove all jewelry from pierced body parts, as this can interfere with the procedure and may represent a safety threat to you because of the use of electrocautery during the procedure.

The balance of your surgical fee is due at this pre-operative visit. Dr. Capella will write prescriptions for antibiotics to decrease the risk of infection and narcotic analgesics for post-operative pain relief.

Day Of Thigh Lift Surgery

On the day of surgery, the anesthesiologist will review your medical history and perform a directed physical examination. Dr. Capella will place markings on you while standing up. An inner thigh lift procedure takes approximately two hours. Usually the procedure begins with liposuction and is followed by the removal of excess skin.

Sterile dressings are placed on the incisions followed by an elastic bandage. Patients are usually ready for discharge from the recovery area approximately two hours following the procedure; however, it is necessary to have an escort drive you home. Patients cannot be discharged to the company of a minor or a taxi service.

Thigh Lift Recovery Process

During the first several days after surgery, it is not unusual to have drainage from your incisions. At the time of surgery, fluid is injected into your thighs to decrease blood loss and facilitate the liposuction. Much of your drainage will be this fluid. Walking during the first 48 hours is strongly recommended as tolerated. Climbing stairs or activities that produce tension across the wounds such as squatting should be avoided for the first three days. The dressings may be removed and showering is permitted 48 hours after surgery. Mild soap may be used.

Your first office visit will be approximately one week following surgery. At this time, Dr. Capella will assess the incisions and verify that appropriate healing is taking place. Your thighs will feel “tight” and will be swollen. Most of the swelling should be gone by six weeks after surgery. Individuals with desk-type employment may resume work in one week. Vigorous activities or aerobic exercises should not be resumed for six weeks.

The scars will tend to become increasingly red after two weeks and begin to fade after two to three months. The scars will never completely disappear and will take from 12-18 months to reach their final appearance. Dr. Capella will emphasize the importance of minimizing sun exposure to the scars, especially while they are still red. If sun exposure is to occur during this time, a sun block with a rating of 15 or greater should be applied to the incisions.

Risks Associated With Thigh Lift Surgery

Dr. Capella performs a large number of thigh lift procedures with generally very good results. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there are complications that can occur and some that are more specific to this operation. A small skin separation may occur at the groin area. This problem responds very favorably to a period of dressing changes and the end result will be very similar to the other areas of wound healing. Smokers are advised to discontinue smoking several weeks prior to surgery, as smoking increases the risks of complications and delays wound healing by altering blood circulation in the skin. You can reduce your risks of complications by closely following our instructions before and after the surgery.