A thigh lift, or thighplasty, is a procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the inner and outer thighs to create a more aesthetically pleasing look to the legs. Thigh lifts may be done in conjunction with liposuction to remove excess fat.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 9,129 thigh lift procedures performed in the United States in 2014.
Choosing a Thigh Lift
Patients may choose to have a thigh lift if they want to:
- Create more youthful looking thighs and legs
- Get rid of excess skin around the thighs due to weight loss
- Make the shape and size of thighs more proportional to the body
- Remove sagging skin that is the result of aging
Thigh lifts cannot be used for major weight loss around the thigh areas. While liposuction is sometimes done in conjunction with a thigh lift, it is a tool to sculpt rather than to completely alter the appearance of the thigh. Patients should have stable body weight before considering a thigh lift.
Patients may choose an inner (medial) thigh lift, outer (lateral) thigh lift, or a combination of the two. An inner thigh lift will take place through an incision in the groin area, and an outer thigh lift will occur through an incision below the hip area. Outer thigh lifts are often combined with buttock lift procedures and tummy tucks.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of thigh lift surgery was $4,653 in 2014, however this price does not include all medical fees like anesthesia and operating room fees.
Most patients pay out of pocket for thigh light procedures because medical insurance companies usually do not cover elective cosmetic procedures.
Understanding the Thigh Lift Procedure
The thigh lift procedure technique will depend on the patient's expectations. The procedure can vary in the amount of skin removed, the size of the incision, and the targeted area.
Before the thigh lift procedure, patients will usually be sedated with general anesthesia. Sometimes, local anesthesia can be used depending on the extent of the procedure. The surgeon will usually draw incision lines on the patient before sedation so the patient can inspect the site of the surgery.
An inner thigh lift will be completed with an incision in the groin, usually where the thigh meets the groin. The surgeon will remove skin and fat from the inner thigh, and will lift the remaining skin to close the incision. The incision for an inner, or medial, thigh lift can extend back to the buttock or hip.
An outer thigh lift is usually completed with an upside-down u-shaped incision around the hip that follows the contour of the leg. The surgeon will remove skin and fat from the incision site, and will lift the surrounding skin to close the incision.
The average recovery time for thigh lifts is between 10 and 14 days. Patients may have drains at the surgical site for the first few days to remove excess fluid buildup. Some surgeons will ask patients to wear compression garments for the first few weeks after surgery to aid the healing process.
Risks of Thigh Lift Procedures
- Excessive bleeding
- Hematoma or seroma—buildup of fluid under the skin
- Skin discoloration
- Loss of sensation
- Blood clots
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia
- Necrosis or loss of blood to fatty tissue and tissue death
- Wound separation
- Dissatisfaction with results
Doctors should discuss all material risks of the procedure with the patient before the procedure. Patients should discuss their expectations for the procedure with their surgeon, and should have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do.
Medical Malpractice in Thigh Lifts
If your thigh lift procedure was mishandled by a health care provider, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help answer questions about your legal rights.
The law offices of Gilman & Bedigian assist patients who were seriously injured during cosmetic procedures. Our knowledgeable attorneys know what to examine in your case and will consult with medical experts to determine was negligent.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries during a thigh lift, call Gilman & Bedigian today to schedule a free consultation.