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Leg/Thigh lift (Thighplasty)

Article-Leg/Thigh lift (Thighplasty)

Procedure Description: A leg lift, also known as a thigh lift or “thighplasty,” is designed to rid the loose, hanging skin in the thigh and buttocks, which tends to remain on a patient’s body following significant weight loss. A leg lift is intended to tighten and firm these areas, improving overall body contour.

Commonly during a leg lift, an incision is made in the upper inner thighs (possibly into the lower inner thigh), and the excess skin and fat is lifted at the surgeon’s discretion. He or she will determine how much can safely be removed. Once the excess is removed, the remaining skin is closed with sutures that can be removed in about a week. The type of incision and a patient’s resulting scar will be determined by the location and amount of excess skin and fat. It may be limited to the upper groin crease or possibly extend to the knee area if this region requires treatment.

Length of Procedure: About two to four hours, depending on the extent of lift required.

Recovery: Patients report post-surgically that they feel sore and tired and usually experience bruising and swelling in the thigh area. To reduce swelling and help with fluid absorption, a compression garment may be recommended for the first five weeks after surgery. You will be unable to walk or drive easily the day after the surgery, so plan ahead and arrange your recovery areas ahead of time to accommodate your recovery. You will be encouraged to walk soon after surgery to help with blood circulation, and any discomfort can usually be controlled by pain medication prescribed by your doctor. After one week your stitches will be removed. Your recovery will last approximately three weeks before you can return to normal activity. You will be advised to wear your compression garment and avoid strenuous physical activity for up to one month.

Risks: Risks include scarring, wound healing problems, infection, blood or fluid collection, loss of sensation, asymmetry, wrinkling of skin, lumpiness, and areas of depression. Nerve damage may cause weakness in foot or leg. There is also the possibility of permanent discoloration.

Results: Results are long-lasting and typically very good, but are always subject to weight fluctuation.

Estimated Cost: Fees for thigh lifts can range from $2,000 to $8,000 depending on which areas and the degree of fat and tissue removal.

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