PLASTIC, RECONSTRUCTIVE & COSMETIC SURGEON

Thigh reduction

A thigh reduction is a surgical procedure that aims to remove excess skin and fat in the upper inner thighs. It is appropriate for individuals who have undergone significant weight loss and as a result have excess skin and fat in this area. It is important that potential patients are in good general health and that weight is stable for at least a year.

What should I expect ?

This procedure is generally performed in fit and healthy individuals and takes approximately 2-2.30 hours. You will be admitted on the day of surgery and the procedure is done under a general anaesthetic. You will usually need to stay overnight although in some circumstances you may be able to go home the same day. The excess skin and fat is removed through an incision in the inner thigh and the wound is stitched closed. The scar lies in the groin crease and therefore is quite well hidden although in larger lifts, the scar may need to be extended down the inside thigh leaving a T shaped scar instead. Following the surgery, dressings are applied and occasionally a drain is inserted which is removed prior to discharge. There should be minimal post-operative pain which is easily controlled with oral pain killers. Full recovery usually takes up to 4 weeks. Return to work will be dependent on the nature of your occupation and return to exercise should be gradual. The scar quality from a thigh lift are generally good but require 6-12 months to completely mature. During this period of maturation, the scars can be red, raised and may also stretch. Occasionally, scars can remain lumpy.

What follow up will I have ?

You will be seen a week after your surgery to check that all is healing well and again at 3 months to ensure to all is well and you are happy with the result.

What are the potential risks and complications ?

There are some risks and complications that can occur with a thigh lift

Scarring : You will have a scar in the inner thigh. Scars can be red and raised initially but mature over a period of 6-12 months, eventually turning white and fading. Occasionally scars can remain lumpy or stretched

Asymmetry : There may be some asymmetry with occasional dog ears at the end of the scars. This can be revised under local anaesthetic if they are a problem. There may also be some subtle differences between the two sides

Haematoma : Some patients may bleed and develop a haematoma after transfer back to the ward. If this occurs, a return to theatre will be required to control the bleeding

Wound infection : During the healing process, wound problems such as infections may occur requiring antibiotics

Wound breakdown : Wound breakdowns are usually minor and can be managed simply with dressings. Larger wound breakdowns with skin loss are rare, but when they do occur, can be problematic and result in delayed healing and worse scarring

Seroma : Occasionally, fluid collections called a seroma can occur which can simply be drained with a needle

Altered sensation : Patients usually also have an area of altered sensation or numbness around the scar which is permanent

General operation risks : A thigh lift also carries the risk of blood clots forming in the legs or lungs which are serious. Precautions such as blood thinning injections and compression stockings are used to reduce this risk

Further information is available here in this Body Contouring guide

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