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What Is A Thigh Lift?

Jan 5, 2008
A thigh lift is the surgical correction of excess skin to the thighs. Over time, with weight loss or even during normal development, excess skin to the thighs can develop compelling women to seek correction.

What are the incisions used in an arm lift?

The traditional approach to a thigh lift involves removing excess skin around the thigh along its length, which extends from the knee to the groin. The scar is placed along the inside of the thigh so that it is well concealed. In time, many patients have scars that blend and fade beautifully but sometimes the scar can remain red for months and even widen; this potential drawback, however, is more than worth it for the patient who can now fit normally into their clothes!

What type of anesthesia is used?

A thigh lift is usually performed with general anesthesia. The procedure is performed as an outpatient or sometimes, as an overnight stay.

Can other procedures be performed with a brachioplasty?
Patients often have multiple procedures at the same time. The most common include tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), a buttocks lift and/or liposuction. Often times, excess skin from the inner thigh is removed after a lower body/buttocks lift has already been performed, since excess skin usually involves removal in both a vertical and horizontal fashion and, therefore, separate or staged, procedures are advised. This saves both time and money since costs are often reduced when multiple procedures are combined.

What can I expect after surgery?

Most patients in my practice feel that thigh lift was less traumatic than they expected and many patients stop taking their narcotic pain medication a day or two after surgery. The procedure is out-patient, which means you can go home the same day. The incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches and sealed with glue on the outside so there are no sutures to remove and patients can shower the very next day. Drains are usually placed but are removed the next day. Most of the swelling is resolved in about 4-6 weeks after surgery and patients are encouraged to wear a support garment for about 4-6 weeks, after which, there are no restrictions at all. Follow up is very important and patients are encouraged to return to the office within the week, at six weeks, six months and a year.

Tell me about credentials - Is there a difference?

Yes. A thigh lift is a procedure which, unfortunately, can be performed by any physician - whether adequately trained or not. Most states have very little regulation on this matter. Because of this, non-plastic or so called cosmetic surgeons can perform a thigh lift as well. In addition, some physicians who are legitimately board certified in other specialties, such as ENT, dermatology, and gynecology, for example are performing cosmetic surgery even though they often have never had any formal residency training in the specialty of plastic surgery itself. Weekend courses abound and the patient is often confused as to which doctor to see.

Does Hospital affiliation matter?

Again, yes. Although operating in an office setting is not in and of itself inappropriate, it is always possible that an extended hospital observation or additional care might be needed. Indeed, certain procedures or multiple surgeries are usually best treated within the context of a full hospital facility. In addition, hospitals usually require certain standards (credentialing) such as board certification before a physician can have staff privileges. Unfortunately, there are no legal restrictions in most states that prevent physicians operating out of their offices or non hospital associated free-standing surgery suites; so be sure to ask if your doctor does have admitting privileges at a fully accredited hospital facility. If they do not, their ability to either transfer patients or provide continuity of care is potentially compromised.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery in Los Angeles. Learn more about breast augmentation and cosmetic surgery procedures.
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