For many women the inside of the thighs turns into a problem zone when the skin there becomes loose and the thighs’ contours deteriorate. Massive weight gains and losses, no physical activity and advancing age aggravate the problem. The thighs may expand so far that they rub against each other during walking. The thin skin in this area makes surgical intervention difficult. However, there are several effective techniques to combat this problem.
Frequently asked questions about thigh lift:
What is a thigh lift?
A thigh lift or thigh reduction is the removal of fat deposits and excess skin on the inside of the thighs.
Who is a good candidate for a thigh lift?
In particular women over 40, and people after massive weight loss are good candidates. Some skin types tend to lose their elasticity fast; in these cases, the problem can manifest itself even at a younger age. In some people, it is a question of the skin losing its elasticity, in other it is combined with fat deposits.
How is the procedure performed?
In slim patients with little excess skin, a horizontal incision is made on the inside of the upper part of the thigh. In case of much excess skin and when fat deposits are present, the incision is vertical because there is an amount of downward pull on the scar, and a horizontal scar may cause a deformation of the vagina. The intervention begins with liposuction (link). Since the incision is on the inside, it is not visible while you stand.
Is liposuction alone not sufficient?
The skin on the inside is very soft and yielding, and it would lose its shape after removal of the fat deposits that serve as padding. Liposuction alone is an option only for younger people with elastic skin, and even then only to a limited extent.
Are there non-invasive methods for thigh tightening?
Regular physical activity, lymph drainage massage and radio wave treatment may achieve a certain degree of tightening.
What to do and what not to do before treatment?
Three weeks before an invasive / surgical treatment patient must stop smoking and taking aspirin. In the last week, patients must stop taking any anticoagulant (“blood-thinning”) medicine.
The following substances are also prohibited:
• pain killers such as Apranax, Voltaren and Vermidon (alternative brand names are Minoset and Novalgin)
• multivitamin tablets containing ginseng, ginkgo biloba and coenzyme Q,
• green tea, herbal products containing linseed, sour cherry stalks, tomato seeds
• all diet products.
Does the procedure require anaesthesia?
The operation is performed in a clinic under general anaesthesia.
How long does the procedure take?
Thigh lift procedures take 1-2 hours.
Is the thigh lift procedure painful?
The procedure is not painful. Patients are advised to move carefully for some time after the operation.
What happens after the operation?
Patients are usually discharged the same day. The first two days the scars are bandaged. After 2 days patients can take a bath. The sutures are placed under the skin and need not be removed. In the first 3 weeks patients should avoid extreme arm movements. After 3 weeks physical activities are permitted; however, extreme arm movements should be avoided. After 6 six weeks, you are free to exercise as you please.
What problems can occur after the operation?
A horizontal incision scar may spread and it may be accompanied by long-lasting swelling. If pull is exerted on the scar, it may affect the genital area. For this reason a vertical incision is recommended. Here the biggest issue are visible scars. Since they are placed on the inside, they are not visible while you stand. After 6 months, the scars have faded to a large extent. However, they will never completely disappear. Patients must be made aware of this. Some patients disguise their scars with tattoos.
Is thigh reduction permanent?
The aging process cannot be stopped with surgery. Extreme weight gains and losses contribute to a renewed loosening of the skin. A return to the pre-operative state is, however, impossible. To maintain their new shape, patients must watch their weight, do sports and look after their skin.