Thigh lift (and thigh reduction)
What is it?
Thigh lift is the tightening of the thighs in people who want them tighter but for whom liposuction is not suitable. Liposuction will not work if there is significant tissue laxity or sag. However liposuction alone will work if your skin is fairly firm. Outer thigh lift corrects the "saddlebag" and "jodhpur" deformity, while medial thigh lift corrects the inner thighs. Lateral thigh lift is often performed together with abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and makes up part of a body lift but it can be performed alone.
Is Mr Callan experienced at this procedure?
Mr Callan has many years of experience at this procedure. He performs thigh lift regularly and keeps up to date with the latest techniques. As a fully trained plastic surgeon, Mr Callan performs this procedure to the highest standard available.
Can I see photographs?
You can see photographs of people who have had this procedure when you have your consultation. As Mr Callan performs this procedure frequently, we have a number of photographs of people you have had the type of thigh lift you may be suitable for.
Who has thigh lift?
Women and men who have excess tissue on the outer thighs and perhaps the hips are suitable for a lateral thigh lift. Men or women who have excess all the way around the thigh, and especially the inner thigh, are candidates for a medial thigh lift. Basically anybody who has thigh laxity in association with excess fat for whom liposuction alone will not work are good candidates for thigh lift. You can check this by pulling up the thighs with your hands in front of a mirror. If it makes a big difference then you may be suitable for a thigh lift. If it doesn't, liposuction alone may work.
Am I suitable?
You need to be sensible and honest about your reasons for wanting a thigh lift and happy with your informed decision. You should also be as healthy as possible. A time of personal crisis is no time to be making decisions about such surgery.
What would make me unsuitable for surgery?
Smoking, being outside the BMI (body mass index) range of 18-28, under stress when making your decision, or having a medical condition that would make surgery unsafe.
How is it done?
Mr Callan performs all his surgery at St John of God Hospital in Geelong, a fully accredited hospital. It depends on the type of thigh lift you have but generally an incision is made and the thigh tissue tightened by lifting while the excess is removed. There are three types of thigh lift. Lateral thigh lift is the removal of excess tissue (skin and fat) from the hips which then lifts and tightens the outer thighs. It involves incisions at the hip. Lateral thigh lift is often performed together with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or with a body lift. Medial thigh lift has two versions. In the first there is a transverse incision high up in the groin (concentric medial thigh lift). In the second, for more severe cases, there is also a vertical incision along the inner thigh (vertical medial thigh lift). The medial thigh lift tightens the entire thigh.
What are the benefits?
What you get out of surgery is entirely a personal matter. If the weight and volume of the excess thigh tissue distresses you, then removing it may be a great relief and may make you feel better about your appearance in general.
What are the risks?
All surgery carries some element of risk. You can minimise your risk by being as healthy as possible and as psychologically prepared as possible, by selecting an experienced and qualified surgeon, and by giving yourself a stress free time during which to recover. The particular risks and complications of this surgery will be discussed at your first consultation. The most common is fluid collection under the skin. Occasionally the incision may take a little extra time to heal but overall this procedure goes very smoothly. There are other risks common to all surgery and you will be made aware of these.
Will I have scars?
The incision lines for the surgery are always present, but fade over the first six to 12 months. As a rule the incision lines become relatively inconspicuous in most people and can be covered by clothing.
How long will I be in hospital for?
Thigh lift can be a day procedure but usually requires an overnight stay, depending on how you are after the anaesthetic. Someone will need to take you home from hospital and should stay with you the first night. Thigh lift is not a particularly painful procedure but can be a little uncomfortable if the tension on the skin is high. You will be given medication if it is required to keep you comfortable.
How long will I need to recover?
This varies but usually ranges from two to six weeks. If your activities are sedentary you may only need a couple of weeks, but if you do heavy work and lifting you may need up to six weeks. It's a good idea to take some time off from more strenuous activities so you don't prolong your recovery. The same guidelines apply to exercise, with mild to moderate exercise allowed early on and full aerobic activities after six weeks. You can shower after surgery. You must not drive until you are fully recovered from both the anaesthetic and the discomfort of surgery. If in doubt, don't.
Do I wear a garment after surgery?
You may need to wear a pressure garment after surgery for three weeks. This helps the healing process and reduces the possibility of fluid collections. It also keeps you compact during recovery.
Will I need to be seen after surgery?
Yes. We will keep in close contact with you by telephone for the first few days, then will see you about four days after surgery, then at three weeks and at three months. You are of course welcome to call or visit any time with any concerns.