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What is thigh lift surgery?

Thigh lift surgery reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin and fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body. These body contouring procedures are often desirable after substantial or bariatric weight loss or in individuals for whom dieting and exercise have failed to reduce excess tissue in their upper thighs.

If fitness and weight control efforts have not achieved your goals for a body that is firmer, more youthful-looking, and more proportionate to your overall body image, a surgical lift may be right for you. Liposuction may be used as an adjunct to the recontouring of the inner thigh. A thigh lift surgery is often part of a mommy makeover surgery.

“Thigh lift surgery is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfil someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image, especially those coming from social media. Choosing a procedure based on “what’s new” is never a medically sound decision. Hearing about a procedure on television, through an advertisement or online does not necessarily mean it is the best procedure for you.”

Who is a good candidate for thigh lift surgery?

In general, you may be a good candidate for thigh lift surgery if the effects of ageing have led to sagging, cellulite, and loose skin on your thighs, have succeeded in a weight reduction program and you now desire shapely thighs and legs that reflect more your proportional, toned figure, have difficulty fitting into clothing because of heavy thighs, your thighs make you feel self-conscious and you want to restore your self-assurance regarding your body, you are physically fit and your weight is stable, nonsmoker or have stopped smoking recently, you have realistic expectations of the outcome of your surgery and If you believe you might gain self-confidence or self-esteem from such a procedure.

What should I expect during a consultation for thigh lift surgery?

During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Dr Ricardo will evaluate you as a candidate for thigh lift surgery and clarify what approach is best for you. Alternative and additional treatments may be considered, once he understands your goals and medical condition. It is important to be completely honest during the consultation and be prepared to discuss your surgical goals, medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments, current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use and previous surgeries.

Dr Ricardo will also evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors, evaluate the elasticity of your skin, take photographs, discuss the approach to your surgery, including the type of procedure or combination of procedures and tell you whether your expectations are in line with typical results, discuss any risks or potential complications and share before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours.

The success and safety of your thigh lift surgery depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. It's very important to understand all aspects of your procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with Dr Ricardo.

How should I prepare for thigh lift surgery?

In preparing for thigh lift surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking in advance of surgery and avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.

The surgery will be performed in an accredited hospital and requires to stay overnight for observation unless you and Dr Ricardo have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery. You must arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you the first night following the hospital’s discharge.


Dr Ricardo and the entire staff will provide thorough preoperative instructions and answer any questions you may have. The goal is to help you achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results, as well as to make your surgical experience as easy, comfortable and safe as possible.

What are the steps of a thigh lift procedure?

Step 1 – Anaesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anaesthesia. Dr Ricardo will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – Surgical procedure

A Medial (inner) thigh lift involves an incision made in the groin area extending downward and wrapping around the back of the thigh. Any excess fat and skin are excised along the inner aspect of the thigh. Liposuction may be used but is not always included with an inner thigh lift, depending on your requirements. The area from the groin to the knee is recontoured and the procedure is repeated for the other thigh.

If a more substantial wedge of tissue is removed, the procedure is called a thighplasty. This technique removes excess skin from the groin down to the knee using a longitudinal incision along the inner thigh.

A lateral (outer) thigh lift is a more complex procedure, usually involving recontouring of the buttocks as well as the outer thighs and removal of more tissue. Scarring is more extensive, and the skin will be less elastic after the surgery, so weight should be maintained.

Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits.  A physical examination, a thorough medical history, and a discussion with Dr Ricardo will help determine whether a medial or lateral thigh lift is most appropriate, or whether you will benefit from a combined lower body lift.

Step 3 – Closing the incisions

Deep sutures within underlying tissues help to form and support the newly shaped contours. Skin incisions are closed either with absorbable or non-absorbable sutures that are removed within two weeks following the surgery.

Step 4 – See the results

The smoother, tighter contours that result from a thigh lift surgery are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although there will likely be swelling and bruising. The new appearance may take as long as a year to fully appear.

What should I expect during my arm lift recovery?

During your recovery from thigh lift surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions following the procedure and your thighs may be wrapped in a compression garment to minimize swelling. The surgical incisions mustn't be subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. The pull of gravity and the actions of walking, sitting, and bending put stress on the sutured areas, so you should make careful and deliberate movements.

You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with Dr Ricardo. Remember to always follow his instructions to ensure the success of your surgery.

Proper hygiene is mandatory. Initial wound healing may take 10 to 14 days. Sutures will be removed when it is appropriate. You should be ready to return to work and normal activity after 7-10 days. It may take several months for the swelling to fully dissipate. As it does, your new contours and enhanced self-image should continue to develop. However, you must realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.

What results should I expect after my thigh lift surgery?

The results of your thigh lift are visible almost immediately. However, it may take several months for the final results to fully develop. Clothing and swimwear will fit better, will appear more shapely and proportional and your thighs will be firmer and more youthful, with a curvaceous appearance.

Following a thigh lift, skin quality is improved both in appearance and feel. Some visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should remain.

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