Thigh or Gluteal Lift
The thigh or gluteal lift is a procedure that tightens the skin of the thigh and reduces sagging in the inner or outer thigh.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The information presented below is only for informational purposes. Your surgeon will talk to you about details regarding your specific procedure.
Who is a candidate for a thigh or gluteal lift?
If the skin of the inner thigh sags or is droopy, then a thigh lift is ideal as it will tighten up the skin and smooth out the contour of the inner thigh. Patients who have lost a lot of weight are also ideal candidates.
What is involved in the thigh or gluteal lift procedure?
This procedure can be done using local or general anesthesia. Your surgeon/anesthesiologist should discuss the options with you prior to the surgery. On the day of the procedure, the surgeon will mark the patient’s thighs while standing up. The skin is pinched and elevated towards the groin. An estimate is made as to how much skin should be removed. Excess skin and fat are then removed and the remaining thigh skin is elevated and tightened. Scarring will depend on the amount of excess skin being removed. In most cases, the scar can be hidden in the undergarments as they are permanent. tretinoin cream
What should I expect during recovery and after?
You will have tape placed over the incisions and you will need to wear a body garment for at least 3-4 weeks. You will be able to shower the next day but most patients wait for at least a couple of days. After showering, pat the incision dry or blow it dry with a cool hair dryer. Small amounts of oozing and bleeding are very common but it should be no more than a slow staining of the dressing. Applying cold compresses, or ice packs will reduce swelling and relieve discomfort. Surgical drains are placed and will be removed around 7 days. Swelling will be present for up to 3-4 months but a dramatic difference is seen at about one month after your surgery. If you bruise it will take 3-4 weeks to disappear. It will take one week to 10 days to return to work, but it will take a month before you feel like your normal self. Returning to the gym will take at least one month. The sutures are mostly internal but any external sutures will be removed around 10 days. The final scar will not be fully mature until one–two years after the surgery. Sometimes it is normal to feel frustrated, anxious and even depressed at around the 7-14 day mark. The discomfort after the procedure is moderate and you will be given plenty of medicines to manage this.
How soon will I see results?
You will notice the change in your body shape almost immediately, however you will still be swollen, and the swelling will take about 3 months to completely disappear. You will need to wear a garment for about 3-4 weeks. This will provide support and help with the skin re-draping especially if liposuction was performed. At first you will notice a definite difference in the gluteus contour, but since you are swollen, the buttock will appear very full, and will have a boxy appearance. The scar appearance will not be final until about one year later.
What are some of the risks of a thigh lift?
Like any surgical procedures, complications although as rare as they may be, still exist. You may have some bleeding or hematoma, which is a collection of blood. This can occur but it is extremely rare, if it does occur this would require exploration of the wound along with drainage of the hematoma and control of any bleeding if it is still present. Infection can occur, however you will antibiotics that you can take that are specific to your particular infection. Skin sensation changes are common. You may experience decrease sensation with either numbness or sweating of the buttock area along with temperature changes in the buttock, the sensation of (feeling cool or warm). This usually resolves over a one to three month period, and it is usually from swelling. The sensation should return although it may take some time, up to one year. Rarely is it permanent.
Wound healing problems are more common in smokers and patient with poor wound healing, although it can occur in anyone. The wound may open up, requiring dressing changes until it heals. The area in which the incision is placed has tension and is in an area that has constant traction. Therefore, in some patients minor wound problems develop, like the wound opens or has persistent drainage. This problem usually resolves on its own and it just a matter of letting time heal the wound. The scars can heal thick and sometimes a scar revision is needed.
Prolonged fluid drainage from the incision site is localized fluid that is around the incision site. Many times it may require the wound to be explored and make sure it is not a more severe infection. Often it is a suture that has become infected and needs to be removed. The solution may be to either remove the suture and the problem is solved or it may require that the wound be left open and allow it to heal on its own over time with the aid of dressing changes.
Bad scaring is perhaps the biggest problem with the operation. The scars will be red for the first few months after surgery, but they will gradually fade. You should realize that the scars are permanent and that their final width, height and color are not totally predictable and will depend on your own healing properties. Typically the thigh or gluteal lift heals with wide scars since the wound closure is placed under tension.
Recurrence of the droopiness can occur, although rare, it is seen more commonly in patients that were very overweight and continued to loose body fat, or in patients with extremely excess skin. The correction would be to perform another body lift.