Silhouette cosmetic surgery
The thigh lift (or thigh dermolipectomy) procedure moves excess skin located on the inner thighs. This excess, often unsightly, can cause discomfort when wearing clothing.
Several types of inner thigh lifting treatments are available, Dr. Laveaux will propose the most suitable method for you:
- the vertical scar lift is performed in cases of excess skin predominately along the width of the thighs. It causes a scar along the inner thigh, even beyond the knee in some cases ;
- the horizontal scar lift is designed to correct the excess skin along the length of the inner thigh. The improvement is more moderate, but the scar is more discreet, located in the groin crease. To ensure that the pulled skin remains in place, it is set deep into the thigh ligament. This binding leads to depressions that resemble cellulite that spontaneously disappear after a few weeks ;
- the T scar is a combination of the two previous techniques, and is performed to correct an excess of skin both along the inner thigh and around the thigh.
Principle of the thigh lift
Depending on the case, the procedure is performed either under assisted local anesthesia as an outpatient or during hospitalisation for 24 to 72 hours under general anesthesia. The duration of the procedure varies between 2 and 3 and half hours depending on the amount of work to be done. In most cases, liposuction is performed to remove excess fat from the entire circumference of the thigh. No drain is inserted.
Pain is variable, generally mild and mainly due to liposuction. The dressings are semi-permeable, therefore showers are allowed.
Complete healing is achieved within 2 to 3 weeks.
Special dressings will need to be applied to the scars, even after healing, for 2-3 months to improve their appearance.
Sometimes a daily anticoagulant therapy may be prescribed for 8 to 10 days to reduce the risk of developing complications.
Wearing a compression garment is recommended 24 hours a day for 1 month.
The patient may return to work between 1 to 4 weeks after surgery depending on the job.
Resuming sporting activities varies between 4 to 6 weeks.
The final result is achieved after 6 to 12 months, especially because of the time needed for the scars to heal.
Finally, the scars are long but thin, white and well located so they can be almost unsuspected after one year.
Risk of complications
As with any surgery, a number of complications can occur. But the likelihood of these complications is reduced in the hands of a qualified plastic surgeon and in the presence of a competent anesthetist. The patient’s compliance to instructions given by the surgeon is also essential and include :
- stopping smoking 1 month before and after the procedure (reduction of all risks) ;
- stopping the pill two months before and after the procedure (reducing the risk of phlebitis and pulmonary embolism);
- not taking aspirin for 10 days before and after the procedure (reduced risk of hematoma) ;
- Where applicable, achieving the target weight your surgeon has determined before surgery, (reducing risk of phlebitis and pulmonary embolism and the risk of a poor cosmetic outcome).
Fortunately, postoperative effects are generally manageable following a thigh lift that has been carried out properly, so serious complications are rare.
In spite of the fact that complications are so rare you must be aware of the following problems :
- Haematomas are extremely rare but can occur. They can be evacuated.
- Infection : this is extremely rare when the procedure is carried out in sterile environment.
- Thrombo-embolic accidents (blood clots in the veins of the legs, pulmonary embolism) are rare and can be prevented by strict prophylactic measures (standing and walking as soon as possible after surgery, wearing compression stockings, or heparin therapy).
- Numbness of the skin may be observed. It is usually transient and most patients recover normal nipple feeling after 6 to 18 months.
In case of a complications, your surgeon will treat them successfully if necessary.
In practice, the vast majority of cases take place without any problem and the patients are satisfied with the result.
Health insurance coverage
As this procedure is considered purely for aesthetic purposes, no coverage is provided by health insurance.
In some cases (excess skin after significant weight loss or after bariatric surgery) a partial reimbursement of the cost of the procedure may be considered upon prior agreement. Your health insurance fund’s medical advisor will need to examine you in this case.
In case of prior agreement you will be responsible for the additional surgeon and the anesthesiologist fees which will be redeemable in whole or in part by your health insurance.
Author: Dr. Christophe Laveaux
Specialist in aesthetic surgery - Antibes
Reproductions, even partial, of the texts are allowed on the express condition cite the author (Dr. Christophe Laveaux) with a direct link to the article mentioned.