Thigh lift

Removal of excess skin and fat from the thighs

The natural ageing process, with or without weight loss, contributes to a progressive loss of skin elasticity in the inner aspect of the thigh, results in inelastic, sagging skin (dermatochalasis) and stretch marks. Moreover, fat deposits may persist.

A thigh lift procedure is used to correct these irregularities. It is made up of two phases:

  1. liposuction
  2. excision of the excess, loosened skin

Liposuction involves the removal of fat deposits and contouring of fat tissue in the neighbouring area (liposculpture). It also seeks to minimise intra-operative bleeding and leaves lymphatic and blood vessels intact; these structures would be damaged if subjected to a full-thickness excision. Liposuction allows fat removal and skin-only excision.

Skin excision is performed according to the severity of the defect. If the area of skin loosening is moderately small, the defect can be corrected by removing a crescent-like portion of skin from the inner thigh, resulting in a scar which runs along the bottom of the groin and reaches the inner portion of the infragluteal fold.

For larger areas, skin excision is performed by removing a triangular portion of skin from the inner thigh in addition to the crescent-like portion. A “T”–shaped scar results, made up of two components: a horizontal one, which runs along the bottom of the groin and extends posteriorly as far as the inner part of the infragluteal fold; and a vertical one, which runs from the middle of the horizontal scar, downwards, reaching below the furthest skin fold.

Prior to careful application of a skin suture, the underlying connective fascia is tightened and secured to the groin with a deep sturdy suture. This avoids post-operative scar descent, due to gravity, so the final result will be more stable in functional and aesthetic terms. Only deep, dissolvable sutures are used. Skin tension on the scar will be minor, which is essential to achieve better scar development.

A thigh-lift is performed under general anaesthesia (the patient is asleep) with a one-night hospital stay after the surgery.

Careful administration of pain-killers during and after the surgery ensures that post-operative pain and discomfort are kept to a minimum.