Removal of excess skin and fat from the thighs
Overstretched skin, due to the accumulation of fat during obesity, followed by the deflation caused by weight loss, results in multiple functional and aesthetic irregularities in many areas of the body and, typically in post-bariatric patients, one of the most affected areas is the inner thigh. Irregularities typical of post-bariatric patients include: inelastic and sagging skin (dermatochalasis), skin folds susceptible to continuous irritation and stretch marks. In addition to skin loosening, deep connective structures are damaged and muscles relaxed; moreover, fat deposits may persist. Of course, the natural ageing process, with or without weight loss, contributes to a progressive loss of skin elasticity in the inner thigh.
A thigh lift procedure is made up of two phases:
- excision of the excess, loosened skin
Liposuction allows 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 removing an upper crescent-like portion of skin and a lower triangle of skin in the inner thighs. 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.
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.