How Long Will a Thigh Lift Last?

A thigh lift, sometimes referred to as thighplasty, is a popular cosmetic procedure offered at Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Burr Ridge, IL. This procedure is designed to improve the appearance of the upper leg by removing excess skin and tightening sagging muscles. Today, we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about this procedure, including how long the results last and how long the procedure takes.

How Long Will a Thigh Lift Last?

You can generally expect the results of a thigh lift to last for five to 10 years. However, individual results vary based on several factors, including diet, exercise routine, and tobacco consumption habits. As a general rule, the younger and healthier you are, the longer you can expect your ideal results to last.

Other Thighplasty FAQs Answered

What Can I Do To Extend the Longevity of My Results?

To extend the longevity of your results, you need to take good care of the collagen and elastin that keep your skin tight and smooth. To do this, make sure you drink plenty of hydrating fluids, like fruit-infused water and black tea, every day. Additionally, you can support these helpful substances by eating lots of protein and getting your RDA of vitamin C every day.

Your results may also last longer if you maintain your weight after your procedure. Often, thighplasty is necessary because the natural aging process has caused the thigh skin to sag significantly. However, it is not uncommon for people to seek this procedure after losing a significant amount of weight. If you gain a lot of weight after your procedure and then lose it, you may end up with excess or loose skin that needs to be removed or tightened in the future.

How Long Does Thighplasty Take?

Thighplasty typically takes two to three hours to complete. Before the surgery commences, we will cleanse your skin thoroughly and make sure that it doesn’t look irritated. Then, we will administer a general anesthetic and ask you to count backwards from 100. Once you’re asleep and your body is numb, we will make incisions in strategic locations and remove any excess skin that is bothering you.

We will also lift sagging thigh muscles and tighten loose skin. A small amount of thigh fat may be removed during this procedure, but fat removal is outside the primary scope of thighplasty. Liposuction may be appropriate if you have a lot of excess fat. Once your upper leg contours have been improved, we will suture the incision sites closed. To help facilitate a speedy recovery process, compression bandages will be placed around the wounds.

How Long Will My Recovery Take?

It is advisable to plan on taking two to three weeks off from work to dedicate to your thighplasty recovery. Your rate of recovery depends on several factors, including how well you care for yourself after surgery. However, you should not expect to be able to drive during the first 10 days following your surgery. We strongly recommend making sure you have a couple of weeks’ worth of groceries on hand. You also may want to meal prep pre-op.

What Other Preparation Steps Will I Need To Take?

We will confirm the appropriate anesthesia for you during your initial consultation. If we determine general anesthesia is the best fit, you won’t be able to eat or drink dark liquids in the eight hours leading up to your procedure. Similarly, you won’t be able to drink clear liquids in the two hours leading up to your procedure. Regardless of the type of anesthetic that will be administered before your surgery, you will not be able to:

  • Drink alcohol
  • Consume tobacco products
  • Take blood-thinning pharmaceuticals

Note, avoiding the consumption of certain substances is not all you’ll have to do to prepare for surgery. You also will need to prepare by picking up the prescriptions you’ll need to take after surgery and arranging for a ride to and from your procedure. If possible, also arrange for someone to stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery. Certain activities will be restricted temporarily after your procedure, and you may need help around the house for a while.

What Restrictions Should I Be Aware of?

You may not shower within the first 24 hours of your procedure. Once a full day has passed, you can take a shower with tepid water. However, you will not be able to submerge your thighs in water for 14 days post-op. This means you won’t be able to swim, soak in a hot tub, or take a bath. During the first few days following your surgery, you may want to avoid climbing stairs.

During the first six weeks following your surgery, you will not be able to get any vigorous exercise. You also will not be able to lift anything that weighs more than 10 pounds or have sex.

How Soon Will I Be Able To Travel?

You will not be able to travel long distances during the first week or so following your procedure. Once your drains are removed and you’ve had your first post-op visit five to seven days after your procedure, you may be able to travel for an hour or more at a time. Until then, you can take short car trips if someone is available to drive you.

How Can I Recover Faster?

One effective step you can take that will help you recover quickly is to get plenty of quality sleep. Most of your skin’s healing takes place while your body is in the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep stage. This stage occurs at the end of each sleep cycle, so you can expect to get the most benefit if you sleep for at least 90 minutes at a time. If you wake up, regardless of what stage of the sleep cycle you were in, you will start back at the beginning the next time you fall asleep.

Another effective step you can take that will help you recover quickly is to eat nutritiously for several weeks. Your skin requires several ingredients, including water, vitamin C, and amino acids, to produce and fuel collagen. This protein plays a major role in your skin cells healing themselves in the incision areas. If you don’t feel like eating after your procedure, have a vitamin C-packed, protein-dense smoothie. When you have an appetite, focus on eating plenty of:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Poultry
  • Lean red meat
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products


Am I a Good Candidate for This Procedure?

You can generally expect to be considered a good thighplasty candidate if you are in relatively good health and concerned about the appearance of your thighs. Specifically, you can expect to be considered a good medial thighplasty candidate if you are bothered by your inner thigh skin. You can expect to be considered a good lateral thighplasty candidate if you are bothered by your outer thigh skin or the appearance of the front of your thigh.

Am I a Good Liposuction Candidate?

To reiterate, significant fat removal is outside of the scope of this procedure. Liposuction, on the other hand, may be perfect for you if you have quite a bit of thigh fat. To be considered a good liposuction candidate, you must be in relatively good health. You also must be a non-smoker or willing to not consume tobacco products for 12 weeks. An evaluation is necessary to verify that there is neither too much nor too little thigh fat for the procedure to be effective.

Who Is a Poor Thigh Lift Candidate?

While this procedure is safe for most adults, it is not appropriate for everyone. You will be deemed a poor thighplasty candidate if your body mass index is over 30. If you are a smoker, you must be able to go for three months without consuming any tobacco products. Smoking is prohibited during the six weeks leading up to your procedure. If you smoke during the first six weeks following your surgery, your recovery may be affected.

Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today

Typically, thighplasty results last for five to 10 years. Several factors affect the longevity of the results, and most of them are within your control. For results that last as long as possible, eat nutritiously, stay hydrated, and try to maintain your weight. If you think a thigh lift would improve your self-confidence, schedule your initial consultation with us today at Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Burr Ridge, IL.

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