- The type of thigh lift being done
- The amount of skin and fat removal necessary
- Whether or not it is combined with other procedures
- Your level of health and fitness before the procedure
TYPE OF THIGH LIFT
There are generally two variations of the types of thigh lifts: those with the scar entirely hidden in the groin (“crescent thigh lift”) and those with a scar that goes down the leg (“vertical thigh lift”).
The crescent thigh lift typically has a quicker recovery (about 10 days – two weeks off from a desk job) when compared to a vertical thigh lift (anywhere from two to four weeks off form a desk job). The variation in time off is dependent on many factors, including those below.
AMOUNT OF REMOVAL
Thigh lifts can address an excess of both skin and fat in the inner thigh. Excess fat is removed by liposuction or by direct removal as part of the thigh lift. The amount of skin removed is dependent on how much excess there is. It can range from a small crescent of skin around the area of the groin to a large portion of the skin of the entire inner thigh extending below the knee. Both intuitively and in reality, the more you remove, the more challenging you can expect the recovery to be.
When a thigh lift is performed with other procedures, the recovery may be more involved. This may involve limitations due to surgery on other parts of the body which may make movement more difficult and discomfort greater. That said, anytime a thigh lift is performed, it is important to encourage movement immediately after the operation to reduce the risk of other complications like developing blood clots in the legs, pneumonia, etc. This is even more important when other procedures are performed, as the risk for these types of complications can increase. In some cases, I may even prescribe a blood thinner to help reduce the risk of developing blood clots.
How fit and healthy you are prior to a procedure will certainly translate to an easier and better recovery from any procedure. While this makes sense intuitively, there are some specific details that may help shed light on why. Good nutrition always translates to better wound healing due to proper protein stores and a lack of any vitamin deficiencies. Also important is your fitness level: I have found that patients who are more physically fit have greater core strength and better ability to move after their operation. Think about it, because of the extensive operation on your legs, you become more dependent on other muscle groups in your body to help you move around. The stronger they are going into the operation, the better you do afterward!
These are only some important details that can help you understand the recovery process after a thigh lift. Before any operation, I will discuss all the details of the operation and recovery extensively to ensure that there you have no questions going into the procedure OR surprises after the procedure.