If you're unhappy with the appearance of loose, sagging skin around your thighs, you may be a candidate for thigh lift surgery. The thigh lift procedure helps smooth and enhance the appearance of the thighs through the removal and tightening of loose skin. When considering thigh lift surgery, it's important to be aware of what to expect during recovery.
During patient consultations, Dr. Vishnu Rumalla details the thigh lift recovery timeline at his Fort Worth, TX practice. To receive your personalized timeline, we welcome you to schedule a consultation. Before your consultation, you may wish to familiarize yourself with what to expect after thigh lift surgery with this general recovery timeline.
Recovering from Thigh Lift Surgery
Thigh lift surgery, or thighplasty, is an effective means to achieve firmer, more youthful looking thighs. The thigh lift procedure may be modified to address varying degrees of sagging thigh tissue at different areas of the thighs using different approaches, including the inner thigh lift, medial thigh lift, or bilateral thigh lift. Each patient's recovery from a thigh lift will be influenced by the type of thigh lift performed, extent of treatment, and personal healing times. The following timeline is typical of what to expect during recovery.
The First 24 Hours after Surgery
The first 24 hours of recovery are often the most difficult. Patients should expect to feel some pain and swelling and may notice bruising. Drains may be placed at the incision sites to help blood and fluid escape the tissues and reduce swelling. Pain medication will be prescribed to help reduce post-surgical pain and discomfort. Patients should wear compression garments as instructed to further reduce swelling and discomfort as well as support the tissues as they heal.
During the first 24 hours, many patients find it difficult to walk. It is recommended that patients arrange for a family member or friend to stay with them during this time to help them when needed. Bed rest is also recommended for the first few days of recovery. However, patients are encouraged to take short, light walks, as walking is beneficial to the healing process. Patients should avoid strenuous activity, such as squatting, climbing stairs, or running, as well as avoid stretching the thigh tissue.
One Week after Surgery
Patients may continue to feel some pain and discomfort after a week of recovery, but pain should subside as the body heals. Swelling is expected and may not fully subside for several weeks. However, if swelling or pain gets worse, it may be a sign of infection or other complication and should be immediately brought to your surgeon's attention. If drains were placed, they are typically removed after seven days in a follow-up appointment. The incisions may also be checked at this time to ensure proper healing. Patients should continue to avoid strenuous activity and running, squatting, or climbing stairs, but patients should take light walks.
Two to Three Weeks after Surgery
Pain should continue to subside and may be gone by weeks two and three and any bruising should begin to fade. Swelling will likely remain but should be decreasing on a daily basis. If swelling becomes worse, or is accompanied with increased pain or redness, it may be a sign of infection and must be brought to your surgeon's attention. By two to three weeks after surgery, most patients have recovered enough to return to work and resume light exercise but should continue to avoid strenuous activity or vigorous exercise.
Six Weeks after Surgery
By six weeks, most patients are sufficiently healed to resume their regular routines, which may include strenuous activity or vigorous exercise. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled, during which time your progress will be checked and your surgeon may clear you to resume your normal routine. It's also important to note that the final results of thigh lift surgery may not be immediately apparent and in some cases may take as long as six to twelve months to finalize, but most patients will see noticeable improvement by six weeks.
Schedule a Consultation
For answers to your questions about the thigh lift recovery timeline, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rumalla.