The inner thigh is one of those problematic areas of the body where fat tends to accumulate and at the same time, the skin is very loose. Because of this, liposuction is not very effective at dealing with excess fat and skin in this area. Even if the fat is removed, the skin will remain loose and will not contract or shrink as it does in other areas of the body. This is the reason why when there is excess fat deposits and skin on the inner (medial) thigh, most surgeons recommend an operation called a medial thigh lift.
Is A Medial Thigh Lift for You?
Patients troubled by excess fat and skin on the inner thigh, might have other concerns such as fat deposits and droopy outer thighs as well. In evaluating your particular situation, the surgeon will ask about your particular area of concern, as the inner (medial) and the outer (lateral) thighs are not addressed by the same surgery. Liposuction of the medial thigh is one of the operations with one of the lowest patient satisfaction rates. This is because even if the fat is removed, the skin remains loose and the inner thigh remains droopy.
Understanding the Surgery
The medial thigh lift is usually done under general anesthesia in a hospital setting or ambulatory surgical facility. The operation involves removing a wedge of skin and excess fat tissue from the inner thigh while strategically placing the scar in the natural fold between the thigh and the groin. The initial incision is made in the crease between the leg and the groin. If the circumference of the thigh needs to be addressed as well, there is a possibility that a longitudinal incision might need to be made running vertically on the leg along the inner thigh.
Your surgeon might opt to use drains for this operation. These drains are usually in the form of small tubes that are placed through the original incision or through a puncture in the skin and are designed to evacuate any blood or serous fluid which might otherwise accumulate in the incision or under the skin. Your surgeon or the nursing staff will give you instructions on the care of these drains and will teach you how to empty them when they become full. Keeping a record of the amount of fluid collected by the drains will help your surgeon decide when to remove them.
What To Expect After Surgery
The medial thigh lift is usually done under general anesthesia and an overnight hospital stay is usually recommended. Although pain is not usually a hallmark of this operation, you might experience a significant amount of “tightness” or “stiffness” on the inner leg and groin. You might be asked to remain to lie down for most of the first day and to keep your legs as close together as possible while walking. Your surgeon might opt to use a compression garment which will give you some support and will also keep the tissues compressed and potentially minimize the accumulation of fluid or blood under the tissues. You will be instructed on the care of the drains if they are used and on the care of the wounds. You will usually be allowed to shower after the first 24-48 hours after the surgery and will be instructed on keeping the wounds clean and dry. You might also be asked to apply antibiotic ointment to the incision lines on a regular basis.
On your postoperative visit, the incisions will be inspected, and drains and sutures might be removed if indicated. With time, the stiffness will disappear and soon you will be able to get back to normal walking and leg function. Continued care of the incision lines and optimal hygiene will optimize the scar and decrease the risk of complications.
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The New You
The medial thigh lift is an operation which offers a great option to deal with a difficult area of the body, where liposuction offers less than optimal result. After the incisions heal and the stiffness disappears, you can expect more toned, and trimmer thighs with scars which are barely noticeable even in swimwear. Although this operation only addresses the inner thigh, it can also reduce the circumference of the thigh resulting in a more youthful and toned look to the entire upper leg. A personal consultation with your plastic surgeon is the best way to gain information about your particular complaint, and about potential treatment options to address the same.