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The thigh doesn’t have to be the limit. Thighplasty (more commonly referred to as a thigh lift) is a surgical procedure that can help you perfect those pins by reducing excess skin, smoothing away fatty deposits and generally gifting you back the confidence to flaunt your legs in swimwear, short shorts and even shorter skirts.

How does it work?

There are several different types of thigh lift that focus on sculpting different leg areas:

'''Medial (Inner) thigh lift''' This is the most widely performed procedure and it involves the surgeon making an incision at the point where the groin and upper thigh meet (the ‘groin fold’ or ‘groin crease’). The optimum type of surgery for those with a moderate amount of skin and fat on their thighs, the skin and tissue of the inner leg is lifted upwards towards the groin, tightening the surrounding area.

'''Vertical thigh lift''' This procedure involves an incision being made at the groin fold that extends to the inner knee area. Vertical thigh lifts create a more visible scar that may be on show when you wear a mini-skirt or swimming costume, as the surgeon removes a triangular section of skin from the inner thigh. However, this factor makes it more suitable for those who have a more significant amount of fat or loose skin on their legs that requires further lifting to correct.

'''Outer thigh lift''' Extending from the groin to the outer thigh, the incision made during an outer thigh lift results in a less conspicuous scar than a vertical thigh lift. The procedure has been further adapted to create a ‘spiral thighplasty’, which targets the inner and outer thigh as well as the front and back of the area and includes an incision that connects the buttock fold and groin crease. Both outer and spiral thigh lifts are ideally suited for people have recently lost weight.

All procedures require a general anaesthetic and after the surgery has been completed, the surgeon will use deep, support stitches as well as the usual medical sutures to help support the new curves and contours created beneath the skin. The duration of surgery and the required hospital stay will vary and is dependent on the type of procedure, whether it has been carried out alongside any other cosmetic work and your individual reaction to the operation.

As with any major [[treatment/cosmetic-surgery/|elective surgery]], swelling and bruising will immediately be visible and the thigh area will feel tight and sore. However, you may still be able to see an improvement in the appearance of the shape of your thighs soon after the operation, and discomfort will begin to subside within three days. Expect to wait three to five weeks for lower body swelling to fully disappear and to have to wear a specially fitted compression garment during this period to protect incisions and promote post-surgery tightening of the skin. This garment will be fitted with drainage tubes to remove excess plasma and fluid that can accumulate in the operative area and will have to be worn over gauze dressings that are designed to keep the incision sites dry.

You have to expect to lose your polished sheen and will need to cancel any hopefully planned social engagements as you cannot take a shower until three days after surgery! It is a good idea to remember to keep your legs slightly bent at the hips to minimise tension on the sutured skin (resulting in a thinner and less visible scar) and also very important to start walking again as soon as possible after the operation. It may not be comfortable, but it reduces the chances of you developing a potentially fatal blood clot in your leg!

The typical cost of a thigh lift in the UK is £5500.

Is it for me?

If you are extremely unhappy with the appearance of your thighs and have realistic expectations about the outcomes of surgery, then you may be a suitable candidate for a thigh lift. Like all medical procedures, thigh lifts are associated with certain risks (including scarring, infection, blood loss, poor wound healing, persistent pain and circulation related complications) and if you have a condition that may increase the likelihood of developing complications (for example, heart disease or haemophilia), you are advised not to undergo thighplasty.

Good to know...

The first recorded mention of a medial thigh lift can be found in a US medical journal published in 1971.

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