Loose skin on the inner thigh is commonly seen in those who have lost significant amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time. In the overweight state the skin is very stretched and rapid weight loss leads to emptying of the fat below the skin, resulting in loose, unwanted, saggy skin which has lost all elasticity.
Unfortunately once there is an excess of skin no amount of exercise is able to ‘tone up’ or improve the appearance and the only solution is surgical removal.
The thigh lift is a procedure designed to lift and tighten loose skin around the inner thighs. The extent of the thigh lift depends on the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed.
The procedure itself may combine a modest amount of liposuction to remove any residual fat, with removal of skin into the groin crease and, for more extensive cases, removal down into the thigh itself.
The idea is that the scar in the groin should sit as closely as possible to the natural groin crease.
When the scar extends down into the thigh, it is placed on the inner aspect – usually ending towards the knee – area in an attempt to make it as inconspicuous as possible.
It is important to understand that skin cannot be removed without leaving scars, and while scars improve dramatically over time, the process of scar maturation can take many months.
The vast majority of patients who have been very overweight and have subsequently lost that weight only to be left with reams of excess skin are usually very happy to swap skin removal for the scarring it leaves behind.
The surgery is carried out under a general anaesthetic and normally involves an overnight stay in hospital, but can be done as a daycase. Dressings are applied to the wounds and are left intact for about a week before they are changed. Occasionally elasticated garments are applied for support in the postoperative period.
The recovery time depends on the extent of the thigh lift, but usually it takes about 2 weeks for the wounds to heal and probably 4-6 weeks before full recovery to normal activity.
Whilst thigh lifting is a safe procedure, as with all types of surgery there are potential complications, which you need to discuss with your surgeon.