The technical term for this operation is resection of
lipocutaneous excess of hips/thighs/buttocks, or body contouring of
hips/thighs/buttocks. The operation tightens loose skin from sagging
buttocks, hips, or thighs so that loose skin does not hang from your
body. The thigh lift only tightens the skin of the upper thigh. Many
women are bothered by loose skin or wrinkles around the knee. A thigh
lift won't help this condition.
This is a permanent operation. After the procedure,
excess skin and fat beneath the skin are gone. However, if you gain
weight after surgery, you can re-stretch the skin and scar and require
further surgery. The surgery requires general anesthesia and one or more
nights in the hospital. Thus, it is generally done in a hospital
operating room. If you have had phlebitis (blood clots from vein
inflammation) in one or both legs in the past, you risk developing
phlebitis again. This condition makes your legs hurt and swell. If you
have phlebitis now, surgery must be postponed. Your risk of renewed
phlebitis can be reduced by leg exercises before and after surgery and
surgical support stockings.
This kind of operation requires general anesthesia,
because the local anesthetic needed to numb the area would exceed a safe
dose. The surgery will usually take about two to three hours.
The incisions are likely to hurt for several days,
especially when you move or sit, which pulls on the stitches. When you
are not moving, the incision area will ache and throb. For the first few
days you will need narcotic painkillers by mouth, or by injection, given
to you by the nurses while you are in the hospital. By the end of a
week, you will be stiff and ache at the end of the day, but should not
need painkillers other than acetaminophen. You will need to see your
surgeon a few days after leaving the hospital and again about a week
Realistically, you should allow yourself two weeks of
recovery time and more if you can get it. There is the surgery and
soreness to recover from, plus the fatigue of the general anesthesia.After three weeks, you can begin more vigorous workouts and sports
such as tennis or jogging.