Thigh / Buttock lift
Loss of skin elasticity in the buttocks and thighs is a problem that can be seen with increasing age or after significant weight loss. It is very common after massive weight loss following bariatric surgery. Patients with collagen-elastic disease states may also have abnormal laxity around the gluteal areas.
The primary method to tighten the skin of the perigluteal regions by lifting and excising redundant tissue is called a Gluteoplasty or Buttock Lift. A Gluteoplasty can describe several procedures including gluteal implant placement, a buttock lift with fat grafting, as well as a lift of sagging tissues. The most common way this is performed is by an incision that extends across the entire lower back from hip bone to hip bone. This technique allows for removal of excess skin and fat below this level while simultaneously lifting the sagging tissues in the lower buttocks and upper outer thigh. There are variants of this technique that use a less extensive incision, but will give less dramatic results.
The thigh lift is a surgery that removes excess skin and fat from your thighs. The goal of the procedure is to improve the appearance of your thighs by removing lax damaged skin. Some surgeons say the procedure is more effective for the front and side thigh areas and less effective for the back and inside areas. The incision does leave a scar at the hip, but it fades in time and can be hidden by a bathing suit.
A thigh lift usually lasts a few hours and can be an outpatient procedure or require a short hospital stay. You may be given local or general anesthesia depending on the surgical plan you and your doctor have developed. The surgery begins with an incision in the groin area, near the hip. After the incision is made, your surgeon separates the skin on your thigh from the fat and muscle below by pulling the flap of skin upwards. Then, your surgeon removes the excess skin and stretches the remaining skin back in place.
Both the thigh and buttock lift procedures can be performed together, which is called a Lower Body Lift.
Men and women in good health with moderate to severe skin laxity of the buttock and upper outer thigh or the inner thigh are good candidates for this procedure.
Patients after massive weight loss from bariatric surgery or dieting might also be good candidates for the procedure. The objective is to get an improved contour and aesthetic appearance of the buttock and thighs and decreased skin laxity around gluteal area. This is usually performed in the hospital with a short stay depending on the length of the procedure.
The surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, but may be performed under local anesthesia with sedation.
Liposuction may be performed above the incision in the hip region if excess fat is present, but is typically not performed in the buttock during the lift.
The surgeon usually makes an incision across the low back from hip bone to hip bone. A less involved reduction may have a shorter incision. Hanging skin and fat in the buttock is undermined and elevated to a new position using internal sutures. Excess skin is removed and the incision is closed with sutures. Drains are often used to decrease the chance for fluid collection beneath the elevated tissue. An elastic compression garment is often used immediately following surgery.
This is usually worn for 3-4 weeks. Recovery may be at home, in a recovery facility, or overnight in the hospital.
Bruising and swelling are normal and may take several weeks to resolve. Areas of numbness of the outer buttock and thigh are normal and usually resolve within 8-12 months.
External sutures or staples, if used, are removed within two weeks. Drains are usually removed within 7 days following the procedure. The incisions can be treated with scar creams and ointments.
The scar will take 8 -12 months to look its best. The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation with your plastic surgeon. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications such as leg weakness and severe infection are rare. Problems such as significant asymmetric pain, swelling, redness, or major bruising should be brought to your surgeon’s attention immediately.