Ah thighs! Long considered one of the hallmarks of beauty, shapely and firm thighs are a coveted asset. Yet they can be frustratingly difficult to achieve, even with vigorous exercise and diligent dieting. In fact, thighs are one of the hardest areas of your body to slim down and tone up.
An Ongoing Battle—Until Now
After a large weight loss, it’s especially common to battle extra thigh skin that sags, since it gets stretched out as the collagen and elastin proteins are damaged and won’t bounce back easily. If loose skin and fat on your thighs makes them jiggly and rubs you the wrong way, you can benefit from a popular procedure known as thigh lift surgery—or thighplasty. This surgery is relatively simple and has a manageable recovery time, usually between two to three weeks before returning to work. You can begin to resume your full normal routine in six weeks. Here are the best ways to make that recovery time as easy, painless, and productive as possible:
- Make Pre-surgery Preparations. It’s important to keep your weight stable for at least six months prior to the surgery, since any significant weight changes can influence the procedure’s outcome.
- Take Care of Yourself: You’ve heard it before, but now more than ever it’s time to make sure that you’re getting good rest, staying properly hydrated, and eating healthy meals. Rest and hydration ensure that your healing progresses well, and lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables deliver the nutrition you need to recover. It might be tempting to skip these recommendations, but they are integral to a productive healing process.
- Cut Out Drinking and Smoking: For the same reasons as adopting other good health practices, this will ensure that your healing is optimal—and faster. Since alcohol thins your blood, it could cause excessive bleeding before, during, and after the surgery. It’s a good rule of thumb to stop drinking two weeks before and after the procedure. Smoking interferes with scarring and can cause complications post-procedure.
- Sleep Well: Like after a lot of surgeries, sleeping can be a real challenge for a while. After a thigh lift, it’s especially tricky to keep pressure off the affected area. If you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll need to try sleeping on your back and raising your legs with a couple of pillows. You can create a good sleeping position with a couple of pillows under your head to balance it out. If you’re comfortable sleeping in a recliner that’s another option. It’s also important to keep your legs separated so you don’t build up moisture, which leads to chafing, another common annoyance.
- Sit Well: Similarly, you’ll need to position your body to keep the strain off the affected area and avoid splitting the incisions and thereby increasing healing time. Wondering how to sit after a thigh lift? The easiest thing is to lay down or recline for the first week.
- Compress: What to wear after a thigh lift? Those not-the-prettiest compression garments actually work beautifully in the early hours after surgery. After using them for a week you can begin to wear them more sparingly. They do a great job managing any fluid buildup and reducing swelling. They also keep incisions protected.
- Stay Dry: Keep your incisions as dry as possible by not submerging them in water. You’ll need to wait for a bath or a swim. However, showers are ok and certainly encouraged! Two days post-procedure you’ll be cleared to hit the showers.
- Keep Moving: You’ll be sore for a few days, but it’s essential to start walking as soon as you are able. You don’t want to overdo it, but a short walk through the house or in the yard can encourage good blood circulation and also diminish the risk of a blood clot.
- Watch Your Movements: Yes, you want to keep walking, but also be mindful of your thigh incisions so they don’t rub or pull. Unfortunately, this means being careful when you sit, stand, and walk. You’ll quickly be able to move again, but in the first couple of weeks, you’ll need to be vigilant; if you feel a pull during any movement, stop it and rest instead.
- Listen to Your Doctor: Your plastic surgeon will have specific recommendations based on their extensive experience and your particular health history. This may include managing drains after the surgery, as well as how to clean yourself and how to manage your pain. Make sure you follow their instructions for the best outcome possible.
Get Your Thighs In Shape
Often, people pair thighplasties with other procedures that remove loose skin, especially if they’ve experienced significant weight loss. Tummy tucks, breast lifts, and arm lifts are commonly done alongside thigh lifts to minimize surgery time and combine healing time, also helping you achieve consistency throughout your body. At the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery, we’ve witnessed firsthand the joy people feel when they transform something that’s been bothering them, and it is an honor to help them get there. Talk to us today about your goals and let us help you get the thighs you’ve always wanted.