Safe Surgery: Common Thigh Lift Complications

When considering a surgical procedure, it’s important to research surgeons, techniques, benefits and risks. While technical advances have made routine cosmetic operations such as thigh lift very safe, all surgery carries some risk of complication.

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A thigh lift removes excess fat and sagging skin along the inner thighs. Often part of a body contouring plan after pregnancy or weight loss, thigh lifts carry several common risks. Bleeding and infection are certainly possible with any operation.  Because thigh lift incisions are generally hidden in the groin creases or along the inner thighs, there is a tendency for friction and chafing to irritate the incisions and compromise healing.

There are many lymphatics underlying the thigh lift area which carry fluids and tissue byproducts away from the legs.  When these lymphatics are disrupted during surgery, swelling and edema in the legs may occur.  Usually this phenomenon is temporary and alleviated by rest, elevation and compression; however, more severe disruption can occur that would require lymphatic massage and medical management.

Leg motion causes tension on incisions, and over-activity in the early post-operative phase  may widen the scar. The proximity to the genital area and perineum makes healing especially sensitive – the surgeon must perform each step correctly to avoid distortion of surrounding tissue, and the patient must diligently clean and monitor the wounds.

It is important to consider post-surgical complications before choosing a cosmetic procedure, but simple measures such as researching surgeon accreditation and experience, following post-op instructions, and maintaining a clean healing environment will help to avoid problems and ensure a beautiful result.