Recovery After Thigh Lift – Tips, Timelines and FAQs

A thigh lift is a helpful surgical procedure that can transform the appearance of your upper legs – particularly after massive weight loss. It gets rid of excess fat and sagging skin on your thighs.

Dr Carmen Munteanu is a Specialist plastic surgeon and Thigh lift expert in Melbourne, Australia.

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Types of Thigh Lift

There are various types of thigh lift surgeries like Inner Thigh Lift or Medial Thigh Lift, Outer Thigh Lift or Bilateral Thigh Lift, Vertical Thigh Lift, Mini Thigh Lift and Spiral Thigh Lift. 

These different thigh lifts are customised to suit your unique needs and concerns after having a consultation with your plastic surgeon. You might have already researched enough about the surgery, saved up a lot of money and imagined how you will look post-surgery. However, there is one thing people ignore completely and that is the post-surgery recovery period. It is important to be fully informed about taking care of yourself post-surgery. 

In this article, you will learn more about the recovery timeline, pre and post-surgical care. 

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Thigh Lift Before and After Photos - Dr Carmen Munteanu - Best Thigh lift Surgeon Melbourne

Click to see more Before and After Thigh Lift Images of Real Patients of top thigh lift surgeon Dr Carmen Munteanu

Recovery Timeline of Thigh Lift 

First Day after Thigh Lift Surgery

The surgery will be performed under general anaesthesia. Hence, you will usually feel sluggish, tired and nauseous after the thigh lift surgery. It is completely normal and can last for a few hours to a couple of days. Your thighs will be completely covered in bandages, covered by a compression garment. Drainage tubes will be attached to your thighs. It is normal to feel extremely sore in your lower body. Dr Carmen will ask you to start walking in the hospital room for a few minutes to keep your circulation going. 

2-3 Days after Thigh Lift Surgery

After a few days, you can expect bruising and swelling. Keep on wearing the compression garment. Change your bandages as per Dr Carmen’s instructions. She may ask you to come in for a follow-up appointment. Rest as much as possible and restrict your movement to avoid unnecessary stress on your incisions. We use our thighs to move around. Hence, it’s best to keep your activity to a minimum for a couple of days. 

1-2 Weeks after Thigh Lift Surgery

The end of the week will start with a follow-up appointment where Dr Carmen and her team will remove your drainage tubes. If you have non-dissolvable stitches, they will also be removed at this point. Keep on wearing your compression garment at all times. Take special care while moving around and do not stretch your thighs. Swelling and bruising will persist during this period but you will start to see and feel the results of the surgery by the end of week two. 

2-4 Weeks after Thigh Lift Surgery

After week two, you can slowly start walking around your house for up to 15 mins per day. Limit all other strenuous activities and any heavy weight lifting. This light movement will prevent blood clot formation. You can also do simple calf exercises as well as stretching the back of your lower legs. 

1-2 Months after Thigh Lift Surgery

By the end of the six weeks, your incisions will be healed completely. Most of the swelling will also subside after week four to six. At this point, you can also get started on your scar reduction treatment options. Start with something gentle such as silicone taping and topical ointments and you may gradually build your way up to skin needling or laser treatment. Stick to walking and avoid vigorous exercise till you hit the six-week mark or until your surgeon gives you approval. 

6 Months after Thigh Lift Surgery

After six months, the swelling will be completely gone. You can fully see and enjoy your results now. However, the results will continue to become better over the next year. The results of the surgery are regarded as permanent and with healthy diet and exercise you can enjoy your new toned legs. 

Things to Do in Advance before Thigh Lift

Preparation is the key to a smooth recovery. Here are a few things you need to do in advance before undergoing thigh lift surgery:

  • Get your medical evaluation and any lab testing done.
  • Make arrangements for someone responsible to drive you home and help you around the house after surgery. 
  • Prepare your hospital bag. Include two sets of comfortable clothes, your compression garment, snacks, towel, slippers, toiletries, chargers, phone and anything that might come in handy. 
  • Get all the groceries and anything you might need around the house in advance. You are not supposed to leave the house for at least a month after the thigh lift. 
  • Choose comfortable clothes that are easy to take on and off. Because that is all that you are going to be wearing for a month after surgery. 
  • Apply for leave in advance. Nobody likes to make all the arrangements, spend money, only to learn that their leave isn’t approved. 
  • Prepare yourself mentally. Thigh lift surgery will surely transform how you look but requires a lot of time, care and patience. 
  • Start eating healthy and drinking loads of water a few weeks before the surgery. 
  • Eliminate smoking, drinking, herbal supplements and any blood-thinning medications from your system. 
  • Gather your support team. Let your friends and family members know that you are getting it done, get all the help and support you need. 

Some Recovery Tips to Follow Post Thigh Lift Surgery 

1. Managing Pain

Expect to feel some pain after any surgical procedure. You will experience mild to moderate pain during the first week post thigh lift. Dr Carmen will give you pain killers to manage the pain at home. If the pain becomes unbearable, immediately contact your surgeon, a doctor or a hospital. 

2. Rest Well

It is important to take a minimum of two weeks to a month off from work and rest. You might want to ask a family member or a friend to help you around the house for at least the first week. If you can, hire house help because you won’t be able to do any of the house chores by yourself. Sleep on your back and stack a pillow underneath your feet to keep them slightly elevated. 

3. Hydration is vital

Your body is made up of 70 per cent water. Making sure that you are fully hydrated will lead to smooth recovery and speedy healing. Drink loads of water and keep yourself hydrated at all times. Aim at drinking 8 glasses of water per day. You can also drink healthy juices. Stay clear of any unnatural drinks including sugary colas and energy drinks. 

4. Limit Activity

It is important to avoid excessive movement for the first week after the surgery. However, it is important to take short ten minute walks around the house once you feel better. This promotes blood circulation, healing and reduces the risk of clotting. Moreover, you are not allowed to lift heavy weights and do strenuous exercises for six weeks after getting the surgery. You are also not supposed to drive for three weeks post-surgery. 

5. Healthy Food

Please limit sodium-rich foods after thighplasty. It can worsen the swelling. Aim at including lots of fruits, vegetables and protein in your diet. If you can, eat home-cooked meals. You can always meal prep in advance before surgery and heat them later. Make sure that all your meals are rich in fibre. 

6. Avoid Stress & Strain to heal well and reduce Scars 

You should wait for about four weeks before you get started on any scar removal treatments. Do not apply anything to your scars without consulting with your surgeon. Discuss the scar reduction plan in advance and then proceed with the plan accordingly. 

7. Manage Swelling – Wear your Garment

You are supposed to wear a compression garment for a minimum of four weeks post thigh lift surgery. Do not skip this instruction as it is essential to a smooth and healthy recovery. Avoid salty foods as they can retain excess water which leads to excess swelling. You can also use a cold compress to minimize swelling. Be careful and do not burn your skin. 

8. Reduce or limit Smoking/Alcohol/Vaping

You should quit smoking and drinking for at least a six week recovery period. Both cigarettes and alcohol are disastrous to your successful recovery and can intensify the bruising. Smoking can limit blood supply and can result in poor scars or skin necrosis. Aim at drinking water instead to boost healing. 

9. Medication & Follow Up Visits

Do not skip your medications prescribed byDr Carmen and never self-medicate during the recovery process. Take all the pain killers and anti-biotics on time for optimal healing. Avoid blood-thinning medications as they can risk increased bleeding, bruising and hinder recovery. Do not miss a single follow-up clinic visit. It is just as important as the surgery itself. Dr Carmen will need a minimum of two to three clinic post op visits to ensure optimal healing. It is crucial to attend all the visits. 

When to Contact Your Surgeon or Medical Help

Every surgery comes with a certain degree of risk and complications. Here are a few signs to look for and get in touch with your surgeon or medical helpimmediately: 

  • You notice excessive bleeding at your incision sites. 
  • You experience oozing and pus in and around your incisions. 
  • You notice that swelling on one side of your body is more prominent than on the other side. It is an indicator of blood clotting. 
  • Your pain persists after week one and does not go away even when you take pain killers as directed by your surgeon. 
  • You experience shortness of breath and tightness around your chest area. 
  • You feel dizzy and nauseous for more than three to five days post-surgery. 
Thigh Lift FAQs - Dr Carmen Best Thigh lift Surgeon in Melbourne

People also ask

What can I expect after a thigh lift?

  • As the surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, you will feel tired and nauseous as soon as you wake up from the surgery. You will also experience mild to moderate pain after the surgery. Moreover, you need to take certain time off from work to rest completely. 

How long is recovery from medial thigh lift?

  • Recovery from a media thigh lift will take anywhere from four to six weeks. 

What should I wear after a thigh lift?

  • You must wear a compression garment for three to four weeks post-surgery. On top of that, wear loose, comfy clothes that are easy to take on and off. 

Can you walk after a thigh lift?

  • You should have complete bed rest for the first few days after the surgery. After that, you can do a small walks – ten to fifteen minutes- around the house to reduce the chances of blood clotting. 

How do you sleep after a thigh lift?

  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleep on your back and stack one to two pillows under your legs to keep them elevated. 

Does a thigh lift help with cellulite?

  • A thigh lift may tighten the skin to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. However, it will probably come back sooner or later. Of course, excised or removed skin may help reduce cellulite in that area.

When can you exercise after a thigh lift?

  • You can start walking two to three days after the surgery. However, you can start strenuous exercises for four to six weeks after the surgery. 

Can I take my compression garment off at night?

  • No, you cannot take compression garment off at night for three to four weeks. However, you can take it off at night during week five and six. 

When can I take a bath after a thigh lift? 

  • You can take shower 48 hours after the surgery. Avoid taking baths for four weeks post-surgery. 

Does a thigh lift leave scars?

  • Yes, you will have scars after the thigh surgery. It will take about six months to a year for the scars to fade away almost completely, provided that you get started on your scar reduction treatment options.  

Are thigh lifts worth it?

  • If you feel insecure about the excess skin on your thighs, getting a thigh lift will give you a toned and tight look. It is worth it if it gives you confidence and desired looks.  Realself Patient Surveys indicate a high level of satisfaction.

Dr Carmen Munteanu – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Carmen Munteanu MD. FRACS (Plas) is a very skilled and compassionate Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

She is one of Melbourne’s most experienced and sought-after female Plastic Surgeons specialising in aesthetic breast surgery and body contouring. That includes Breast Reduction, Breast Lift, Breast Implant Surgery and Body Surgery.

With over 25 years of surgical experience in Plastic Surgery, Dr Carmen firmly believes that a good surgeon is first a good doctor. She will always take into consideration all the health aspects and personal circumstances of each patient.

A dedicated Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr Carmen is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Carmen?

  • A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Carmen – Carparking is available on site in Mitcham
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation with Dr Carmen

  • You can book your initial consultation with Dr Carmen Munteanu by paying the $275 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

Contact us or call on  1300 652 468  to arrange your consultation in Mitcham

Email us for more information: info@drcarmen.com.au