A crural lift or a thigh lift is a surgery to remove excess cutaneous, subcutaneous and adipose tissue (dermal-adipose lipectomy) located in the internal part of the things to harmonize the lower limbs with the rest of the body and improve movements. Ageing, reduced physical activity, lower muscle tone and great changes in weight can all contribute to making the leg flabby. This is why patients decide to undergo this surgery in order to have more proportionate and toned legs.
What needs to be done before surgery?
Speaking to the plastic surgeon before surgery helps eliminate doubts and perplexities and understand exactly how the surgery will be made and all options suitable for one’s case. In order to achieve the best result, all possible variables to the surgery procedure will be taken into account depending on the patient’s physical characteristics and needs. The consultation is non-binding and gives one the possibility to have all the information regarding the surgery and post-surgery programme, the drugs to take, analyses and checks-ups to do, and costs.
How is the surgery performed?
There are two possible options: - vertical incision on the medial face of the thigh and removal of a piece of cutis and subcutis shaped as a triangle with a lower apex. This approach allows the removal of great quantities of tissue. Thus, it is good for patients that have both functional and aesthetic issues, namely walking difficulties and intertrigo in the skin folds; - horizontal incision along the inguinal fold, in the genito-femoral groove and in the sub-gluteal cleft and removal of a portion of ogival-shaped skin. This approach allows the removal of a lower amount of skin and is preferred for patients with exclusively aesthetic needs. The scars are completely hidden inside the natural skin folds. The surgery is done under general anesthesia and lasts about 3 hours. There is a first step in which a liposuction of the area to be removed and the nearby zone is made to better design the diameter of the thigh and simplify the removal of the skin. After the liposuction, depending on the surgery approach, an incision is made following the indicated lines. We then proceed by removing the excess cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue. In case of vertical incision, we remove a part of skin shaped as a triangle with a lower apex on the medial face of the thigh. In case of horizontal incision, we disconnect the subcutaneous tissue of the medial side of the thigh, which is then lifted towards the groin. After that, all excess skin is removed. The final suture of the cutaneous margins is made after a careful assessment of the symmetry between the two thighs. A compressive dressing is applied at the end of the surgery. Hospitalization lasts one day.
What happens after the operation?
The compressive dressing is removed after 48 hours from the surgery. The wound is then medicated and a compression garment is applied. This must be worn for 30 days. Stitches are removed after about 15 days from the surgery; the wounds can then be washed. Until then do not have a bath or shower. Rest and limited movements are advised in the days following the surgery, especially for the upper limbs. Return to work after 7-10 days, whilst return to sport activity after about 30 days.
Patients normally suffer light pain, swelling, reddening and bruises in the treated area during the first days following the surgery. Post-surgery issues can be kept under control using normal painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs.
There will be two residual scars in case of vertical incision: one vertical scar along the medial face of the thigh that cannot be hidden when the legs are bare and another scar along the inguinal and genito-femoral groove, hidden in the skin fold. In case of horizontal incision, the residual scars are hidden in the inguinal fold, in the genito-femoral groove and in the sub-gluteal cleft. They are visible and red at first, but become almost invisible after some time.
A good outcome of the surgery depends on the patient’s initial clinical conditions, his/her healing capacity and compliance with the doctor’s post-surgery indications, namely avoid inappropriate movements and sun exposure until complete healing of the scars, maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid weight gain and loss.
What are the possible risks?
Possible though rare complications linked to the surgery are haematomas and bleeding, infections, delayed healing of the surgical wound, poor healing, change in skin sensitivity.