Thigh lift / Upper Arm Lift
Thighs and upper arms are typical problem zones for women in that the skin in these areas often sags prematurely. The skin can also find it difficult to return to its original tightness after major weight loss or extensive liposuction. In order to remedy this and restore a youthful appearance, the excess skin can be surgically removed.
Unfortunately, scarring is unavoidable when skin is lifted, however, accurate as possible planning ensures positioning of the scarring in an area covered by clothing, and a specially developed suturing technique is used which makes the scar as inconspicuous as possible. Nevertheless, sometimes the scarring can be broad and prominent. For this reason, before every operation, the exact target area is marked. From the incision point on all lifts, a flap of skin is freed from underlying tissue. The amount of overlap this flap makes with the skin below is the excess to be removed. The remaining skin is then sutured in the upper part, in firmer, deeper layers of tissue in order to prevent any future sagging as much as possible. The wounds are closed using multiple layers of sutures. This allows us to achieve less tension on the uppermost suture and therefore neater and finer scarring.
The incision in a thigh lift begins in the groin area and goes to the crease of the buttock (see front diagram, incision 1). Should the buttocks also be lifted, then the incision extends further along the buttock (see rear diagram, incision 1). The incision for an upper arm lift is always placed on the inner side of the upper arm. It begins in the armpit and extends, depending on individual requirements, to the middle of the upper arm or further (see diagram below). In order to prevent broad scarring, the remaining skin in the armpit area is stitched to deeper underlying tissue. In this way we can ensure an appealing, long-term result.
Small drainage tubes are inserted into the wounds then the wounds are sutured. These tubes allow wound secretions to drain away and help prevent inflammation. The tubes are removed after 2 to 3 days.
Aftercare and Recovery
A thigh lift is usually performed on an in-patient basis, whereas an arm lift can be carried out on an out-patient basis, sometimes even only requiring a local anaesthetic. After surgery like this it is essential to take weight off the arms for at least 6 weeks and the legs for 8 weeks. Any force on the wounds earlier than this may cause wound healing complications and/or unfavourable scarring. It is therefore also recommended during the recovery period to avoid sports activities, trips to the sauna, or massage, and after a thigh and buttock lift you should wear special compression clothing. As excessive exposure to sun can cause skin pigmentation disorder, we recommend avoiding trips to the solarium or sunbathing until the scars have completely settled. This can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months and in some cases longer.