Recovery from Thigh Lift Surgery

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In the immediate period after surgery it is important to rest thoroughly, in order to allow your body to recover from the stress of having surgery and to let your wound heal.  You may initially find mobility difficult, due to either pain or a numb sensation in your upper legs, but it is important to move occasionally.  It is usually recommended that you move a little (even just by changing position) every thirty minutes or so, in order to maintain a healthy blood flow through the body and prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Weeks following Surgery

During the next week or so, it is perfectly normal to continue bleeding, providing the blood flow is slow (indicated by the infrequent need to change dressings or use extra gauze).  Drains may still be placed in the wound in order to allow any blood or fluid collecting to be removed effectively.  This prevents haemotomas (blood collecting from an internal wound) or seroma (the build-up of fluid beneath the surface of the skin).  After three days you should be able to shower again, and your energy levels may slowly rise, although strenuous activity is prohibited.  You will be put on at least one course of antibiotics in order to fight any post-operative infections to might contract.  These may interfere with other medication you are using, such as the oral contraceptive pill, so it is important to read the information leaflet provided with them and seek other alternatives as appropriate.  You may also require painkillers, and it is usually recommended that you use an analgesic such as ibuprofen.  This not only reduces the sensation of pain, but acts as an anti-inflammatory drug, reducing swelling around the site of the operation.

After one to two weeks, you will be invited back for your first post-operation appointment with the clinic you had surgery with.  Unless there is a serious concern, you will not be seen by the surgeon again, but rather by another health professional, such as one of the practice nurses.  Although the soluble sutures will dissolve naturally with time into the body, any regular sutures used on the surface of the skin will need to be removed in order to prevent infection.  The wound will be checked for any signs of current infection, undrained blood or fluid and scar formation.  You will be given further advice about aftercare and given further prescriptions for antibiotics and painkillers as necessary.

Throughout this time, it is strongly advised that you wear supportive garments, such as medical stockings, in order to aid the healing process.  It should help to protect the wound, minimize swelling and help the skin to adapt to its new shape.    This should be of medical quality, either being provided by the clinic itself or through a reputable company recommended for recovery after cosmetic surgery.  The garment should be close-fitting (but not so as to reduce blood circulation), and of a strong but breathable fabric.  It should also be washed regularly on a hot wash, in order to protect the leg against germs and bacterial infections.  The dressings underneath should continue to be changed daily (or more frequently as necessary) until they are no longer required.  Even then, the supportive garments should be worn for at least four weeks, unless otherwise stated by your aftercare team.

During the immediate period following surgery, you may need a great deal of help with everyday activities, such as housework.  For this reason, it is important to arrange some home support for at least the first few days, when lower body mobility will be severely restricted.  If you have children, it is also helpful to arrange some care for them, whether paid child minders or willing family members and friends.  If you need to travel anywhere over the next few weeks, it is also important to have someone willing to drive you or to be willing to use a reputable taxi firm

After three weeks of recommended home rest, you should be able to return to work.  You may still need to take painkillers, but you should have enough mobility to do most jobs.  However, you are not advised to recommence strenuous physical activity for at least a month after surgery, and so if your job is particularly physically demanding, you will need to adjust this time accordingly.
You will continue to need check-ups with your cosmetic surgery clinic, in order to check the progress of your healing.  You may now also be shown your pre-operation pictures in order to assess the difference, and be asked to give feedback on the clinic and surgeon’s performance.  Any remedial surgery or revision of the procedure will also be arranged during these visits.  On average, four to five post operation visits to your clinic are required.  If you have the procedure done in a different country and cannot access aftercare, you may have a telephone number to call for advice.  Even in this instance, it is strongly advised that you visit your General Practitioner for occasional check-ups, as there is no substitute for having the wound examined and having a professional eye assess you.

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