Thigh Lift Recovery and Downtime

How much downtime/time off work for a thigh reduction?

Doctor Answers 14

How extensive the thigh reduction is determines your recovery time

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Removal of tissue from the inner thigh or medial thigh will leave an incision along the groin crease. This requires 2-3 weeks of healing. It is not uncommon to have small separations in the incision, requiring additional healing time. Most do not require surgical closure as a second follow up operation.

Larger thigh reductions, such as a lower body lift (which addresses the buttocks/posterior thigh, hips/lateral thigh, and anterior thigh), may require 4 to 6 weeks of recovery. The longer the incision, the longer the time required to allow them to heal.

Start with a one on one consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to determine which thigh reduction procedure will achieve your particular goals in improving the appearance of your thighs. This will then determine where there will be incisions and the amount of time you will need to set aside to heal properly. Best of Luck!

Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

2 weeks for the initial recovery (light activity OK) then 8-12 weeks for full recovery.

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The first two weeks are critical after thigh reduction surgery. During this time, it is important that swelling be kept to a minimum and incisions are allowed to fully heal. It is critical to be very careful and cautious during this time, moving slowly and intentionally to avoid pulling on incisions. Open wounds in the thigh area are difficult to heal because of the tension of gravity pulling down on the full weight of the legs and because of the movement when walking, sitting, bending, and even just getting in and out of bed.

Once you make it through this time and the incisions are well-healed, you should be able to return to light activities -- slowly increasing your activity being mindful not to allow yourself to become swollen. The most important thing to remember is that pain will not always be a strong enough signal to keep you from overdoing it. You may not have pain, but if you have swelling, you are doing too much.

Thomas T. Nguyen, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

Down time after a medial thigh lift

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Medial thigh lift is a tough procedure for both the surgeon and the patient.  I tell my patients 2 - 3 off of a desk job if everything goes swimmingly.  Sometimes I think I need 2 - 3 weeks off after doing one of these challenging operations. 

The rate of complications is high but they usually consist of delayed healing or prolonged swelling which is manageable.

Any patient having this procedure or just about any major plastic surgery procedure can expect 6 weeks of feeling very tired - sort of like the first trimester of pregnancy.  I tell my patients to go back to work part time the first week and schedule a nice nap when they get home.  Something magical happens at 6 weeks and patients are usually back to their baseline energy level.

Patients who short change their recovery time end up sore and frustrated.  As usual, I learned the hard way.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

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Thigh lift

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Down time form a thigh lift or a thigh reduction procedure can take anywhere form 3 to 4 weeks.  You will need about 6 weeks to be completely healed however.  I would plan to take at least one month off work.  Optimizing your nutrition with protein supplements will help you to heal faster.

Activity after thigh lift and reduction

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These vary tremendously in their design and therefore restrictions may be different.

Limitations in activity are typically placed to minimize stretching of the scar.

However, we do prefer patients to be active to minimize the possibility of a deep vein thrombosis. In the meantime you may wear compression stockings to minimize your risk and perform point and flex toe/calf exercises (like they instruct you on an airplane) to diminish venous stasis.

Excessive bending or flexing may be prohibited by your surgeon. Aids such as a walker or toilet seat riser may be beneficial.

Generally, we find our paitents need around two weeks to feel mobile and independent.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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Thigh Lift Recovery

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Thank you for your question. Following your thigh lift, soft dressing and compression garment will be applied to aid in healing. In some cases, there will be a tube needed for excess drainage. Swelling and bruising are common side effects within the first few weeks, but normal activity can resume in a about a week. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 
Double board certified
Plastic surgeon
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Thigh Lift/Reduction Recovery

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Following a thigh lift, you should plan to take one to three weeks off from work and normal activities and rest as much as possible to reduce motion in the area of the sutures. We will provide you with pain medications to take after you return home. You will need to avoid strenuous activities for at least six weeks. You will find that the scar will always be somewhat visible but will fade over time to a fine line.
An improvement of the contour of the thigh is clearly visible after six to twelve months of healing.

Thigh lift recovery and down time

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This is a very important aspect when deciding to move forward with the thighplasty procedure. It is important to understand your limitations as well as post-operative care instructions with a thighplasty as the patient plays a very big role in both aspects of recovery. I typically will discuss with my patients that they will be easing back into normal daily activities around two weeks. If they must return to work it is only ideal if the patient is able to sit at a desk with the ability to get up periodically and take breaks. Normally activities without restrictions are normally at 6 weeks post-operative. Compressive garments are utilized for the first 4 weeks post-operative to help control swelling and may be utilized beyond this point to help with comfort and swelling.

Ronald Downs, MD, FACS
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Thigh Lift and Recovery

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Recovery of thigh lift is not more difficult than tummy tuck. The key difference is taking care of wounds uninterruptedly for three weeks. You need to pay attention for each step for this three weeks.  It is critical to be very careful and cautious during this time. You should be moving slowly. You should  and intentionally to 
The first two weeks are critical after thigh lift. Because any opening of wound in the thigh cause extra wound care. This is not painful at all but open wounds in this area are difficult to heal because of the tension of gravity pulling down on the full weight of the legs. 

Once the incisions are well-healed then you can consider that it is over. After that you will be able return your daily activities.

Ercan Karacaoglu, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Thigh lift downtime

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You should take it very easy the first two weeks after surgery. You can resume most activities usually by three weeks. Expect to be off of work for two weeks, but you will be able to be up and around - this is encouraged to keep your blood circulation going, but make sure to take it easy.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.