Is this normal after a thigh and buttock lift? (Photo)
Doctor Answers 2
Early Post-operative Scarring And Swelling
It's important to understand that wound healing is a dynamic process that continues for 12 to 18 months following surgery. During this period, anatomic structures may become distorted by swelling and the healing process itself. For this reason, it's extremely difficult to make aesthetic judgements only three weeks after surgery.
Your pictures indicate a significant amount of tissue gathering within your wound closure. This has resulted in some irregularity of the wound margins. It's important to realize that this is not unusual after this type of surgery when patients are only three weeks post-op. With the passage of time, these wounds should flatten and lose their redness.
In addition, it's normal to have significant swelling following thigh lift surgery. In many cases, this swelling may be asymmetric and related to post-operative positioning.
It's important to take steps in the post-operative period to minimize scarring. A variety of maneuvers have been utilized to minimize scarring. These include techniques designed to decrease tension on the wound closure, examples include steri-strips, silicone scar sheeting and compressive support devices. Massage of scars with a variety of topical agents has been shown to be helpful, as well.
If you're concerned about scarring and swelling following thigh lift surgery, you should discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to discuss your concerns and alleviate your anxiety.
Do my scars look normal after a thigh and buttocks lift?
Firm areas of the underlying skin flaps and incisions generally develop 10 to 12 days surgery. This healing ridge is normal.
Scars typically are puckered at first and start to get red and raised at 2 weeks after surgery, and become the firmest at 2 months. They are the the most red at 6 months, and take 6 months to 2 years to remodel.
Silicone sheeting is helpful to improve the results of a scar, but is often uncomfortable to wear and difficult to stay on. Biocornium silicone cream works well, is easy to apply and has sunscreen in it. I start my patients on it 10 to 14 days after surgery. You need to use it for 10-12 weeks. Embrace silicone sheeting also works well as it takes the tension off the scar to help improve it.
Additionally in big flap surgery, like thigh lifts and buttocks lifts, the lymphatics are cut and can take several months to recanalize, and remove the swelling. Inability of the garment to fit the buttocks precisely, can also lead to swelling of the infra-gluteal region. It will subside with time.
Jon M. Grazer, MD, MPH, FACS
Newport Beach, CA