Massive swelling following medial thigh lift??

I had a thigh lift 2.5 weeks ago. My legs are massively swollen. I keep my legs elevated, still wearing the compression garment, taking Celebrex, and a herbal supplement for lymphatic drainage. The swelling does not appear to be improving at all, is this normal? I am unable to get any of my slacks on that I wore before surgery. I understand some swelling may be normal, but I'm concerned that this may never go away and I'll be left with permanently larger legs than before the surgery.

Doctor Answers 3

Swelling Following Thigh Lift Surgery

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Patients undergoing thigh lift surgery inevitably develop swelling following this procedure. The procedure causes disruption of the lymphatic channels and cellular injury, which causes swelling.

Significant improvement in swelling can be seen in the first three weeks following surgery, with the majority gone in about three months. Small amounts of swelling may persist up to a year following surgery.

We generally recommend the use of compression garments for about three weeks following surgery. We also recommend a low salt diet before and after this procedure. Light exercise is usually started early in the post-operative period and we want patients to ambulate as soon as possible following surgery. Massage is also helpful in the treated areas and helps mobilize fluid and ultimately decreases swelling. All of these steps help to minimize the duration of swelling following surgery.

If you're concerned about post-operative swelling following thigh lift surgery, it's appropriate to consult your surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to discuss your concerns and alleviate your anxiety.

What is 'massive'?

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swelling after surgery is normal and it can take a few weeks for most of it to go away, months to be completely resolved.

If you really have 'massive' swelling, you may have serous fluid (seroma) that needs drainage.  It's best to be seen by the surgeon who performed your surgery.

See your surgeon if swelling is unusual

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It generally takes a few months for swelling to subside, and the process is usually quite gradual. However, because you say that you are experiencing "massive" swelling, I suggest you see your surgeon for a physical examination. There may be a complication that should be resolved.

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.