Recovery Information after Thigh Lift Surgery in Los Angeles and Orange County

What to expect when you wake up from your thigh lift surgery:

When you wake up from your thigh lift procedure, you will be in the post-operative holding area.  Your thighs will be wrapped with ACE bandages or you may be fitted with a compression garment.  These protect the incisions and promote shrinking and tightening of the skin after your surgery.  These should be left in place for the first 72 hours.

Will you need a caregiver after thigh lift surgery?

It is important to have a responsible adult with you for the first 24 hours to assist you with getting around and taking your medications.

How to care for your groin incisions?

You should place gauze pads over the groin incisions so that they remain dry. These pads should be changed twice a day.

Will thigh lift surgery be painful?

Post-operative pain is subjective and will vary considerably from person to person. The average patient undergoing thigh lift will usually require a few days of prescribed oral pain medication to treat discomfort. You may take Motrin or Advil only after the first 7 days.

How should you sit and sleep after thigh lift surgery?

During the first week or so, attempt to sleep with your thighs placed over two or more pillows.  This will ensure drainage of fluids from your lower extremities, reducing swelling and tension on your incision line. Also, keep your legs slightly bent at the hips during the first week after your thigh lift. This will minimize any tension on your incision line, reduce pain and result in a thinner, less-visible scar during the initial healing process.

How long will swelling last after thigh lift surgery?

Most of the post-operative swelling in your thighs will subside within the first two weeks, especially if the thighs are kept elevated.  The remaining swelling may take four to six weeks to subside.

When can you take a shower?

You can remove your ACE wraps and dressings on the third day after your thigh lift surgery and take a shower.  You may run water over the incisions.  After finishing your shower, pat your incisions dry with a towel.  Place surgi-pad over each incision and reapply the ACE bandage from knee up or wear your lower body garment.

When is it safe to drive after thigh lift surgery?

It should take about two weeks for your incisions to heal before attempting to drive.  Also, it is not safe to drive a car while taking pain medications as your reflexes and alertness may be altered.

How to care for your thigh lift incisions

It is important that the thigh lift incisions are not subjected to excessive force or tension during the healing process.  This can lead to scar widening or separation.

When is it safe to start exercise after thigh lift surgery?

Although your thighs will be sore for several days, you should be walking the next day after your surgery. Avoid stairs for 2 weeks since it places too much tension on the incisions.  Walking is the best way to reduce formation of blood clots in your legs.  Dr. Agha recommends light exercise to reduce swelling and prevent blood clot formation. These may include walking, stretching, and moving your thighs and legs while sitting. Avoid activities that may raise your blood pressure. Avoid heavy lifting, contact sports, and jogging for up to six weeks.

How long will it take for your thigh lift incisions to heal?

Following thigh lift surgery, it normally takes about 3 to 4 weeks for your incisions to close up.  However, it will take up to 6 weeks for the incisions to heal internally and develop durability.  Thus, avoid running for this duration.

What kind of scarring is expected after thigh lift surgery?

The nature of your scar is dependent on several factors.  These include your genetic make-up, any tension that is placed on the incision, smoking, healing ability, and the technique for closure of your incision.  Typically, Dr. Agha performs what is known as a “complex closure”.  Dr. Agha closes your incisions in 3 layers to reduce tension on the closure.

How do scars change with time?

Typically thigh scars are pink for about 6 to 12 weeks.  Scars can take between 9-12 months to lighten up. Patients who refrain from smoking and closely follow Dr. Agha’s Enhanced Recovery Nutritional Supplements routine will usually heal faster and have thinner scars.

What kind of emergencies should I be aware of?

Although some discomfort is common after thigh lift surgery, be sure to tell us if:

  • There is an increase in pain, redness, swelling, drainage, or bleeding in the surgical area.
  • You develop nausea or vomiting, fever, dizziness, or a general ill feeling.
  • If you experience chest pains, shortness of breath, or unusual heartbeats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.

After recovery from thigh lift, some patients prefer to have addition cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of the upper and lower leg, particularly to remove unsightly hair. Laser hair removal is one of the more common post-thigh lift procedures for hair removal because of its longer lasting effects when compared to other hair removal techniques.


Call Plastic Surgery Body Contouring at 949-644-2442 to schedule your personal consultation to discuss your Thigh lift procedure as well as any other personal enhancement options.