When a woman has aggressive breast cancer, one or both of her breasts must be removed to stop the tumor from getting larger. In a typical mastectomy, a surgeon removes the breast, all of its tissues, the nipple, and the areola. They may also remove lymph nodes under the patient’s armpit.
As devastating as it is to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer, waking up in the hospital without breasts can be nearly as difficult. While patients do what they must to preserve their own life, adjusting to the new reality can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, patients in the modern era have several options when it comes to replacing the breasts lost to cancer. Some eventually adjust to having no breasts while others opt for removable breast prosthetics. Others decide to have the breasts reconstructed through a reconstructive surgical procedure.
Isn’t it time to take the next step?
UPMC Western Maryland Plastic Surgery
12502 Willowbrook Road, Suite 460
Cumberland, MD 21502
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday and Thursday 8 am – 5:30 pm
Friday 8 am – 12 pm
Steps Involved in the Thigh Lift Procedure
To ensure that patient feels relaxed and doesn’t experience pain during a thigh lift, the surgeon will administer either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The location and pattern of the incision depends on the degree of correction needed and the areas to be treated. One of the more common techniques used in the thigh lift procedure is for the surgeon to make the initial incision in the groin. From there, the incision extends downward and wraps around the back of the patient’s thigh.
After making an incision, the surgeon tightens and reshapes the underlying tissue matrix. The skin is also reduced at this time, creating smoother body contours with more proportionate features. Some patients receive only a minimal incision during a medial thigh lift. This incision takes place in the groin area.
Improving the outer thigh contours requires an incision going from the groin to around the hip. Most scars from thigh lift surgeries are easily disguised by clothing and swimsuits, although they may be extensive for those with poor elasticity of the skin. The surgeon closes the incisions after placing support sutures deep within the underlying skin tissues.
Thigh Lift Recovery Expectations
Patients will remain under observation in the recovery room until the surgeon and nurses feel he or she is stable enough to go home with a responsible adult. The sensations of tightness and soreness are most pronounced the first two to three days after thigh lift surgery. Taking prescription painkillers on schedule helps to minimize the pain. It is normal for swelling of the lower body and upper thighs to persist for three to five weeks. A compression garment promotes tightening and shrinking of the skin after surgery in addition to offering protection for the incision area.
A temporary drainage tube prevents the pooling of body fluids and blood at the completion of the procedure. These can be removed in about 24 hours. While patients are sitting or lying down in the first week after surgery, they should keep their legs slightly bent at the hip. This reduces tension on the incision, reduces pain, and makes the resulting scar thinner and less obvious once healing is complete.
Keeping gauze pads over the incisions is important in order for them to remain dry. Patients can shower three days after thigh lift surgery and should plan to return for a follow-up visit with the plastic surgeon in approximately one week. Walking as soon as possible during the recovery period helps to reduce the likelihood of a blood clot. It is essential to attempt to do this even if it feels uncomfortable. Most people can return to a desk job within a week. Those with physically demanding jobs should wait to get their surgeon’s okay first.