The first and most critical step to minimize risk of wound healing problems and other complications following thigh lift is to conduct strict patient selection. First and foremost, the surgery is only reserved for near normal weight, healthy individuals whose cosmetic goals can be achieved by surgery. This “core principle” applies to any elective plastic surgery.
The first 2-3 weeks postop is the most critical period in which the patient must be moving slowly to prevent pulling on the incisions. It is important to note that small wound separations are not uncommon after thigh lift surgery due to tension, effects of gravity, and thigh’s susceptibility to swelling.
All efforts are made to prevent “compromising” the wound, which typically extends from the groin down to the knee, because wound separations take time to heal.
Once the incisions are clinically healed, which happens 2-3 weeks postop, it may be safe to surmise that the most challenging part of recovery is over. Nonetheless, it remains critical to “keep things slow” (i.e., avoid heavy lifting, sudden movement, and strenuous activities) for about 4-6 weeks.
Keeping swelling to a minimum is one of the most critical thigh lift recovery tips. The use of compression garments is particularly helpful as they prevent or at least limit seroma (fluid formation) and thus promote healing.
Furthermore, a balanced diet, particularly low in sodium, can keep postop swelling to a minimum. It is important to note that too much salt triggers the body to hold on to more water, thus aggravating the swollen appearance.
Propping up the legs with “bed wedge pillow” while resting or sleeping can also control the amount of swelling. While ordinary pillows can also be used, wedges are sturdier and are more convenient to use.
Meanwhile, the scar must not be exposed to the sun for at least six months to help it fade into a fine line. To further promote “favorable scarring,” many surgeons also recommend silicone sheets, scar gels, and other similar modalities.