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image of a woman in her underwear measuring her thighs with a tape measure

Thigh Lift post-operative instructions.

  • Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Follow balanced diet.
  • Decreased activity may promote constipation, be sure to increase fluid intake.
  • Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin unless approved by your surgeon.
  • Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
  • Even when not taking pain medications, ideally no alcohol for 3 weeks as it causes fluid retention.
  • If you are taking vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated. –
  • DO NOT use a bath , hot tub, swimming pool for 2 weeks.
  • No smoking or second hand smoke. Nicotine  has a high chance of causing wound breakdown, scar problems or even tissue/skin loss.

Post Op activity

  • Start walking as soon as possible, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots.
  • Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics).
  • Social and employment activities can be resumed 2-3 weeks after surgery.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and activities such as sports for 3-6 weeks.

Incisions care

You may shower as soon as you wish. Try to minimise soaking of the dressings and pad dry immediately.

Keep your dressings intact. A small spotting of blood or fluid onto the dressings is normal at this stage. Unless the dressings are wet, please leave them intact until day 2 or 3. Usually you will have been supplied a spare set to change after 2-3 days. Do this before showering, clean the wounds, pad dry and redress.

The type of dressing you have after surgery may vary at your doctor’s discretion, based on your procedure, or skin sensitivity.

If you develop any scabs or crusts along your incision when there is no steri-strip in place, take a warm wet wash cloth, soak it on your incision for 5-10 minutes, it will soften the scabs/crusts and gently clean them away.

How should I expect to feel?

There will be swelling and discoloration for 1-2 months, possibly longer. There may be numbness around the operative areas.

You will be given a compression garment on the day of surgery. This garment is to be worn for 6 weeks after surgery.  You can remove it to shower and to change your dressings as needed but the more it is worn, the faster things will heal and the quicker you will see your final result.


Scars can be of varying lengths following thigh lift surgery depending on what we are trying to achieve. Scars are invariably red and thick in the early to middle phases from 1-12 weeks. They progressively settle but not in everyone and can still be softening 2 years after surgery.

Follow-up care

  • Sutures are usually dissolving but a wound check will be arranged for around 7 days.
  • If you have increased swelling or bruising.
  • If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
  • If you have increased redness along the incision.
  • If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
  • If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea,
  • headache, vomiting.
  • If you have an temperature over 38 degrees.
  • If you have any yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
  • If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
  • Avoid exposing scars to sun for at least 12 months.
  • Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or

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