Inner Thigh Lift Recovery

I had a question asked on one of my recent blogs about some of my plastic surgery. Honestly, it’s tough to find good information about the recovery process for some of the less popular surgeries. Before I go into my inner thigh lift recovery tips, I’ll recap what I’ve had done in the past eight years since losing my 100lbs.

  • Breast Lift and Implants
  • Breast Implants again (first round we couldn’t go the size I wanted at the time)
  • Tummy Tuck and Full Belt Lower Body Lift with Butt Enhancement (basically all the skin coming off left me with no ass so they took some thigh skin and made me a butt)
  • Tummy Tuck (no muscle but full scar to breasts), thigh lift, and redo of lower body lift (removal of faux butt)
  • Eyelid and Neck Surgery

Yep…I’ve had all this done due to my obesity for many, many years. In clothes I look good but naked I’m a train track. Small kids could race Matchbox cars on me. I’m VERY LUCKY to have a husband who is willing to support me through this, not be turned off by the scars, and take care of me. It’s not easy to deal with someone pretty helpless for weeks.

These days I am great at the recovery process and this blog is all about the inner thigh lift recovery.

First, I was cut along the groin and down the thighs to my knees. The first lower body lift I was only cut along the groin. That just didn’t do anything for my thighs thus the reason I had to cut down the leg and deal with the big scars. I’m getting used to them. Not going to say I’m super used to them and in love but I don’t think about them like I thought I would. I tell myself, “people probably think she is a wicked athlete who had to have her knees repaired.”

When you come out of surgery you are pretty out of it. The first time getting up is a humdinger. You have to learn how to keep your legs together and turn to get out of the bed. It’s EASIER than you think after the first couple of times. What MOST people don’t realize is that you are going to need A LOT of UPPER BODY strength. I have never been more thankful for working my upper body with heavy weights than after surgery. Your arms, chest, and back help you push and pull yourself around all the time.

I would recommend at least a couple of months before surgery that you do one or two upper body lifts or circuits each week. If you don’t know what to do, a good DVD program would be something like Insanity: Asylum or T-25. Because both of these not only help you weights they focus a lot on powering your body with your own body weight.

If you want to do your own weights, mix in weights with body weight moves like plank, push ups, bearcrawls, crabwalks, dips, etc. All of these help you mimic what scooting around is going to feel like.

Going to the bathroom is probably the hardest. I would invest in renting or buying a portable hospital potty. This keeps you from having to squat or balance yourself while you go. My mom had one I could borrow and every surgery it’s been a lifesaver. I know medical supply places do rent things like this. Sometimes you can even find one on Craig’s List.

You will also want to have some extra pillows. Keeping your legs elevated will help with swelling. I had about 5-6 good sized pillows because I would want to change positions int the bed a lot to keep my back from hurting.

For food, I found this important. I was never hungry but for carbs. That’s FINE. Most surgeries I lived off Shakeology, yogurt, and dry toast. It was the only things that sounded good. The key is keeping your energy up because your body is working hard around the clock to recover you. It’s NO time to diet. You will hinder your recovery more than you help it if you get all heady about your weight.

Speaking of, don’t weigh. OMG you will swell and hold water and it will be at least 4-6 months before that stops. Monitor your healthy eating habits and not the scale. I HAVE WEIGHED in the past and you have such wild swings with it going up and down that it will mess with you more than give you REAL data. The real data will be are you eating? Are you eating healthy? Are you stopping before full? Are you honoring your body with foods that speed recovery? Trust me, a Big Mac or big bowl of ice cream every night isn’t honoring recovery. šŸ™‚

The last two pieces of advice I have are to WALK and take Colace. It’s so easy to want to lay around but the more you walk SLOWLY the better you will feel. I’m not talking exercise walks or power fitness, but I made a point to get up hourly unless I was sleeping the first three weeks and walk. After my first week I when I was stable I always went outside and walked slow through the hood for 15 minutes building up to 45-60 min. by the end of three weeks. I never raised my heart rate but just moving helped me a lot with not getting stiffed, constipated, and kept the blood circulating.

I start Colace the day before surgery and I don’t stop until my bowels are moving. The anesthesia and pain meds will back you up if you are not careful. This is also why the walking helps. I drink a lot of water, take the Colace and come off my pain meds VERY EARLY. I’m usually done with them within 48 hours of surgery. I just hate taking things so I rely more on Tylenol. Let me say, though, don’t lay in pain. I have a very high tolerance for pain but I wouldn’t sit there and hurt bad. You are going to hurt some but PAIN I wouldn’t ignore.

That’s my experience. I’m happy to answer questions if you have them.

  • Reema says:

    I am thinking of doing a thigh lift and an upper body lift as I lost around 130 pounds! My greatest worry is the scaring. How bad is it? Is it better living with the scars or excess skin?
    How long will full recovery be?
    I am really hesitant regarding the scaring. What is your advice?

  • DeeDee says:

    When can I start laying on my side?

  • JB says:

    I am very grateful to find your blog. I lost 160lbs and have kept it off for 10 years. I had a breast lift, arms done, and a back roll taken out 8 years ago and am just now in a financial position to fix the rest. I have a panniculectomy ( fleur de lis) with lipo 5 days ago. I am uncomfortable but this hasn’t been a bad recovery so far. I do still have a drain in. I’m am scheduled for a vertical thigh lift in 6 weeks. I am nervous about the recovery for that one! My surgeon estimates 4-5″ will be removed from each thigh. I will not have the groin incision. Anything else that you can offer advicewise to get ready and recover well? Thank you!

  • Shenade says:

    I am super late in this but was hoping for advice. I am just past 1 week recovery from extended abdominoplasty with a lower body lift after losing about 100lbs. I am struggling with my legs and butt as although they look better they now jiggle like crazy when I walk or move. Is this fluid? Did you experience this? I wanted a lift which would equate to tight legs to show off how hard I workout and now they look worse so I am kind of worried. I see my surgeon tomorrow and am going to ask but wanted to know an opinion from someone who went through something similar. I just hope they will tighten up. I almost regret having this done.

    Iā€™m inspired about your success story!

    • It could be fluid but here’s the deal. I never got the legs I thought I would. They look better but not what was in my mind which was legs that looked like I trained them. I had to decide to love the part of me willing to train them and love my legs because they are MY legs that can work that hard.

  • I am 3 weeks 2 days post-op and was ok until yesterday afternoon. My right thing is burning like fire and I can stand to move it or touch it in one spot of my incision. I don’t know if it’s from fluid but it feels like it you pull a muscle. Not sure what’s going on.

  • Tricia Dimon says:

    I see this thread is pretty old, but I’ve not found another one concerning a medial thigh lift. I just had one Tuesday and I’m not sure exactly “what” I should be doing. I was told walk, but not overdo it. I’m not sure what overdoing it is? I’ve been getting up, going to restroom, going to kitchen, getting water, but mostly staying reclined with feet up. What would be too much? I sure don’t want to risk getting a blood clot or messing up my incisions.

  • I and Panniculectomy, MR & Medial inner thigh lift yesterday 07/27/2017. Today the pain is just not tolerable when trying to sit up or lay down. Did you have this problem? If so how long if it last,? I have a wedge to keep my legs elevated?

  • Mary Kay says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’m having medial thought lift this coming wed the 24th of Aug. I’m as prepared, or will he, as best I can. I’m very nervous but reading this helped me. My dr did my TT 10 years ago, I love and trust him but still scared of this surgery. He does a newer procedure that doesn’t involve the lymph system as much so I’m hoping that makes a difference in swelling and psin but I gearing for the worst and hoping the best kind of thing. I would love to hear how your scars turned out and if you have recommendations for the scaring. I am taking Bromalain now, prior to surgery. Thank you! Mk

    • My scars are pretty large but they have faded OK over the years. My skin just tends to redden so other than keeping hydrated and making sure you put AMPLE sunscreen on them so they don’t get a chance to darken is about all I could do. My doc said I can go back and have my thighs done again, I’d get better results around my knees, and she could make the scars less wide. I’ve thought about it but it would be awhile. Mainly just hate taking the down time to do it!

  • Mark says:

    Great post!. Keep it up.

  • Missijane says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I had abdominal plasty last year that developed necrosis resulting in a wound vac and a revision. I also need a medial thigh lift, but am super scared. I was able to do a ton of research about TT recovery, but have not seen much about BIL recovery. I am mostly worried about wound separation and necrosis. Any other tips you have would be greatly appreciated. šŸ™‚

    • It’s really about not rushing recovery and keeping up with the doc orders. Whatever they say do…DO it. Don’t talk yourself into doing more. And you might talk again to your doc about anything you can do to prevent it from happening again. I haven’t had issues but I just made sure to follow the orders and not allow myself to get moving before it was time. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • NYo says:

    Hi dear
    I am very impressed with your achievement, you are an inspiration keep it up!

    I am planing to do the medial thigh lift but really worried about the recovery time! is it true that it take 6 months to recover ? what about my job i can not be away for 6 months ..

    and i am considering a breast lift with the thigh lift as well .. do you recommend the combination or should i keep the breast list with the arm tuck ?

    • The recovery isn’t 6 months off work in my case. I would have been out about 4 though. Maybe three but you need the drains out and such to go back to work. Plus it takes about 4 weeks to be able to drive. Have you got a consult yet? That will help.

      I would probably do breast and arms then legs. This way you don’t have two areas of your body “useless” at once. LOL

  • TerriV says:

    Thanks for all great advice. I’m day 6 after surgery and overall ok, just swollen and very conscious on the incisions down my thighs. I want to keep moving, but how do you balance the need to keep moving with the need to keep swelling down? I feel by mid or late day like my thighs are stuffed so tight I’m gonna pop open. I know that can’t happen, but it still freaks me out a bit, plus it’s uncomfortable. Any advice on managing the two? When did you drive afterwards?

    • Swelling…girl get used to it. Mine would swell up for at LEAST SIX months. That’s just part of the process. When they cleared me to walk and exercise I did all I could. My doc said the more your legs get used to being moved the less they would swell over time. They won’t pop! You can eat pineapple, take bromelin (helps with swelling), drink your water, and cut back on salt. Also if you are sitting try to elevate your legs at all times. If you are at work then I would take a break every hour for 2 -3 min and get in the floor, put your legs up on the wall and let them sit like that a bit.

      I was driving at 4-5 weeks. I had to be careful because I was also cut around to the rear end so my legs weren’t my issue; I had tissue back there that was thin and would tear easy. So when I got in and out of the car I had to be uber careful.

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