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What happens at my pre-operative appointment?

On the day of your pre-operative appointment, we will review your procedure in detail and go over the surgical plan with you. We will also address any questions and concerns you may have. Please read over the procedure consent prior to this appointment and have your questions ready so we can discuss them. During your pre-operative visit, we will provide you with all after-care instructions as well as the necessary prescriptions. You will also be provided with a post-operative appointment for follow up after your surgery.

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Guidelines to follow in the days leading up to your thigh lift 

  • Please do not smoke (cigarettes, vape, or pipe) or use any nicotine products 4 weeks prior to and after your surgery. Smoking and nicotine greatly impair healing, which can cause increased risk for infection and complications, such as delayed incisional healing or wound opening which lead to worse scarring. 
  • Please stay away from secondhand smoke as well, as this can also cause wound healing problems. If you use nicotine products, you will need to stop 4 weeks prior to surgery and then you will need to undergo a cotinine test prior to surgery to ensure that the nicotine is out of your system.
  • Please do not drink alcohol before or after your surgery (until cleared by your surgeon). In addition, please do not drink alcohol while taking pain medication, as this can have serious, and life-threatening side effects.
  • Please leave all valuables at home. If you have body piercings, kindly remove them prior to surgery.
  • Please have someone available to drive you home. Due to the lasting effects general anesthesia, you will be unable to operate a car after surgery. A taxi or car service is not adequate either. You will need a family member or friend who can assist you.
  • You may have been asked to obtain pre-operative tests at a lab facility or your primary care physician. Your pre-operative tests (labs, X-rays, EKG, etc.) need to be completed at least three days before your surgery. If you have them done at your doctor’s office, the results will need to be faxed to (210) 362-1582.
  • The surgery facility will call you the day before your surgery to let you know what time and where you should arrive.
  • Shower the morning of or the night before your surgery with your normal soap and water. Do not use deodorant, lotion, cream, perfume, aftershave, oils, or makeup after bathing.
  • Do not take Advil, Aleve, Naproxen, Fish Oil, Garlic, CoQ10, Omega 3,6, Motrin, Excedrin, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, medications for arthritis or any medication that contains these medications for ten days prior to your surgery and two weeks after.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Please call our office if you have an infection of any kind prior to your surgery.
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What to expect the day of your thigh lift procedure?

  • Your plastic surgeon will meet you in the pre-operative area to go over any last- minute questions or concerns you may have. 
  • Your plastic surgeon will make some preoperative markings and perform extensive checks with careful attention to detail to ensure you receive the highest quality. 
  • You will meet the anesthesiologist and their team, as well as the members of our plastic surgery operative team.
  • On the day of surgery do not take the following blood pressure medications with generic names that end in “-pril,” “-sartan” before your surgery. If you are on metformin, you will be asked to not take it on the day of surgery.
  • During the plastic surgery procedure, our plastic surgeons pay meticulous attention to detail and work as a highly experienced team to ensure superior results. 
  • Your family will be updated of your status periodically and will be able to talk with the plastic surgeon in person after the procedure is completed. 
  • The incisions will be placed in a dressing or a compression bandage. Instructions for care on these will be given to you in your preoperative paperwork.

What should I expect after a thigh lift procedure?

  • You will be placed in an elastic bandage or compression garment for several weeks. 
  • You will have drains in place to remove extra fluid. 
  • You will have to limit activity for up to 6 weeks after surgery. Initially, you will have swelling around the legs that will decrease over time. It may take several months to see the end results of your thigh lift.

What medications will I be prescribed after surgery?

After surgery you will have some level of discomfort. The goal of pain medications is to reduce pain, but not necessarily eradicate all pain. A good measure of whether you need more pain control is: can you take a deep breath without severe pain? Do not wait until your pain is unbearable to take the next dose of pain medication because it will take longer to get your pain under control again.

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What can I do to prepare for my thigh lift recovery?

To make your recovery faster and more comfortable, we recommend that you prepare before your surgery. Some things you can do include:

  • Prepare a sleeping area that is easy to get to for the first night. For example, set up a couch downstairs to avoid needing to use the stairs. Keep your toiletries close by and prepare food ahead of time. Arrange for someone to be with you the first night after surgery.
  • You may receive your post-operative medications at your pre-operative appointment. You should pick up these medications up prior to your surgery.
  • If you’re having an outpatient same-day procedure, you will be released to go home the same day and will need someone to drive you home.
  • Review your post-surgery instructions given to you at your pre-operative appointment
  • If you have a history of nausea or vomiting after anesthesia, please let us and your anesthesia provider know prior to surgery. We can prescribe anti-nausea medications and take extra steps to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery.

When can I resume my regular medications?

It is important to follow certain guidelines regarding your medications after your procedure, these include: 

  • You may resume your medications after surgery apart from blood thinners which will need to be determined by your surgeon. 
  • You will be given a prescription for a pain medication. If you are prescribed medications that contain acetaminophen (Tylenol) it is important that you not exceed 3500 milligrams of acetaminophen (Tylenol) per day. 
  • Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or make important decisions while taking narcotic pain medications.
  • Narcotic medications may cause constipation. Ensure you have adequate (>25 grams/day) of fiber in your diet and drink at least 64 oz. of water daily. You may also wish to take an over the counter stool softener such as MiraLAX or Colace once or twice daily.
  • You can alternate your narcotic medication with Ibuprofen 600mg every 6 hours. Take ibuprofen with food to protect your stomach from irritation.
    If you have a history of nausea or vomiting after anesthesia, you may be prescribed an anti-nausea medication (Ondansetron) which can be taken as needed.
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How to care for drains?

We typically place a drain on each thigh. The purpose of a drain is to remove excess fluid from the surgical area. Empty the bulbs and measure the output whenever the bulbs are half full or at least twice a day. You will be given a sheet to record how much is coming out of the drains. Bring this sheet to your follow-up appointment. In general, drains remain in place until there is less than 30mL (1oz) out of the drain for two days in a row.

Please call immediately if: 

  • Temperature greater than 100.5 F
  • Bleeding or pus draining from the wound site. If you have bleeding, apply direct pressure to the area for 20 minutes
  • Increasing pain that is not controlled on oral pain medications
  • Increasing redness or size at the surgical site
  • Your drain is not holding suction
  • If your wounds come apart
  • Any other concerns

For non-emergency questions:

  • During business hours (8 AM – 4:30 PM): call (210) 658-3555.
  • After hours and on weekends/holidays: call (210) 658-3555 and you will be forwarded to the on-call surgeon.
  • If you are having any serious problems or symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room.

Restrictions on activity after your procedure

  • No vigorous activity: no pushing, pulling, bouncing, housecleaning, yoga, running, heavy lifting greater than 5 lbs. until your follow up appointment. 
  • Avoid activities that raise your blood pressure or heart rate. 
  • You are encouraged to walk around, and you can climb stairs after surgery. You should not lay in bed and not move. You will be allowed to return to normal activities 6 weeks after your surgery.
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Additional guidelines on thigh lift surgery

If you have swelling in one leg, pain in the legs, shortness of breath, chest pain, or abnormal beating of the heart, you should immediately go to the emergency room. The surgeon may adjust any of the above guidelines and instructions based on the patient and type of surgery performed.

When to schedule your follow up appointment?

Your clinic appointment will be scheduled at your pre-operative appointment before surgery. If you need to change your appointment time or date, please contact our clinic at (210) 658-3555.

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