Thigh / Buttock Lift

This procedure is appropriate for men or women who have laxity in the hip, outer thigh, and buttocks, as well as folds in the upper back. It is commonly performed in conjunction with an abdominoplasty (in which case the procedures are collectively referred to as a circumferential body lift). It may be performed in conjunction with liposuction, or fat injections to augment the buttocks. Other body contouring procedures, such as brachioplasty may also be performed.

This procedure is particularly helpful to patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and who have loose, dimpled, or sagging skin and is best reserved for patients in good general health who do not currently smoke. Some patients have a genetic predisposition towards laxity in the flanks and outer thighs. These patients may also be candidates for this procedure.

The thigh/buttock lift (thighplasty) is performed under general anesthesia at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. While this procedure is sometimes performed in outpatient facilities, Dr. Casso recommends an overnight hospital stay, which provides the patient with close, expert nursing attention, the availability of intravenous pain control, treatment of postoperative nausea, if present, and immediate medical attention in the event of any unforeseen emergency. The option for surgery in a full-service, state-of-the-art facility such as Houston Methodist St. John provides patients with a measure of safety and security which is unmatched.

Dr. Casso marks the patient in the morning prior to the procedure. The proposed incision lines are marked in consultation with the patient to avoid creating scars which might be difficult for the patient to conceal.

The patient is then taken to the operating room, and general anesthesia is induced. The patient is turned onto his/her side. Incisions are made along the back across the waistline. Excess skin and fat are removed. Dr. Casso frees the tissues in the upper outer back to allow for unfurling of back folds. Tissues along the waistline are thinned, and the resulting wound is closed with sutures, resulting in lifting and toning of sagging buttock and outer thigh tissues, and smoothing of folds in the upper back. The procedure is then repeated on the other side.

Some patients elect to undergo augmentation of buttock tissue with fat. In these patients, fat is harvested where it is plentiful (thighs, abdomen). It is then allowed to separate into cellular and non-cellular components. Living fat cells are then injected into the buttocks; many of these fat cells survive, providing a natural and long-lasting augmentation.

Patients typically spend one night at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital after this procedure. Initial pain is controlled with intravenous pain medication. Patients begin walking the afternoon of surgery and are seen by Dr. Casso the following day and the dressings are changed. Intravenous pain medication is then discontinued, and oral pain medication is provided. Patients are discharged when comfortable.

An abdominal binder may be applied postoperatively to assist with management of surgical swelling.

Patients are seen frequently in the post-operative period. Typically, all sutures and drains are removed within 10 days. Most patients return to sedentary work in about 7-10 days, but physical exertion is not allowed for 6 weeks.

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