Post Op Information for Thigh lift (Thighplasty)
Below you will find all the necessary information to ensure that your recovery after thigh lift surgery is as quick, comfortable, and successful as possible.
Immediately after your surgery
While you are still under general anaesthetic, Dr. Beldholm will administer local anaesthetic to minimise any pain on waking, and to ensure your comfort on the first night after surgery.
The after-effects of surgery and discharge from the hospital
Following an overnight stay in hospital you will be discharged after a postoperative check by Dr. Beldholm. You will receive a prescription for pain medication to help manage any pain or discomfort associated with your procedure, though complications are rare.
Surgical garment, dressings, and stitches
You will be provided with a tight-fitting compression garment to protect your thighs for up to 4 weeks following surgery. Dressings will be in place for 10 days after surgery, but you can take showers they will be removed by the clinic nurse at review appointments. Stitches inserted during surgery are internal and will dissolve over the following months.
Please check the THIGH LIFT SURGERY CONSENT FORM for details of possible complications with this procedure.
A special suction dressing will be applied during surgery and this will be removed by the nurse 7-10 days after your operation in our Lorn Clinic.
What does PICO do?
PICO provides suction known as negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) which draws out excess fluid from a wound and protects the incision area to ultimately help promote healing.
How does PICO work?
PICO consists of an NPWT pump connected to an absorbent gentle adhesive dressing. The dressing is applied to the wound bed and extra strips are placed over the outside edge to help hold the dressing in place. When the pump is turned on, air is pulled out of the dressing and excess fluid from the wound will start to enter the dressing. The dressing helps to prevent bacteria from entering the wound. It may also improve blood flow to the wound which assists healing.
The therapy pump is battery operated. The batteries may be changed with 2 lithium AA batteries if required. They should only be changed if the battery indicator flashes.
How do I know if the PICO system is working?
While the PICO pump is working correctly a green light located at the top of the device will flash continuously. The dressing should have a slightly wrinkled appearance and feel firm to the touch.
How often will the dressings have to be changed?
The dressings may be left in place for up to 10 days.wound. This will depend on the size, type, and drainage volume. Your nurse or doctor will determine dressing change.
Will the dressing changes hurt?
Some people may experience slight discomfort during dressing changes, specifically during cleaning of the wound, depending on the type and position of the wound. If you feel any discomfort, please tell the person who is changing your dressing. This way, they will be able to give you advice and, if necessary, pain-relief medication to help ease the discomfort.
Can you move around while on the therapy?
Patients using PICO™ can move around. PICO is discrete and can be easily carried around in a pocket or the PICO bag to allow maximum movement.
When you are asleep
Make sure that the PICO pump is placed somewhere safe and cannot be pulled off a table or cabinet onto the floor during sleep.
Disconnection of the pump from the dressing
Do not disconnect the dressing. If it is not working please contact our office. Disconnecting the dressing may introduce bacteria to the wound. There is a connector built into the tubing between the pump and dressing, this should not be disconnected.
Showering and washing
The PICO™ pump is splash proof but should not be exposed to jets of water. Make sure that you keep the pump away from water if you are having a shower.
The dressing on top of the wound is water resistant. You can shower or wash with the dressing in place, as long as you take care not to expose it to direct jets of water and not to soak it. Soaking the dressing may cause it to fall off.
Position of the pump, while therapy is being delivered
The PICO™ pump may be carried with you in your pocket or wherever is the most comfortable for you.
As you are still in the recovery phase of the operation when discharged, it’s important to arrange in advance for someone to drive you home and assist you following your operation. Most patients can resume driving approximately two weeks after surgery, but before you attempt to drive, ensure you can turn to check over both shoulders, and can manoeuvre the car safely without discomfort.
You are encouraged to go for gentle walks as soon as possible after surgery to prevent complications and to ensure blood flow quickly returns to normal.
You should be able to sleep normally after your operation.
You will need to wear your compression garment day and night for up to four weeks following surgery, to protect your thighs.
You can shower, but you should pat the dressing dry afterwards; avoid using a hair dryer on the ‘HOT’ setting, as your skin may be numb after the operation and it’s possible to burn yourself without realising.
Exercise and activity following surgery
Keep physical activity to a minimum for a week or two following surgery, with only light activities such as gentle walking or light home duties.
What to expect after your surgery
Pain and healing
It will take several weeks until the swelling and bruising fully subside but the compression garment will aid your healing. You may feel some discomfort in the first couple of days after surgery, though this can be managed with pain medication.
Bleeding or severe pain
Please don’t hesitate to call Dr. Beldholm’s office on 4934 5700 (business hours) if you have any unusual symptoms, such as odour, bleeding, or severe pain. If you have urgent concerns out of hours, please call our emergency number on 0499 588 444.
Return to work
Most patients can return to non-manual work and normal social activities in around 2 weeks. If your work requires strong physical activity, you should plan for 4 weeks of recovery time.
To optimise your surgical results, it’s best to stop smoking for at least four weeks after surgery.
Post op appointments
You will see Dr. Beldholm immediately before being discharged from the hospital and, if possible, the next day in his clinic. After approximately 7-10 days, the Clinic nurse will review your wounds and remove the dressings.
We recommend a course of LED light therapy postoperatively, as this will improve healing time. Please refer to your LED light therapy information sheet.
Routine follow-up appointments will be made with Dr. Beldholm at one, three, six, and 12 months after surgery.