Thigh Lift Post-Op Instructions

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The following instructions are designed to minimize discomfort after surgery. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT RESULTS FROM THIGH LIFT TAKE TIME.  You may not see the final results for up to 6-12 months.

DRAINAGE:  Swelling and discoloration are normal following thigh lift surgery. The amount varies from person to person. You will have two drains placed the day of surgery. The drains are designed to collect fluid buildup from your tissue. Drainage will appear bloody at first, but will lighten over time. This is normal and patients should not be alarmed. You will be given instructions on how to record and empty your drains. Please record drain output and empty the drains until your first post-operative appointment. Drains are typically removed at that visit by your doctor. 

NUMBNESS:  You may experience localized numbness for several months up to a year. This is normal and will improve over time as your nerves regenerate. 

GARMENT:  Your post-surgical garment is to be worn 24 hours per day until your first post-operative appointment. It is designed to help with swelling. You will be instructed to wear some form of compression for at least 1 month post surgery. You may choose to wear the garment for up to 6-8 weeks to achieve optimal results and comfort.   

Below are 2 websites to guide you through choosing the best garment to purchase.



STERI STRIPS: You will be instructed to keep the steri strips on for at least 6 weeks to aid with wound healing. You will be given half inch steri strips at our office, only replace these as they begin to fall off. You may add additional steri strips to reinforce. If you run out of steri strips you may purchase these at a drug store, ask the pharmacists for half inch wound closure strips.

ACTIVITY:  Patients should rest the day of surgery and watch for dizziness upon standing.  You may resume activities the next morning and should be up and moving around. To avoid complications, you should not be bed ridden following this procedure. Other than walking, exercise should be resumed gradually. Consult with the Doctor regarding exercise levels. IT IS NECESSARY TO HAVE SOMEONE STAY WITH YOU 12 HOURS FOLLOWING SURGERY.

RETURNING TO WORK:  For this procedure, we generally recommend returning to work 10-14 days after surgery depending on how the patient is feeling.

DIET:  Meals are not restricted following surgery.  Begin with clear liquids if you had IV sedation. Avoid salt so you will not retain water. Do not eat anything spicy or greasy, we recommend a diet high in fiber, lean proteins, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Drink plenty of fluids. Be advised that Percocet and Zofran will cause constipation. We recommend taking Metamucil and stool softeners, such as Colace. 

SWELLING:  Fluid retention will follow with this type of surgery.  It is important to wear your compression garment to aid with the swelling. Swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the genitals is not uncommon. Most of the swelling will reside within the first month, but residual swelling may last for up to 6-12 months. 

PAIN:  Pain is usually minimal and typically resides within 1-2 weeks after surgery. Some is to be expected even after taking prescribed pain medication

LAYING RESTRICTIONS: You must avoid laying on your back for at least 4 weeks after surgery.

You may sleep on your stomach or sides until incisions are healed and clearance is provided.

SHOWERING: You must NOT shower until your drains are removed at your first post-operative appointment. You may sponge bathe until the drains are removed. It is advised that you have assistance with your first shower, as you may experience dizziness and nausea removing your compression garment. You may NOT sit or submerge your body in water for 6-8 weeks. No swimming, hot tubs, whirlpools or baths.  

MEDICATION:  Do not take herbal supplements, aspirin, and aspirin containing products, ibuprofen, arthritis relief medications, or vitamin E for two weeks before or after surgery. 

You have been prescribed 3 medications:

Keflex (Cephalexin): Antibiotic 

Take this medication until completed (one week).

Take your first dose (1pill) when you get home. You will then take 1 pill four times a day until completed.

Zofran (Ondansetron): As needed for Nausea

You may experience nausea and/or vomiting.

Take one pill every 6-8 hours, as needed for nausea. 

Percocet (Oxycodone/Acetaminophen): As needed for Pain

Take your pain medication after a small, light meal to prevent nausea.

Take one to two pills as needed for pain every 4-6 hours. 


You may take Extra Strength Tylenol (Acetaminophen) instead of Percocet for pain management. DO NOT TAKE TYLENOL AND PERCOCET AT THE SAME TIME. 

SUN EXPOSURE: Avoid exposing any small scars to sun for at least 12 months. Always use a strong sun block, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or greater).

EXPECTATIONS:  Try to keep in mind that we are trying to achieve significant improvement, not perfection.  If your expectations are realistic, you are much more likely to be happy with the final result. Be patient, it may take up to 6-12 months to see optimal results from Thigh Lift. 

For non emergency related questions ALWAYS call our office during business hours to 312.846.1529 (ex: appointment inquiry, time of upcoming appointment etc…)

For immediate emergencies 911 or go to Presence Saint Francis Hospital located on 355 Ridge Ave, Evanston, IL 60202. If you are unable to go to St.Francis, you may go to Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, located on 2900 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60657.

If you have urgent concerns after business hours, you may call 312.320.4655 (please note that the response may not be immediate. This phone number is not to be used for general inquiries such as appointment inquiries, time of appointment, or scheduling appointments, you should contact our office during business hours.


      • If you have a temperature over 100.4 degrees
      • Sudden and/or abnormal swelling
      • Intense pain not relieved by pain medication (minor pain and discomfort is to be expected even after taking pain medication).