Thighplasty Recovery, Part 1

Warning: this blog post contains some fairly graphic imagery of incisions and bruising. If that sort of thing skeeves you out, consider yourself warned.

I have been remiss in not updating the blog regarding my recent surgery. On December 12th I underwent bilateral inner thighplasties to alleviate excess skin and a long history of hidradenitis suppurativa. Here’s how it went down.

The evening before the procedure I went in for markups. This involved standing pantsless for about 45 minutes while the surgeon kneeled on the floor in front of me and doodled ellipses on my legs and pinched stuff together with calipers to determine margins. This is what the markings looked like:

My wife and I live about an hour and a half from the surgery center, so we decided to stay locally in a hotel the night before since the surgery start time was 7:30 AM. After a nice meal and some ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s “Ron Burgundy’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch” limited edition is pretty great FYI) we retired. I awoke at 5 AM and gave myself an injection of blood thinner (Lovenox) at 5:30, 2 hours before the procedure. I had to do six more injections, one each morning after the surgery… the thighplasties carry less risk of bleeding compared to the circumferential lower body lift but a higher risk of deep veinous thrombosis (DVT, or blood clots that can break loose and fuck you up real bad).

We arrived at the surgery center at 6:30 AM. I was in a gown and had an IV in at 7:00. I’m going to sound super classist here but if you can afford private surgical “boutiques”, they fucking rule. They treat you like royalty and are super clean and professional. Cash is king, as always. Met with the surgeon one last time and then met his assistant and the anesthesiologist… surprise, same team as did my circumferential, which was awesome!

At 7:30 they wheeled me in and it was lights out. Basically the extra thigh skin gets pinched together and liposuctioned, then the skin gets cut out, then stitched back together after a drain is placed. You’re split from the perineum all the way to the knee cap. Compared to just carving out fat, this method preserves various nerves, blood vessels, and lymphatic pathways and just gets rid of extra fat and skin. About 2.5 pounds of matter came off of either leg. I was catheterized during the procedure but luckily they pull it while you’re still under (unlike the circumferential).

I woke up in recovery with no issues at 1:30 PM. My wife had gone shopping during the procedure and I apparently made some lewd comments pertaining to the garments she purchased which was my only real gaffe (that I can remember at this point at least). An hour later I was in the car on the way home, no pain, easy.

Recovery was fine, no real issues, I was off pain meds within two weeks… still using ibuprofen but that’s not a big deal. Left drain came out a week after, right drain is still in but should hopefully come out within the next week. It’s mostly draining lymphatic fluid at this point. The surgeon thinks he just nicked part of the lymphatic system in the right leg and it’ll taper suddenly and be ready to remove. Incidentally I had the option of having the drain exits placed at the knee end or the crotch end of the incision… I opted for the knee end and have not regretted the decision.

The real weird deal is the water weight retention and bruising due to the lipo. I was 250 before the procedure and they removed five pounds. Two days after I was 270. I’m 16 days out and sitting at 260 and despite the holidays have been eating at maintenance.

Here’s what the incision, swelling, and bruising looked like two days after surgery:

And here’s what the worst bruising looked like about six days after surgery on the back of my right knee:

Diet: low-ish carb, running at maintenance. Once the last drain is out and I’m cleared to lift I’m going to do a run on PSMF (which I am dreading but whatever) and just cut down to 220 once and for fucking all. I won’t be able to max for a few months anyway so it’s a good time to get shredded before the final surgical adventure, which may be just around the corner (details on that as they develop).

Update when the drain is out and I’m cleared to lift in about a week and a half. Stay tuned.

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  • Haystacks  On January 2, 2014 at 9:33 am

    May I ask: that is a pretty harsh looking scar. Did it heal flat?

    • J.T.  On January 2, 2014 at 9:36 am

      It’s starting to heal flat. Part of what makes it look so raised in that photo is that they use a kind of flexible superglue called dermabond instead of stitches on the top layer (there are several layers of stitches underneath, though.) The scars from my circumferential are very flat and healed nicely; those incisions were closed in the same manner.

  • Stephanie  On April 17, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Were they able to remove evidence of HS with this surgery?

    • J.T.  On April 17, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      Hi Stephanie,

      Yes, the surgeon that did this was able to excise about 60% of the tissue in the inner thigh that was afflicted by HS. It’s been a little over two years now and it’s still a lot better. It isn’t a perfect solution by any means, as there’s only so much tissue that can actually be removed. He removed some of the worst afflicted areas. I still have occasional bumps show up but the cysts aren’t anywhere near as severe as they used to be.

      Hope this helps!



  • […] lower body lift performed in March of 2013 and dual bilateral thighplasties (recap links part 1 and part 2 here), and marks the end of my surgical […]

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