Many of life’s changes can cause unwanted excess skin and fat in the lower portion of your body. A surgical thigh lift, or thighplasty, can improve areas of sagging in the inner and outer thigh region and restore a more pleasing body contour.
Fatty deposits on the inner and outer thighs are especially resistant to diet and exercise. Many patients become discouraged at having lost unwanted pounds without seeing a significant change in the lower body. The overall proportions of the body may be unbalanced. In these cases, a thigh lift can successfully trim the excess fat, skin and tissue in the thighs to achieve a more attractive balance and symmetry to the body.
What Is Thigh Lift Surgery?
Thigh lift surgery is also referred to as thighplasty. This procedure is may involve one of several techniques. The objective, regardless of technique, is to improve the appearance of the thighs and refine the contours of the inner or outer legs to bring this area of the body into better proportion with a person’s overall frame. Thighplasty may be combined with liposuction in some cases. This aspect of surgery focuses on removing excess tissue so the skin on the thighs appears tighter and smoother.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Thigh Lift?
The ideal candidate for a thigh lift is at a healthy and stable weight. If you have any health conditions that may increase your risk for infection or impair healing, you are not an ideal candidate for this procedure. We also prefer to perform this procedure on non-smokers.. You also must have realistic expectations for what your thigh lift can accomplish and should be willing to commit to leading a healthy lifestyle.
What Can a Thigh Lift Correct?
A thigh lift can address the entire circumference of the upper legs, from buttocks to knees. Using precise techniques, a board-certified surgeon can remove loose and sagging skin from the upper legs, including the tissue directly above the knees. A thigh lift can reduce the appearance of drooping tissue and also decrease cellulite by pulling the skin tighter over subcutaneous tissue and muscle. By lifting sagging skin and removing lingering fat (liposuction), this body-contouring process can result in thinner, more toned looking thighs.
Types of Thighplasty Procedures
There are two different types of thigh lifts that target unique areas of the thigh. During your consultation, one of our plastic surgeons will determine which procedure would best achieve your desired goals.
Inner Thigh Lift Incision
One technique for an inner thigh lift, is when incisions are placed in the groin and extend downward and wrapping around the back of the thigh. Another method includes removes excess skin from the groin and continues down to the knee utilizing an incision along the inseam of your leg. Your plastic surgeon will determine is the best approach for your specific needs and goals.
Outer Thigh Lift Incision
Typically, methods for an outer thigh lift may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip and across the back. More advanced methods typically allow incisions to be placed in more discrete locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits. However, incisions may be extensive.
Thigh Lift Surgery
Initially, anesthesia are administered for your comfort. There are different ways that this can be administered. Your surgeon will determine which method will work best for you. Inner thigh lifts are usually performed on an outpatient basis while outer thigh lifts typically require a stay in the hospital.
What Procedures Can Be Combined?
Thigh lift surgery is sometimes combined with liposuction and may also be involved in a larger body lift process that tightens tissue across the lower body. Liposuction or additional lifting may focus on the thighs, hips, buttocks, and even the abdomen to enhance the final outcome of treatment.
Thigh Lift vs Liposuction
Liposuction is a treatment that focuses on the removal of stubborn fat cells. A thigh lift is performed to reposition the tissue of this area of the body so the skin lies more smoothly across muscle and fatty tissue. The lift procedure is conducted to refine the overall contouring of the thighs by removing sagging superficial tissue. Because of their differences, liposuction and thighplasty are quite complementary.
How Long After a Thigh Lift Can I Exercise?
Every patient has their own unique healing process. Generally speaking, light activity may be resumed approximately two weeks after thighplasty. However, each patient will need to receive clearance from their surgeon before resuming an exercise routine. Initially, light activities may be limited to walking and other light activities such as light crunches, wall push-ups, and light dumbbell exercises.
The level of exercise one engages in after thigh lift surgery should gradually increase. Strenuous activities may be tried after approximately 6 weeks but should be approached with caution and extreme awareness of pain and fatigue.
Risks of Thigh Surgery
Your surgeon will discuss with you about the possible risks associated with treatment. Thigh lifts are very safe, but possible risks may include:
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Poor healing
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- General persistent pain
- Unwanted scarring
- Numbness in the treated area
Will I Have Noticeable Scarring After a Thigh Lift?
Scarring is a common concern after any surgical procedure. The thigh lift is performed with an awareness of scars and their location. As much as possible, incisions are made in discreet locations. For example, the inner thigh lift is conducted through incisions that sit within the crease of the groin (the bikini line). A medial thigh lift will include this incision as well as one that runs down the inner thigh to the knee. Resulting scars typically fade away over time to a point at which they are barely perceptible.
Results After a Thighplasty
The results of a thigh lift can last many years, even indefinitely. Factors that affect the permanence of thigh lift surgery results include natural aging and weight management. With good habits, muscle tone and skin smoothness can be maintained for years. However, tissue laxity should be expected to change over time as the body ages.
Recovery After Thigh Lift Surgery
We will apply dressings/bandages to your incisions to assist with proper healing. Sutures are placed within underlying tissues help to form and support the newly shaped contours. Additional sutures and other wound closing methods be used on the exterior to assure proper healing after treatment.
Do You Lose Weight With a Thigh High Procedure?
It is possible to see a small amount of weight reduction with a thigh high procedure. This is due to the removal of excess skin and fat. However, a thigh high procedure is not a weight loss solution, so it is best to be close to your ideal weight before having the procedure performed. It is meant to improve both the contour and shape of your thigh.
How Long Does a Thigh Lift Last?
On average, the results from a thigh lift can last around five to 10 years. However, the longevity of these results do depend on several factors. You should eat a healthy diet that helps you maintain your current weight. Additionally, you should avoid alcohol and stop smoking if you are a smoker. When cleared medically, you should resume your regular exercise routine to tone your muscles and maintain your weight.
How To Prepare for a Thigh High Procedure?
Before the procedure can begin, the plastic surgeon will require you to make a few preparations. To start, you might have to get a medical evaluation. This is done to ensure you are in good health and that you do not have any underlying conditions that could interfere with the procedure. If you are a smoker, you will have to quit for a while.
Depending on the medication you take, you might have to stop taking them or have them adjusted by your doctor. You also have to refrain from taking medication such as aspirin, herbal supplements and anti-inflammatories as it could increase the risk of bleeding.
What Are the Contraindications to Thigh High Procedure?
As with most procedures, there are certain risks of a thigh high procedure to be aware of.
Below is a list of the potential contraindications of a thigh high procedure:
- Numbness in the skin.
- Skin discoloration.
- Skin loss.
- Poor healing.
- Requiring additional surgery.
- Deep vein thrombosis.
- Cardiac complications.
Keep in mind that the risk of complications also depends on the surgeon’s level of expertise. It is also best to consult with an experienced surgeon who has extensive training in performing thigh lift procedures.
Schedule a Consultation for Your Thigh Lift in MI or Call for Questions
If you’re considering a thigh lift, call our Grand Rapids office today! Call (616) 459-1907 to schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons.