No matter how strong and toned your thighs are, there are certain problems that can obscure those shapely legs and the great results of a successful fitness program.
Many people who’ve lost a significant amount of weight are disappointed by loose, sagging skin that often appears after weight loss. This sag can make the thighs appear larger than they are and compromise the overall aesthetic contours of the lower body. While this is most common following massive weight loss, the thighs can start to exhibit sagging skin with normal aging as well.
Thigh lift surgery is a solution to sagging skin that won’t retract, and helps redefine, tighten, and re-contour the thighs and lower body. Thigh lift surgery can also address unwanted fat in that zone. Benefits of a thigh lift are improved contour and smoother, tighter skin on the thighs, which reveals the beautiful contour of the body and shows off strong leg muscles. Patients feel more confident wearing shorts or skirts and typically experience a significant boost in self-esteem. The thighs will also look more youthful after thigh lift surgery. Thigh lifts are often combined with other lift procedures, such as a body lift or tummy tuck.
As with any plastic surgery procedure, you will need to meet with Dr. Alvarez or one of his elite surgeons at mia Aesthetics before moving forward with thigh lift surgery. This meeting is very important. The doctor will assess your health and eligibility for the procedure, and you’ll be able to talk about your goals for body contouring and thigh lift surgery. Our surgeon will give you customized advice and help you plan your ideal treatment, whether that includes a thigh lift or not. Your consultation is also an opportunity to get to know the doctor and get answers to your surgical questions.
Although a thigh lift can benefit qualified candidates immensely, the procedure is not for everyone. Many people should consider another procedure instead, like liposuction of the thighs if stubborn fat is an issue and skin elasticity is still good. Thigh lift surgery is only for healthy adults who have sagging, loose skin and poor contour of the thighs that will not resolve through diet and exercise. Patients must be at a stable weight and able to maintain that weight following surgery, as the skin will still expand and retract as normal once the surgery is performed and the incisions heal. You and your surgeon will decide if a thigh lift is right for you.
Many thigh lift procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home the day of surgery. General anesthesia or sedation are typically used during the procedure.
Step one is the incision, which may be placed in different areas depending on the amount of contouring and tightening required. Your mia Aesthetics surgeon will make the incision as discreet as possible. Many incisions start in the groin area and extend to the buttocks or down the legs. Typically, the longer the incision, the easier it is to tighten the skin and contour the thigh. However, to avoid scarring, plastic surgeons will make the scar as short as possible.
Once the incision is made, excess skin (and fat, if necessary) is removed, and the remaining skin is tightened and contoured to improve the overall shape of the thighs. Support sutures may be used to help shape and hold the tissues as well. Finally, the incisions are closed and the surgery is complete.
Immediately after surgery, dressings and compression garments are worn. Compression garments provide support and reduce swelling throughout the healing process, and patients typically have to wear them for several weeks after surgery. Swelling and bruising are typical and should subside over several weeks. In some cases, temporary drain tubes may be placed for a week or so.
Patients will need to take it easy for at least a week and up to three weeks, before returning to everyday activities such as work or school. This will depend on the extent of the procedure and the patient’s unique healing speed. Patients can speed up the process and improve the outcome of the surgery by following all surgeon instructions for aftercare.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
Thigh lift surgery is a specialized procedure and should only be performed by a skilled and qualified plastic surgeon who provides both artistry and a commitment to safety. Be sure to choose a provider with excellent credentials and impressive prior results. You will want to do significant research before choosing your surgeon, and it’s a great idea to meet with several different surgeons before making a final decision. In addition to surgical skill, choose a surgeon who listens to you, makes you feel comfortable, and has your best interests in mind at all times.
How long do thigh lift results last?
As long as thigh lift patients maintain a stable weight after surgery, the results of a thigh lift procedure should last for years. The only changes that may take place should be subtle, and are usually related to aging. Weight fluctuation should be avoided as this can stretch out the skin again after surgery.
Are thigh lift scars extensive?
Unfortunately, with the amount of skin that is typically removed in thigh lift surgery, the scars from the procedure can be quite extensive. For less comprehensive thigh lifts, smaller incisions may be enough for satisfying results, but not generally. You and your surgeon will discuss incision patterns before the surgery.
Can thigh lift surgery be combined with other procedures?
Yes. Thigh lift surgery is often a component in a larger treatment plan related to weight loss surgery, massive weight loss, or aging-related changes to body contour. Depending on the number and type of procedures required, these surgeries may need to be split up for your safety. Your surgeon will advise you on your options before you proceed.
What are the risks of thigh lift surgery?
Plastic surgery is generally low risk, but there are always risks associated with surgical procedures. Rarely, complications that can occur include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Fat necrosis
- Deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary problems
- Skin loss
- Poor healing
- Fluid accumulation
- Excessive scarring
Be sure to ask questions about any concerns you have. A reputable plastic surgeon will be honest with you about the risks, while minimizing your chance for complications.
How long will the surgery take?
It depends on the extent of the surgery, but a thigh lift usually takes one to two hours per thigh.