Thigh Lift Overview
Thigh lift procedures remove excess fat and skin from the inner or outer thighs to give a slimmer, tighter look to the upper leg and buttock region. Most thigh lift procedures involve both liposuction and direct removal of fat and skin to recontour and tighten the thigh. This can result in a much better appearance than can be achieved with liposuction alone, especially in those patients with loose skin.
Thigh lifts are best suited for those patients who are otherwise healthy, at a stable weight, and are not significantly overweight. If you have experienced significant weight loss, such as after a gastric bypass procedure, we generally suggest you be at a stable weight for at least 6 months before surgery. Proper diet and exercise after surgery will only improve your result.
Your First Visit
At your consultation we will evaluate your problem areas and discuss what might be done to achieve the best result. If liposuction alone is adequate, then a thigh lift may not be needed. If your skin quality is compromised, we will discuss in detail how we can perform a thigh lift.
Types of Thigh Lifts
Inner thigh lift
The inner thigh lift procedure is performed in the operating room under a general anesthetic. It can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures, such as abdominoplasty and/or outer thigh lift. The procedure usually begins with liposuction of the inner thighs and, when necessary, the knee area. This not only removes excess fat but also makes the overlying tissues easier to move and tighten. We then excise a wedge of skin from the uppermost part of the inner thigh and move the remaining tissues upward. The tissues are then reattached at a higher level with both deep anchoring sutures and sutures just beneath the skin. The incision and subsequent scar is placed so as to lie in or just above the groin crease where it can be hidden under a bathing suit or panties.
When there is extensive skin excess, such as may be seen after significant weight loss, we may have to extend our incision down the inner thigh to remove this excess. In these cases, the scar cannot be hidden under a bathing suit but may have to extend further down the leg, even all the way to the knee. While we don’t like these more visible scars, patients with this much skin excess find this to be a significant improvement over their preoperative appearance.
Outer thigh lift
Tightening of the outer thighs is similar to that of the inner thighs. Again, this is performed in the operating room under a general anesthetic and may be combined with other procedures, most commonly an abdominoplasty. The operation begins with liposuction of the excess fat in the thighs, followed by repositioning of the skin and deeper tissues in an upward direction after the excess skin and fat are removed. The incisions are placed high on the thigh and buttock region, where they can be hidden under bathing suits and other clothing. When combined with an abdominoplasty, the final scar may extend almost completely around the trunk but the result is a significant reshaping of the thighs, hips, buttocks, and abdominal region.