One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go. – Sheila Murray Bethel
One area of the body that my patients constantly express concern about is the thighs. The shape and size of your thighs are particularly sensitive to the changes brought on by excessive weight loss, aging and/or illness. This is because these factors cause the skin to lose elasticity. As a result, your thigh contours sag and bulge with pockets of stored fat.
Saggy thighs can't be reshaped with exercise and diet alone
Exercise and diet are essential for overall well-being and health. Unfortunately, your healthy lifestyle won't improve the state of your thighs as much as you'd like because of:
- insufficient collagen and elastin levels in your skin
- a downward shift of fat deposits
- weakening muscle fibres
Moderate to severe saggy skin can only be tightened with a thigh lift.
What happens during your surgery
Anesthesia is administered. I'll discuss your best options for anesthesia during your consult. For extensive improvement, general anesthetic is recommended. If a smaller area is treated, then local, local with intravenous sedation, or regional anesthesia (similar to an epidural used during childbirth) are all options we can talk about.
The inner thigh lift
An incision is made in the inner thighs. This is camouflaged in the groin and buttock creases. Through this incision, excess skin and fat are removed.
Outer thigh lift
An incision is made from the hip bone to the upper buttock crease. Through this incision, sagging skin is tightened and excess fat removed. This enhances the shape of not just the outer thigh, but also the buttock. The appearance of cellulite can also be improved.
In either case, liposuction may be performed to enhance your thigh contour.
The incision(s) is closed and dressed.
Unique point: a respect for your unique body shape
I've found that my patients are most satisfied with a result that looks natural. This means that the extent of correction must be proprotionate. When you come for your consultation, we'll have a clear discussion of your expectations. I'll also examine your thighs and their overall shape, in relation to the rest of your body. Then, I'll give you an idea of what can be done to improve your thighs, and to what extent. The goal is to give you leaner thighs that complement the rest of your body, not make it look worse.
It's important to know that a thigh lift is not a weight loss tool or a replacement for exercise and proper diet. It is also not appropriate for you if you have varicose veins or severe cellulite. – Dr. Leila Kasrai
What happens during your recovery
- an immediate improvement
- swelling takes a few weeks to months
- back to work in a couple of days
You will be able to get back to work in 14 days; for that time, rest quietly so you can heal faster and get a better result. You may find it difficult to sit during your initial recovery, and it may be more comfortable for you to stand up or lie down. Light exercise will be fine after two weeks, but for running or other vigorous activity, wait about a month. If you have small children, you should get some help with day-to-day activities.
You will wear a custom fitted Lycra compression garment for six weeks to decrease swelling and bruising, and to aid in healing. I will prescribe medication to help you manage any pain.
Get ready to wear the clothes you want to wear without hiding your thighs
I've seen patients undergo an extraordinary transformation after their thigh lift, and I'm not just referring to how their legs look. My patients are so much happier with their appearance and have amore positive self-image!
Frequently asked questions about thigh lift surgery
What is a thigh lift?
A thigh lift is also known as thigh reduction and thighplasty. The procedure is designed to remove saggy, loose skin and droopy fat deposits affecting the inner and outer thighs. The treatment targets primarily the upper thighs.
Am I a candidate?
You should be in good health and have realistic expectations when considering thigh lift. If you've recently lost a lot of weight, a thigh lift can help remove the sagging skin that's been left behind. However, for the best results, you should be at a stable weight. This is because additional weight loss after surgery may leave more sagging skin, negating your results.
Will a thigh lift improve my quality of life?
The aesthetic benefits of a thigh lift are obvious: the procedure gives you a leaner leg contour that is more proportionate. However, it can also improve your quality of life in another way. Folds and bulging can be quite uncomfortable. The skin can become irritated and inflamed from chafing. Creases and folds can also be difficult to clean properly while bathing. Patients experience an improvement in their quality of life after surgery, something that has been proven in a recent study published in Plastic Reconstructive Surgery.
Can I get liposuction instead?
It is very common for liposuction to be performed at the same time as a thigh lift, however it should not be done instead of a thigh lift. Loose skin cannot be tightened up with liposuction. It can only be removed by excision. Excess fat may be removed with liposuction only.
What's the difference between a medial thigh lift and a lateral thigh lift?
A medial thigh lift targets the inner thighs, while a lateral one targets the outer thighs.
Where will my scars be?
Generally, scars are located within the crease of the inner groin. Another scar may be positioned along the inner part of the thigh. Their length depends on the extent of correction performed. More extensive correction usually requires longer scars.
Will I need drains?
Usually, drains aren't necessary. However, in some cases, they may be used to reduce the risk of excess fluid accumulation (seroma and hematoma).
Will my results be permanent?
You'll always look better than if you hadn't had a thigh lift performed in the first place. However, please note that gravity, aging and weight fluctuations can negatively affect your results. Leading a healthy lifestyle will help maintain your results. Most people do not require a second thigh lift.
All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk, but having a qualified surgeon ensures that complications are rare. However, occasional post-operative complications do occur. They can include:
- Temporary numbness
- Irregular or asymmetric skin
- Tissue loss
- Reactions to anesthesia
There is a higher risk of these complications in patients who are smokers, are diabetic or have poor circulation. You can reduce your risks by following my detailed instructions, resuming activity after surgery, and by not smoking.