No matter how strong and toned the thighs are, there are certain problems that can obscure the results of a successful fitness program and strong, toned legs. Many people who have lost a significant amount of weight are disappointed by loose, sagging skin that often appears after weight loss, a problem that 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 to redefine, tighten, and re-contour the thighs and lower body area. Thigh lift surgery can also address unwanted fat in the area as well if necessary. 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 in wearing shorts or skirts and typically experience a significant boost in self-esteem. The thighs will also look more youthful following 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 in Miami before you move forward with thigh lift surgery. This meeting is very important for planning the procedure and determining whether or not a thigh lift is a good fit for your needs. Dr. Alvarez will assess your health and eligibility for the procedure, and you’ll have a chance to talk about your goals for body contouring and thigh lift surgery. Dr. Alvarez 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 Dr. Alvarez and ask any questions you may have.
Although a thigh lift can benefit qualified candidates immensely, the procedure is not for everyone. Many people should consider another procedure instead, perhaps liposuction of the thighs if stubborn fat is an issue and skin elasticity is still good. Thigh lift surgery is only intended 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 has been performed and the incisions have healed. Only you and your surgeon can decide whether 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. Typically, general anesthesia or sedation will be used to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure.
The first step is the incision, which may be placed in different areas, depending on the amount of contouring and tightening required. Dr. Alvarez will make the incision as discreet as possible, depending on the circumstances. 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 must wear these garments for several weeks following surgery. Swelling and bruising are expected side effects of the procedure, and should subside during the weeks following surgery. In some cases, drain tubes are placed temporarily by the surgeon and removed a week or so later.
Patients will need to take it easy for at least a week, and sometimes 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. 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 you make a final decision. Aside from surgical skill, it’s important to 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 satisfactory 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. Remember, 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 usually at least an hour or two for each area.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Alvarez in Miami by filling out the contact form here or call (305) 600-4146.