Oklahoma City board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Clinton Webster offers thigh lift surgery for men and women who have loose skin and isolated pockets of fat in the thigh area. This is often the result of a major weight loss, but can also be attributed to fluctuations in weight over the years, aging, and gravity. While weight loss can be a momentous event in a person’s life, many times it can create a new set of challenges. Sagging, loose, wrinkling skin can accumulate in the outer and inner thigh and often can only be addressed with surgery. Thigh lift surgery (also known as thighplasty) surgically removes excess fat and skin from the thighs, as well as uses liposuction (in some cases) to remove fat. The thighs are then lifted and reshaped to create a tighter, smoother appearance and contour. The number of thigh lift procedures performed by experienced plastic surgeons continues to increase at a high rate due to the success of bariatric surgeries. Dr. Webster recommends patients be at or near their goal weight before considering this surgery.
A thigh lift is performed to address the inner thighs and/or outer thighs (lateral thigh lift). During an inner thigh lift, an incision is made near the top of the thigh (along the crease where the torso meets the leg) and runs down the inner aspect of the thigh. Once the incision is made, a large section of tissue is removed from the top inner thigh area, and any excess skin will be excised away. Liposuction may be used to sculpt the area into a more desirable contour. The soft tissue structures and muscle are pulled tight and secured to result in a more toned and smooth skin surface.
A thigh lift can often be combined with another body contouring procedure, especially if it involves another area of the lower body. A common combination surgery for patients is a thigh lift and butt lift. Patients who require an outer thigh lift will generally need to have the buttocks addressed as well. During this approach, the outer thighs are pulled up and tightened, then secured with sutures along the crease at the bottom of the buttocks. In addition to a tighter appearance, most patients see a drastic improvement in skin irregularities, such as dimples from cellulite.
All thigh lift surgeries are performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility as an outpatient procedure. They typically take around 2-3 hours to complete. However, it could take longer if it is combined with another procedure. Recovery will vary, but typically takes 6-8 weeks. Scarring will be a part of this procedure. With proper scar care they should heal nicely and fade over time. Patients will see a marked improvement in the contour of their thighs, as well as a smoother, firmer skin tone.
A thigh lift improves the appearance of the skin on the thighs. Because the skin is pulled and tightened, a smoother, more toned look will result. Some patients find that this alone makes the surgery worth it. While the surgery doesn’t remove every imperfection, the improvement can be very dramatic for many patients.
Some patients fear that they will not be able to perform certain exercises (such as a lunge) after a thigh lift. This is false. Patients will need to make certain they are fully healed and gain approval from their surgeon before performing lower body exercises. Once healed, exercise will only help optimize the surgical outcome.
The results of a thigh lift can be very long lasting. However, any additional weight gain could compromise some of the aesthetic results gained of the surgery. Over time, age and gravity will cause some of the natural laxity within the thighs to decrease, but most of the improvement will be permanent.