Thigh Lift in Miami/Broward
Every woman wants a slender pair of legs. Unfortunately, the thigh area becomes an increasingly problematic area as they age because it often remains stubbornly resistant to diet and exercise. Toning this area can be a struggle and is often a source of frustration for women who feel self-conscious about their appearance.
To remedy this problem, plastic surgery has come up with the thighplasty – a procedure that could make your legs appear firmer and more youthful-looking.
About the Thigh Lift
Also known as a thighplasty, this is a procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the thighs, resulting in smoother skin and a more refined tone to the upper legs.
This procedure is usually done after undergoing massive weight loss, but there are still stubborn pockets of fat and loose, sagging skin that remain on the legs. While this is not strictly a weight loss procedure, it is usually paired with a thigh liposuction in order to remove larger fat deposits and at the same time tighten the skin in this area, resulting in better-proportioned lower body contours.
One of the biggest benefits of a this surgery is a firmer and more youthful-looking legs, especially for people who have lost a lot of weight. The inner thighs are one of the most common problem areas for women who are trying to lose weight, as they remain stubbornly resistant to diet and exercise after massive weight loss. Thanks to the thighplasty, patients can now flaunt their weight loss achievements with confidence and great self-esteem.
The thigh lift is also beneficial in terms of comfort, as removing excess skin can decrease the risk of irritation or infection from chafing folds of skin. It also allows for better personal hygiene, since cleaning folds of skin can be difficult. Without this excess skin, exercise and daily activities also become easier and more comfortable to do.
Drooping skin can also make it difficult to find garments that fit you. With this procedure, you get to have more clothing options, as you no longer have to worry about the unsightly appearance of your legs. You can wear shorts and bikinis with ease.
You are a good candidate if you are in general good health, have a positive attitude towards surgery, and have realistic expectations for the results of your thigh lift.
More specifically, you should consider getting a lift if you have excess soft tissue along the inner and/or outer region of your legs. These could have been caused by weight loss because of bariatric surgery, previous pregnancy, or diet and exercise. Aging might have also led you to develop cellulite and sagging skin on your thighs, at which case a thigh lift surgery could help you.
Before getting a lift, you should have already reached your weight loss goals and are now maintaining a stable weight for 12 to 18 months. Losing further weight will only cause your tissue to droop again. You should also be able to commit to maintaining a healthy lifestyle even after your procedure in order to preserve the results of your surgery.
You should also stop smoking and drinking weeks before the procedure to allow for a speedy healing process and decrease your risk of developing complications.
Directly before your thigh lift, your surgeon will mark your areas to serve as a surgical guide and help you understand where the incisions will be placed on your thighs. An anesthesiologist will then administer either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation, depending on what you have decided upon previously with your surgeon.
The incisions vary based on the area, technique, degree of correction, and patient and surgeon preferences. For the inner thigh surgery, the incision is usually made in the groin area, while the lateral thigh lift necessitates a V-shaped incision that might extend towards the hips or buttocks.
Through the incision, your surgeon removes small amounts of fat deposits and soft tissue to tighten your thighs. The skin will also be reduced and re-draped, resulting in more proportionate body contours.
Your incisions are then closed with deep support and skin sutures. Drains may also be placed to prevent fluid accumulation and infection.
There are different types of thigh lift techniques that you can choose from, depending on your preferences and the recommendations of your surgeon. These techniques differ by the size and shape of the incision, as well as the area being treated.
Inner Thigh Lift
The inner thigh lift targets the fats in the inner areas and addresses reduced skin elasticity in the area caused by extreme weight loss or aging. It involves an incision in the groin area and follows the contour of the G-string, meaning it goes from the groin to the lower abdomen, and then down either side of the pubic mound next to the vulva, and finally continuing towards the buttocks crease. Through the incision, your cosmetic surgeon gains access to the underlying tissues and removes a wedge of skin and fat from the region. He will also tighten the remaining skin by pulling it up to improve the leg contours.
Vertical Thigh Lift
Also known as the medial thigh lift, the vertical thigh lift also targets the inner area, but only its upper portion. Although the vertical lift produces greater improvement compared to the inner lift, it does leave a visible scar on the inside of the legs.
Your cosmetic surgeon makes an incision similar to the inner lift incision, extending from the groin to the back of the buttock’s crease. In some cases, this even extends to the hip region. There are also times when vertical incisions are made from the groin down to the inner knee, allowing your surgeon greater access to the underlying issue. Your surgeon will then lift the skin and remove the excess skin and fat to tighten and improve the shape of your legs.
Lateral Thigh Lift
The lateral thigh lift is designed to tighten the skin located on the front or outside of the leg and the buttocks. This technique is best for patients with massive skin folds and fat bulges in the outer areas.
During the procedure, your surgeon creates an incision that starts at the top of the leg and follows the lower edge of a bikini bottom or pair of underwear, hence creating a V-shaped incision. This incision may wrap around your hip or buttocks area, depending on what you need. Your doctor will then remove the excess skin before pulling the remaining skin up and attaching it to the same area to smoothen and tighten it. It can be done on one leg only or on both legs – in which case it is called a bilateral thigh lift surgery.
Mini Thigh Lift
This is a modification of the inner lift that involves only a short, horizontal incision in the groin area. It is best for patients who only experience sagging tissue in the upper third of the inner thighs. Though the results are less visible compared to other lift techniques, the mini lift produces minimal scarring, making it a viable choice for women who do not want unsightly scars.
Liposuction is often performed at the upper inner thigh, although the central and lower inner areas will be suctioned as well. Afterward, a crescent-shaped portion of the inner skin is removed just below the junction between the thigh and the pelvis. The inner skin is then lifted upwards and stitched along the junction, leaving the scar just within the groin crease.
Thigh Lift Results
A thigh lift results in dramatic improvement of skin quality in the treated area, as well as slimmer and younger-looking legs with attractive contours. However, the results may not be immediately visible because your legs will be swollen, bruised, and covered in compression garments right after surgery. It might take a year before your thighs can fully recover and you will see your final results. Some scars will remain, depending on the type of incision and lift surgery involved.
The overall results are long lasting, as long as you maintain a stable weight. It is natural for your body to lose some firmness as you age, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise can preserve most of your initial improvement.
Before a thigh lift surgery, your doctor will take your detailed medical history and perform a physical exam and some lab testing in order to determine if you are fit for surgery. Some drugs, like aspirin, herbal medicines, and anti-inflammatory medications, will be stopped because they might increase your risk for bleeding. You will also be instructed to stop smoking at least six weeks before your surgery to promote better healing.
You will continue to exercise and eat a healthy diet on the days leading to your surgery. It is important that your weight remains stable before and after your lift, as weight fluctuations may interfere with the results.
It is also important to plan your thigh lift recovery in advance. Be sure to have someone to take care of you for a few days after your surgery, since you will not be able to do your daily tasks at that time. You should also take at least two weeks off work as you will not be able to engage in various activities for the first several weeks after your surgery.
On the day of your surgery, refrain from eating at least 12 hours before your scheduled operation. Arrange for someone to drive you from the clinic after your operation as you will probably be groggy from the anesthesia and sedatives that you received during surgery.
Right after your thigh lift, expect to see some drains on your incision site to prevent blood and fluid accumulation. Compression garments are also used to hold the incisions in place and minimize swelling. You may also feel sore as the anesthesia wears off, but your doctor will prescribe painkillers to relieve discomfort.
During the first 24 hours after your surgery, you will need assistance in performing regular tasks as you are not allowed to do strenuous activities for the meantime. While you are not allowed to climb stairs or squat, you are encouraged to take short walks when you are able to enhance blood circulation in your surgical area.
Two days after your surgery, you may shower and wash your legs. Ask assistance in carefully removing your compression garment and bandages. Your first follow-up appointment should be done a week after your thighplasty surgery.
You might be able to return to work two to three weeks after your surgery, but you might still need to wear your compression garments at all times. Some people are able to resume gentle exercise and driving. You can resume your regular exercise regimen six to eight weeks later, as long as your surgeon clears you for this level of activity.
Thigh lift scars begin to fade two to three months after your procedure and will continue several months after. You should have fully recovered from your surgery within six months to one year.
Risks and Side Effects
As with any other invasive procedures, you will experience some temporary side effects after your thighplasty surgery. Swelling and bruising are already a given, and you can expect them to diminish after three to five weeks post-surgery. You may also experience soreness and ache on your surgical site and a bit of numbness caused by anesthesia. Your anesthesia and painkillers may also cause grogginess, nausea, and disorientation.
Although a thighplasty is generally a safe procedure, some complications may still occur. These include scarring, dehiscence, seroma, hematoma, deep vein thrombosis, infection, bleeding, necrosis, continued sagging, asymmetry, loss of sensation, prolonged discomfort, allergies, and unsatisfactory outcomes. Ask your surgeon how you can minimize the risks of a thigh lift and contact him if you experience any of these problems.
A thigh lift can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, with a national average of $4,653 according to the 2014 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. There are many factors that should be considered when computing the cost, such as the amount of excess skin and fat, its location, diagnostic procedures, the surgeon’s qualifications, medications and supplies needed, anesthesia used, other combined treatments, and where the operation will take place.
Most of the time, insurance policies do not cover thigh lifts, unless it is considered a medical need. Still, many surgeons offer in-house financing options for patients who cannot afford to pay for the procedure upfront.
Thigh Lift Alternatives
If you are not keen on going under the knife, you can choose from several non-surgical thigh lift alternatives that will still help improve the appearance of your legs. However, expect more subtle results compared to a surgery.
One of your options is Arasys, which involves the use of bio-waves to stimulate the contraction of your thigh and butt muscles as if you are exercising. These contractions enhance muscle tone in these areas while also burning fats. It is recommended for treating patients who experience only mild sagging on their thighs.
Laser Skin Tightening
Another option is laser skin tightening, which encourages collagen production in the thighs, causing a tightening effect on the surface of the skin. But while it can certainly improve the tone of the muscles and skin of your thighs, it cannot eliminate sagging skin.
VelaShape and VelaSmooth are anti-cellulite treatments that use electrical-optical synergy (elos technology) to tighten the skin on the thighs. This technology is a combination of radiofrequency energy, infrared energy, vacuum, and mechanical massage that increase collagen growth and improve skin tone. Other cellulite treatments include mesotherapy and LipoDissolve.
If you are willing to patient and willing to wait for a long time to see results, you can try using topical creams and lotions on your thigh areas that promise to firm your skin. You may also go the traditional route of diet and exercise.