A thigh lift is a body contouring procedure that removes excess skin, and sometimes fat, from the inner or outer thighs. This type of cosmetic surgery reshapes and reduces the size of your thighs to appear firmer and more proportionate to the rest of your body.
Although it’s a surgical procedure, a thigh lift is usually done on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. Where and how incisions are made can vary significantly among patients based on each person’s individual preferences and needs.
Types of Thigh Lift Procedures
Your Kelsey-Seybold plastic surgeon may perform a medial thigh lift and/or a lateral thigh lift. The two general types of thigh lift procedures target different areas:
Medial thigh lift
- Targets the inner thigh
- Improves leg shape and tightens skin
- Incision is made where the pubic area and thigh intersect
- Incision can also extend to the knee area to remove additional skin in certain cases
Lateral thigh lift
- Targets the outer thigh
- Can tighten skin along both sides of the leg
- May help reduce excess loose skin resulting from significant weight loss
- Incision is made along the bottom edge of the underwear line
When to Consider a Thigh Lift
If you’ve been eating well, hitting the gym, and losing weight but still haven’t been able to achieve smoother, tighter thighs, a thigh lift may be able to help. Typically, patients who achieve the best results from a thigh lift:
- Have extra skin or fat tissue along the inner or outer thighs
- Have sagging skin on the lower body or buttocks or saddle bags
- Can maintain a healthy body weight
- Are in good physical and psychological health
- Don’t have illnesses or medical conditions that could hinder successful surgery and recovery
- Can set realistic goals and expectations
- Have a generally healthy lifestyle
- Are nonsmokers
Choose a Route That Will Reach Your Goal
As a standalone procedure, a thigh lift is NOT intended for fat removal. To remove unwanted fat from areas where your skin doesn’t have the elasticity to adjust to a new contour, you may consider a combination of liposuction and a thigh lift to achieve the best results.
However, if the skin covering the fatty areas will easily and quickly adjust to your new contour, a thigh lift may not be necessary. In areas where your skin is healthy and has high elasticity, excess fat can be removed with liposuction alone.
The best way to determine whether a thigh lift is safe for you and likely to result in a positive outcome is to consult an experienced plastic surgeon. A board-certified Kelsey-Seybold plastic surgeon in the Houston area can provide more personalized answers and information about thigh lifts and other plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures.