Our thighs are one of our most problematic areas. Over time, the combined effects of aging, gravity, weight fluctuations, and loss of skin elasticity all contribute to loss of tone in the thighs, and can result in loose, sagging skin, particularly for those who have experienced major weight loss (usually following bariatric surgery). Diet and exercise are certainly important in achieving and maintaining your physical fitness, but, unfortunately, will not address the problem of excess skin on your thighs. This can become frustrating, taking a toll on your sense of achievement and self-confidence. A thigh lift can reshape your thighs by reducing excess skin and stubborn fat, resulting in better-proportioned contours of your thighs and lower body and giving you the smoother, slimmer appearance you desire.
Is a thigh lift right for me?
You may be a good candidate for a thigh lift if:
- you have excess skin and fat on your inner and/or outer thighs that is loose and sagging
- major weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) along with diet and exercise has helped reduce your overall size but has left you with excess fat and skin on your thighs
- you feel embarrassed or self-conscious as a result of the excess skin and fat on your thighs
Thigh lift options
Dr. Moya offers several different thigh lift options, including an inner thigh lift, inner thigh tuck (thighplasty), and outer thigh/buttock lift (posterior body lift).
An inner thigh lift (with a single incision hidden along the bikini /swim brief line) would be good for you if:
- you feel that your upper thighs are your “problem area” (excess skin and fat here only)
- your objective is to make your thighs appear a little tighter and smoother
An inner thigh tuck (thighplasty) (two incisions, a shorter one along the bikini/swim brief line with the longer one down the inside of the thigh) may be better for you if you have had substantial weight loss (often following bariatric surgery) and/or your excess skin and fat:
- extends all the way down your thighs (and possibly even past your knees)
- continues to make you feel as if you even have to disguise your new body with clothing
- limits your ability to participate in physical activities (making it difficult to maintain your
weight loss results)
- causes hygiene issues and discomfort
An outer thigh/buttock lift (posterior body lift) (with an incision extending along the lower back to both hips, hidden below the bikini line) could be a better choice for you if your main concern is the excess skin and fat along the outer thighs or even the side/bottom of your buttock. This procedure would need to be done after a tummy tuck or can be part of a lower body lift (which also includes a tummy tuck). It can also be performed in combination with either inner thigh lift options as needed.
Because there are several options for thigh contouring, Dr. Moya will, after careful evaluation and discussion, create a personalized treatment plan that will best suit your goals. Placement and length of the incision(s) will be determined by the amount and location of excess skin and fat. With the addition of liposuction to the procedure by Dr. Moya, not only is it safer and easier to remove excess skin, but the overall result is enhanced. His use of advanced technology (Harmonic® devices) means that drain placement is completely unnecessary, making recovery easier and much more comfortable for you.
Note that an inner thigh lift, inner thigh tuck, and outer thigh/buttock lift are not intended for weight loss, and are most appropriate for you if you have reached your fitness and/or weight loss goals. If you have lost a substantial amount of weight, it is best that your weight remain stable for several months prior to pursuing any thigh contouring.
Recovery after thigh lift surgery
You will need to wear a compression garment to help minimize swelling in your legs for several weeks. Sitting and sleeping with your legs elevated somewhat will also help reduce swelling. Your legs and/or lower body will most likely be sore for several days, so you will require some form of pain medication (over-the-counter and prescription). Although you will not be able to return to more physically-demanding exercise for at least six weeks, you should be up and walking the day after surgery in order to prevent blood clots, and be able to resume your normal daily activities within a couple of weeks. Since each procedure is different as well as each patient, Dr. Moya will take the time to discuss your specific recovery plan with you.
While any surgical procedure will leave a scar, a more extensive procedure such as a thigh lift will probably (depending on the option chosen) result in a longer and more visible one. This will, of course, be taken into account when Dr. Moya designs your treatment plan, and he will do his best to position his incisions in such a way as to make them less obvious. Scars will soften and fade in color over time, and for most patients who have experienced major weight loss and have lost the shape of their thighs, the contouring benefits seem to far outweigh the scars left behind by surgery. Long-term, it is very important that you maintain a stable weight, so that your results can last for many years.