Everyone wants to have slim, contoured thighs. But due to normal aging or a significant gain and loss of weight, some people now have thighs covered with loose saggy skin. Once the skin has stretched and loosened, often it won’t respond to targeted exercise or a change in diet.
Dr. Altamira can perform a thigh lift to give you firmer, more attractive upper legs. This procedure may be performed alone, or in combination with other cosmetic procedures such as liposuction. A thigh lift removes excess skin, fat, and tissue to tone and refine the inner and outer thighs.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Thigh Lift?
Patients who have lost a good deal of weight are great candidates for thigh lifts. Thigh lifts are also excellent for those with poor skin elasticity on the inner or outer thighs. The procedure alongside liposuction will remove the excess skin and tighten and firm the thigh contour.
There is a simple test to see if a thigh lift would benefit you:
- For the inner thigh lift, stand in front of a mirror and pinch the skin of your inner thigh and lift that skin upwards toward your groin. This will give you an idea of what an inner thigh lift will accomplish.
- For the outer thigh lift, pinch the excess skin at your hip together. Notice the effect this has on the profile of your leg, making it appear more slender and contoured. This is what an outer thigh lift will do.
Thigh Lift Surgery Procedure
There are various incision options for thigh lift procedures. Dr. Altamira will discuss your options and what he feels will work best for your particular situation during your consultation. Generally, the procedures target the inner or outer thighs.
Inner thigh lift
Also known as a medial thigh lift, the inner thigh lift is begins with an incision at the junction where the thigh meets the pubic area. This gives Dr. Altamira access to the underlying tissues while making the incision as discreet as possible. A wedge of skin is removed, along with unnecessary fat (some fat needs to stay), and the remaining skin is pulled upward.
Outer thigh lift
Sometimes referred to as a bilateral thigh lift, the outer lift has the goal of tightening the skin on the front and outside portions of the thighs. For the outer lift, Dr. Altamira makes the incision at the top of the leg near the hipbone, creating a “V” shape. This incision is intentionally made to hide beneath the panty line. The incision may wrap around to your hip or buttocks area, depending on your needs. Dr. Altamira will first trim the excess skin, then pull and attach the remaining skin to the same area. An outer lift can remove larger amounts of tissue, and it can lift your buttocks along with your thighs.
If we are combining a tummy tuck with an outer thigh lift, the incision will simply be an extension of the horizontal tummy tuck incision, wrapping around your hips.
In all cases, skin and/or fat is removed; underlying tissue is reshaped and tightened with support sutures; and the remaining skin is lifted and smoothed, and sutured into place at the incision site. Drains may be placed to keep fluid from building up; if so, they are removed after a few days. Surgery typically takes 2 to 3 hours. Post surgery, a compression garment is worn to minimize swelling and promote healing.
Thigh Lift Recovery
Recovery from a thigh lift generally requires around three weeks. Due to the tissue removal and re-draping, we advise our patients to consider bed rest for up to seven days. This helps avoid putting any pressure on your thigh tissue, and speeds recovery. Climbing stairs, squatting, or any strenuous activity of any sort is out of the question. Walking during these first few days should really only be to the bathroom. You’ll definitely need help around the house.
You’ll have bandages and compression garments on your thighs. The compression garments will initially hold your sutured incisions tightly in place. Then as your recovery progresses they will help your thighs adapt to their new slimmer contours. You’ll wear your compression garments for one full month.
You can’t sit for two weeks, to keep pressure off your sutures. After one week, we allow our patients to walk around the house, but driving is out for at least three weeks. After about six weeks you can resume your normal activities.
What are the risks and side effects of thigh lift surgery?
Thigh lift surgery is a safe procedure, but it is complex. As with any surgery, there are risks of infection, poor wound healing, accumulation of fluids, and skin loss. With thigh lifts, other possible side effects can be asymmetry of your legs and numbness or changes in skin sensation in the surgery areas. In some cases, tissue sagging will not be fully alleviated or patient expectations may merit a secondary office procedure to fine-tune the contour of your thighs.
Revision surgery may be necessary to correct these types of problems.
When will I see my thigh lift results?
Initially, your legs will have more of a contour, but they will also be swollen and bruised and in compression garments. You will need some patience here, as the tissue repositioning can cause some enduring swelling. Some patients may take up to a full year for their thighs to fully recovery. But when the swelling has passed and your scars have started to fade, you’ll notice slimmer, younger-looking thighs with great contour!
Schedule a consultation
If you are considering Thigh Lift Surgery, and would like to see if you are a good candidate, contact us today at (713) 271-9000 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Altamira has plastic surgery offices located in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas.