Cellulite and excess skin can make anyone feel self-conscious. You want to wear shorts in the summertime and dresses in the spring, but your legs are holding you back. You’ve tried cleaning up your diet and exercising more regularly. Unfortunately, your efforts haven’t given you the results you want. What can? A thigh lift.
Thigh Lift: Overview
A thigh lift is a cosmetic surgery that reduces excess skin and fat to create smoother skin and more shapely thighs. You’ll gain a more proportioned lower body and the confidence you deserve.
Who’s Eligible for a Thigh Lift?
The best candidates for thigh lifts:
- DO NOT smoke
- DO NOT drink heavily
- DO NOT have a serious medical condition that could increase risk of surgery
- DO have excess fat and skin along the medial (inner) thigh
- DO lead a generally healthy lifestyle and can stay committed to it after surgery
Thigh Lift Techniques
There are two primary types of thigh lifts: the standard outer thigh lift and the inner (medial) thigh lift. Often, a thigh lift is combined with another cosmetic procedure, such as liposuction or a butt lift, in order to achieve well-rounded slimming results. In other cases, a thigh lift is combined with a procedure like Cellfina® or ZWave to improve the appearance of cellulite on the thighs and buttocks.
Inner Thigh Lift
Also called a medial thigh lift, this is the technique Dr. Ver Halen uses 95% of the time to improve the appearance of thighs. It involves an incision along the crease of your groin and up toward the top of your leg. Unlike an outer thigh lift, a medial thigh lift does not wrap around your back from the top of your leg. Instead, Dr. Ver Halen extends the incision backwards from the bottom of your buttocks. Depending on your desired results, Dr. Ver Halen may also make a vertical incision that runs down your inner thigh toward your knee.
Outer Thigh Lift
With this technique, Dr. Ver Halen makes an incision along the crease of your groin and follows it up to where your leg meets your hip. The incision runs along your underwear line and may continue around your back if buttocks augmentation by fat transfer or implants is also being performed. That’s why it’s sometimes referred to as a lateral thigh lift.
Does a Thigh Lift Cause Scars?
Since a thigh lift requires an incision to remove excess fat and extra skin, the surgical procedure can cause scarring. The extent of scarring depends on the technique Dr. Ver Halen recommends for you, as well as your own post-surgery skin care. If there is additional sagging skin to remove from the lower portion of your thigh, a vertical incision may be necessary. For this reason, the inner (medial) thigh lift can cause a more noticeable scar on the front of your legs. The standard outer thigh lift, on the other hand, only involves an incision along your underwear line, making it easier to conceal.
Thigh Lift: The Consultation
Dr. Ver Halen is a Board-certified plastic surgeon, whose number-one priority is your health and safety. It’s important that you let him know of any concerns you have about the thigh lift procedure, so he can address them. Dr. Ver Halen and his associates are dedicated to giving you the best care possible from initial consultation to post-op appointment(s)! In addition to answering any questions, your consultation with Dr. Ver Halen will include a discussion about:
- Your desired outcome and expectations
- Your family medical history, as well as any existing medical conditions
- Your current use of alcohol, tobacco products, supplements, and/or prescription drugs
- Any known allergies
- The use of anesthesia during a thigh lift
- Any potential risks of the surgical procedure
Dr. Ver Halen or one of his medical associates will take photographs and detailed measurements of your lower body. After a thorough understanding of your goals and examination of the images and measurements, Dr. Ver Halen will determine which thigh lift technique is most suitable for you. The photographs will be kept with your medical records, so you can very clearly see the dramatic difference in your body post-surgery!
Thigh Lift: The Procedure
Dr. Ver Halen performs thigh lift surgery at our Colleyville office or at our surgery center in Plano. You may be asked to adjust your current medications, cease smoking, and avoid taking aspirin or other over-the-counter drugs or supplements before the surgery and during recovery. Plan to have a friend or family member drive you to and from surgery. You may be in surgery for two to four hours, depending on the type of thigh lift and any other procedures being performed. The thigh lift itself will go as follows:
Step 1: Dr. Ver Halen administers anesthesia either by intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. He’ll discuss the best option for you before surgery.
Step 2: Dr. Ver Halen makes the first incision along your groin crease and either draws it up toward your hip (outer thigh lift) or follows it to the back of your thigh (inner thigh lift). If necessary, a vertical incision is made from the groin crease down to toward the knee.
Step 3: Sutures are used to support the new contours of your thighs.
Step 4: The incisions are closed with sutures, skin adhesives, or clips.
Thigh Lift: Post-Surgery Care & Recovery
You will either be cleared to leave that same day, or Dr. Ver Halen may recommend overnight care. Either way, expect to stay for a few hours post-surgery. Once you return home, proper care of your incisions will be crucial to your recovery. Additionally, some patients have small tubes placed under the thigh skin to drain excess blood and fluid. Be sure to clean these open areas and change dressings or bandages as directed by Dr. Ver Halen. Due to swelling and bruising in the first 24 hours after surgery, you will need assistance with regular daily activities. Rest is important during this time, so you don’t disrupt your incisions with excessive force or movement. About one week post-surgery, you will have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Ver Halen. Depending on your progress, he may remove your sutures and drainage tubes. Swelling and bruising should subside within one month after your thigh lift. Within eight weeks, you should be able to resume exercise and begin lifting weights over five pounds.
Risks of Thigh Lift Surgery
It’s important that Dr. Ver Halen’s recommendations align with your goals. You will be asked to sign consent forms before your thigh lift surgery to ensure you fully understand the procedure and any of its risks. Thigh lift risks include:
- Anesthesia complications
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Loss of sensation in the thighs
- Poor wound healing
- Unfavorable scarring
- Asymmetry between the legs, leading to revisional surgery
- Remaining loose skin
- Death of fatty tissue deep in the skin (fat necrosis)
- Persistent discomfort
These risks will be discussed during your consultation and before consent. Dr. Ver Halen is happy to take all the time you need to address your questions and concerns.
How to Pay for Thigh Lift Surgery
Dr. Ver Halen accepts a number of payment options for thigh lift surgery, including healthcare credit cards issued by:
- Synchrony Bank (CareCredit®)
- Comenity® Capital Bank (Alphaeon Credit®)
You may also choose a secured loan from United Medical Credit or Enhance Patient Finance. United Medical Credit is suitable for prime and subprime lenders and has multiple plan options and flexible terms. You can also pay by:
- Credit card
- Cashier’s check
- In-house financing
- Other types of loans
If your diet and exercising efforts have fallen short and your thighs are not what you’d like them to be, let the professional team at Ver Halen Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery help. We will smooth and reshape your thighs, so you can feel confident in your clothes once and for all. Book your consultation today to get started.