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For people who have lost a lot of weight or whose skin has lost elasticity due to age or illness, severely sagging skin on the thighs can be a problem – it’s unattractive and can feel uncomfortable. An inner or outer thigh lift can tighten loose skin, improve contours, reduce fat, and give patients the appearance of smooth, toned legs. If excess fat deposits are an issue, thigh lifts can be combined with liposuction.
As an experienced thigh lift surgeon, Dr. Papanicolaou cautions his patients that a thigh lift is not a weight loss tool or a replacement for exercise and proper diet. It is also not appropriate for you if you have varicose veins or severe cellulite.
What can a thigh or buttock lift do for me?
The desired result with these procedures is to tighten the skin and soft tissues in the thigh, hip and buttock areas, creating a more youthful appearance or to simply rid the patient of unwanted excess skin and fat.
The inner thigh lift removes excess skin and fat from the inside of the thigh; incisions are camouflaged in the groin and buttock creases. An outer thigh lift tightens up sagging skin on the outer thigh and buttock, and can improve the appearance of cellulite; the incision goes from the hip bone to the upper buttock crease.
Dr. Papanicolaou will discuss your best options for anesthesia during your consult: for extensive work, general anesthetic is recommended, but for smaller amounts of fat or fewer body sites, local, local with intravenous sedation, or regional anesthesia (similar to an epidural used during childbirth) are all options you can talk about.
How are these procedures performed?
The procedure varies depending upon the amount of excess skin and fat in the areas of concern. Generally, patients with youthful skin but excess fat are best managed with liposuction alone. This is performed through very small incisions which are often hidden in creases or body holds. If there is excess skin it must be removed with surgery leaving a scar which will again vary depending upon the region and the complexity of the case.
In all circumstances, every effort is made keep scaring to a minimum and to hide them along natural creases and folds.