- 1 Description
- 2 Surgical Options
- 3 Anatomy of The Thighs
- 4 Indications
- 5 Evaluation
- 6 Option Details
- 7 Procedure Details
- 8 Recovery
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 9.1 What is thigh lift surgery?
- 9.2 How is thigh lift surgery performed?
- 9.3 Will a thigh lift leave visible scars?
- 9.4 Will the results from my thigh lift be permanent?
- 9.5 Are there risks associated with a thigh lift?
- 9.6 Why should I consider a thigh lift?
- 9.7 How long does a thigh lift take to perform?
- 9.8 Will I have to spend the night in a hospital?
- 9.9 What is the recovery like after a thigh lift?
- 9.10 Can I combine my thigh lift with other procedures?
- 9.11 When will I be able to walk after my thigh lift?
- 9.12 Do the areas operated on feel tight after surgery?
- 9.13 How long will the swelling last?
- 9.14 When will I be able to return to work?
- 9.15 I currently do aerobic exercise daily. When will I be able to do that type of exercise again?
- 9.16 Will I be able to drive myself home?
- 9.17 Will my thighs be perfect after a thigh lift?
Gravity, genetics, loss of skin elasticity and weight fluctuations contribute to the changes that occur in our thighs as we age. The thigh region can be a particular source of frustration for many women (and men), who have spent countless hours in the gym in an attempt to achieve toned, slender legs, but have had little success because of the fatty tissue and sagging skin that stubbornly lingers on the thighs. Fortunately, a thigh lift may provide the ideal solution for the removal of this residual, unsightly fat in the thigh region. A thigh lift is a surgical procedure designed to tighten the skin and improve the contour of the legs by removing excess skin and fatty deposits from the thighs.
A thighplasty performed at Gabbay Plastic Surgery, by Dr. Joubin Gabbay M.D., can markedly transform the appearance of your legs, creating a lean, shapely, youthful look. Dr. Gabbay has performed countless thigh lifts over the last several years, and has honed and perfected his thighplasty techniques for contouring, tightening, and reshaping the thighs. Dr. Gabbay also utilizes thighplasty to tone the skin in the thigh region, and help eliminate the unpleasant dimpling of cellulite.
The different types of thigh lift surgery vary primarily according to the path and pattern of the surgical incisions. There are many surgical techniques used in thighplasty, including the inner (medial) thighplasty, upper thighplasty and spiral thighplasty techniques, among others. Many patients have substantial elevation and toning of the thighs as a result of undergoing other body contouring procedures such as a body lift.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Gabbay will evaluate your anatomy and the area(s) that need to be treated, discuss your surgical objectives and goals, and then select the appropriate procedure to ensure optimal results from your thigh lift.
At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, we understand that our patients have unique and individual needs, and require highly specific, individually customized, treatment plans. We also believe strongly in patient education, and will take the time to thoroughly inform about all of your surgical options, to help you to select the best possible surgical option to bring about the fulfillment of your aesthetic goals. Dr. Gabbay uses the most advanced surgical technology and techniques when performing thigh lift surgery to maximize your results and diminish the length of your recovery period. If you have additional questions about thigh lift surgery, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery today and let us schedule your complimentary initial consultation with Dr. Gabbay.
Anatomy of The Thighs
The thigh area is located between the pelvis and the knee, and is made up of several adjoining muscle groups working in conjunction with one another.
The thigh region is supported by the femur bone, and is divided into three groups of muscles:
- Anterior Compartment—The anterior thigh contour consists of the quadriceps (muscle group) and a layer of fat.
- Posterior Compartment—The posterior thigh is composed of the hamstring muscles and a layer of overlying fat.
- Medial Compartment—The medial or inner thigh takes its shape from the abductor muscles and a layer of subcutaneous fat.
The primary muscles responsible for thigh movement are the quadriceps and hamstrings. The quadriceps are located in the front part of the thigh, originating from the lower part of the pelvis and inserting into the knee tendon. The hamstrings are located in the back of the thigh, originating from the top and back of the femur, and inserting into the tendons in the back of the knee. Stabilizing muscles in the thigh region are responsible for the proper alignment of the legs, pelvis and feet. The iliotibial band (IT band) is not a muscle, but rather a strong sheath of connective tissues that runs from the top of part of the outer pelvis down to the outer knee. The IT band serves a stabilizing function, and helps to prevent extreme internal rotation during movement of the legs.
A thigh lift is recommended for patients who have sagging, flabby and/or dimpled skin on their thigh, knee, or buttock area. People who have undergone massive weight loss are the most common candidates for a thigh lift surgery, as many of these patients suffer from the post-operative aesthetic problems of excess skin and persistent fat on their inner thighs. The best thigh lift candidates are men and women who are 18-65 years old and are motivated to improve the shape and appearance of their thighs.
Indications for thigh lift include:
- Patients who have lost a considerable amount of weight either due to diet and exercise or weight loss surgery, and are seeking a solution to correct the issues of excess skin in the thigh region
- Patients with excess soft tissue along the inner, medial, or outer thigh area
- Healthy individuals without medical conditions that can increase surgical risks or impair healing
- Individuals with excess fat or skin in the thigh region
- Individuals seeking to balance their body proportions by improving the contour of their thighs
- Patients wishing to correct the issue of stretch marks on their thighs
- Individuals in generally good health, with realistic expectations for thigh lift surgery
- Patients who are committed to maintaining a healthy post-operative lifestyle, including proper nutrition and regular exercise
- Patients with a classic “pear shape” body (carrying most of their weight in the lower half of their body) who wish to create a more evenly balanced body contour
As with any cosmetic procedures, thigh lift surgery is a personal decision, and it should be performed only to help you feel positive about your appearance and improve your self-confidence. A thigh lift is a very extensive process, and it is crucial that potential patients educate themselves and understand the extent and location of surgical scars, plan for the amount of post-surgery care that will be required, and allow ample time for the healing process. Patients should refrain from smoking for at least six weeks prior to undergoing thigh lift surgery, as smoking causes extra risks and impedes the healing process. Additionally, patients who anticipate becoming pregnant or losing a significant amount of weight should postpone having a thigh lift until after these events have taken place, in order to ensure optimal results.
If you are considering a thigh lift surgery, the first step is to contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery and let us schedule your initial consultation. During your consultation, Dr. Gabbay will ask you why you want thigh lift surgery to confirm that your expectations are realistic. He will discuss treatment options, your overall health, any allergies you have and your medical history, and it is crucial that you are completely open and honest with your answers to ensure a positive surgical outcome.
If Dr. Gabbay determines that you are a good candidate for a thigh lift, he will then assess the amount of excess skin and fat that you will need to have removed and evaluate your skin elasticity level. If you have good skin elasticity, with only mild-moderate amounts of excess fat and skin, you may qualify for a minimal incision thighplasty approach. However, with more severe cases, a thigh length incision may be required. Dr. Gabbay will discuss all of the options for thigh reduction, including the surgical procedure, anesthesia, the risks involved, and the expected recovery time. After your consultation, you will be given a cost estimate of your procedure and we will schedule your thigh lift procedure at your convenience.
Inner Thigh Lift:
- Targets the inner thigh region
- Appropriate for mild to moderate cases of excess fat and skin in the inner thigh region
- Relatively short incisions (from the thigh and groin crease to the buttock crease)
Medial Thigh Lift:
- Targets the upper, inner portion of the thighs
- Incision runs from the inside of the thigh around the back and ends under the buttock crease.
Vertical Thigh Lift (Vertical Thighplasty):
- Extensive thigh lift commonly used for the surgeries of post-bariatric patients who are left with significant amounts of loose thigh skin
- The vertical incision that begins at the groin crease and extends to the inner knee
Spiral Thigh Lift:
- Shapes the front, back, inner and outer areas of the thigh
- The incision is made starting below the buttock fold (infra-gluteal crease), and continues within the groin crease, ending at the junction of the thigh and pubic area.
Posterior Thigh Lift:
- Also known as a buttock lift, posterior thigh lifts correct loose, saggy skin and excess fat deposits in the back region of the thighs.
- The procedure also improves the appearance of dimpled skin on the back of the thighs
- Posterior thigh lift surgery details are highly customizable, and incision types will vary from patient to patient, depending upon each individual’s unique anatomy and surgical goals.
Combination Thigh Lift Surgeries:
For patients desiring more expansive body rejuvenation results, thigh lifts can also be performed in combination with other procedures, such as:
A thigh lift is an outpatient surgery generally performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia, and takes 2-3 hours to perform on average. After making the initial incision, Dr. Gabbay will tighten the underlying tissue, remove excess skin and fat, and reshape and tighten the remaining skin to improve the contour of the thigh. Dr. Gabbay will close the incision with deep support sutures to ensure that the newly shaped thigh contours do not sag after the incisions have healed. In some cases, a temporary tube will be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. The incision site will be bandaged and you will wear a compression garment for several weeks following your procedure, in order to minimize swelling and support the tissues as they heal. Advanced surgical techniques allow the majority of thighplasty incisions to be placed in strategic locations (hidden by most types of clothing), and although partially obscured by swelling and bruising, the results from your thigh lift will be visibly apparent almost immediately after surgery, and will continue to improve over the next 4-6 weeks.
For the first few days after your thigh lift procedure, you may feel some tightness and discomfort, which can be controlled with the pain medication Dr. Gabbay will prescribe. After surgery, you should allow for at least a week of rest and recuperating, in order to allow for proper healing. During this time, you will be advised to wear your compression garment in order to protect your surgical incisions, and to promote firming and tightening of the skin. Although post-surgical walking is recommended to prevent blood clots from forming, you should avoid climbing stairs and will need to keep your legs slightly bent at the hips during the first week, in order to minimize tension around your incision line, which will result in a thinner, less-visible scar.
Most patients return to work 1-3 weeks following surgery, although it is important to remember that healing is a gradual process, and you should avoid any strenuous physical activity that could stress the incision sites for several weeks. Most of the swelling and discoloration will dissipate in 1-2 months, and during your follow-up visits, Dr. Gabbay will monitor your progress and ensure your body is healing properly.
Although rare, potential thigh lift complications may include: infection, scarring, bleeding, fluid accumulation, poor wound healing, blood clots, skin loss, numbness, adverse reaction to anesthesia, changes in skin sensation, swelling, skin discoloration, necrosis, asymmetry, pain, and skin irritation from sutures.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There are numerous factors to consider before committing to any cosmetic surgery and below is a list of frequently asked questions associated with thigh lift surgery that are helpful when making an informed decision.
What is thigh lift surgery?
Thigh lift surgery is technically called a thighplasty, and it is a procedure to correct loose, saggy skin, and excess fat deposits in the thighs. There are many reasons a person chooses to have a thigh lift, such as the effects of gravity, that cause us to have loose, flabby thighs as we age. Fluctuations in weight also affect the thigh area, leaving excess fat deposits and poor skin elasticity. A thigh lift will reshape the thighs by removing redundant skin and fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body.
How is thigh lift surgery performed?
During a thigh lift, a combination of surgical excision techniques is used to remove excess, sagging skin and unwanted fat deposits, before the remaining skin is tightened and re-draped.
Will a thigh lift leave visible scars?
A thigh lift procedure does leave scars, however, they are usually placed in inconspicuous locations that can easily be concealed with clothing. If you are thinking about having thigh lift surgery, scars are one aspect you must consider, although, most patients prefer scars to excess fat, sagging skin, and flabby tissue.
Will the results from my thigh lift be permanent?
The initial improvements achieved from your thigh lift should be permanent, as long as you maintain a stable body weight and commit to a healthy lifestyle. A thigh lift cannot stop the aging process, so through the years some changes are inevitable.
Are there risks associated with a thigh lift?
Like all surgical procedures, there are inherent risks associated with thigh lift surgery and Dr. Gabbay will discuss these with you during your consultation. Potential complications may include infection, excessive scarring, bleeding, fluid build up, numbness, bruising, and discomfort, which can be controlled with medication.
Why should I consider a thigh lift?
You should consider a having a thigh lift if you want to:
- Improve dimpled skin on your thighs
- Remove excess fat deposits, tissue, and skin from your thighs
- Restore contour to your thighs
- Have more normal shaped thighs
How long does a thigh lift take to perform?
Time varies from patient-to-patient but in general, a thigh lift takes from 2-3 hours to perform.
Will I have to spend the night in a hospital?
In most cases, a thigh lift is an outpatient procedure, and you will be released to a family member or friend the same day as your procedure.
What is the recovery like after a thigh lift?
Recovery from a thigh lift varies depending on a patient’s healing capabilities, and may take up to six weeks. You will need to wear a compression garments for several weeks to reduce swelling and enable proper healing. At Gabbay Plastic Surgery you will be provided with specific aftercare instructions, and during your post operative appointments, Dr. Gabbay will let you know when you are ready to resume work and other normal routines.
Can I combine my thigh lift with other procedures?
Many patients choose to combine their thigh lift with other procedures including liposuction, a buttock lift, arm lift, and a tummy tuck. During your consultation with Dr. Gabbay, after a thorough examination of the areas you want to correct, he will determine what surgeries would be best to improve your cosmetic issues.
When will I be able to walk after my thigh lift?
Following your thigh lift surgery, you will walk every day to prevent dangerous blood clots from forming in your legs, and as you heal, you will be able to become more active.
Do the areas operated on feel tight after surgery?
The incision sites will feel tight and swollen, and during this initial healing time, it is important that you do not attempt to stretch or exercise the areas that were operated on. As time passes, you will be allowed to progressively do the activities that you are accustomed to, as long as you do not hinder healing.
How long will the swelling last?
Postoperative swelling will gradually disappear after a 4-6 month period. You may also experience areas of numbness on your thighs. and this too will disappear gradually over several months.
When will I be able to return to work?
Depending on the type of job you have, generally you should not plan on returning to work for at least 10-14 days (if sedentary) and for strenuous jobs requiring lifting, you should plan on a 4-8 week recovery time.
I currently do aerobic exercise daily. When will I be able to do that type of exercise again?
Every person is different, but most patients are not allowed to participate in aerobic exercise for at least 4-6 weeks, depending on Dr. Gabbay’s recommendation.
Will I be able to drive myself home?
You must arrange for someone to drive you home as you cannot (legally) do so after surgery because of the anesthesia used. You should also arrange for someone to stay with you during your postoperative period (the first week at least) to make sure you are comfortable, as avoiding excessive movement will speed up your recovery time. Before leaving Gabbay Plastic Surgery, you and your caretaker will receive specific instructions on how to take care of yourself properly to ensure proper healing and an optimal outcome.
Will my thighs be perfect after a thigh lift?
Dr. Gabbay will discuss your expectations during your consultation to determine if your goals are attainable. Too many times, people believe that a thigh lift surgery will make their thighs look perfect when in reality, any cosmetic procedure makes you look better—not perfect.