I want to get plastic surgery to improve/reduce my thighs, and I'm having trouble figuring out whether I need liposuction or a thigh lift. My thighs are large (larger than what would be expected for someone of my size), but they aren't smooth. On the inner thighs (the area I want done), there is some wrinkling that almost gives the appearance of sagging. I'd assumed it was fat, because I thought excess skin could only be caused by a large weight loss, which I haven't had. Is this true? I'm in my early 20's and wondering what type of procedure I should seek.
Thigh Liposuction Vs. Thigh Lift
Doctor Answers (27)
Usually liposuction leads to more loose skin
Normally, liposuction leads to more loose skin. However, there are several technologies now which can tighten skin, from Thermage, to laser liposuction to Velashape. If there is too much laxity, a thigh lift can still be the best alternative. try to find a surgeon who is well versed and offers all of these technologies so you can choose the one that is truly best for your situation.
Thigh Lift or Lipo?
First of all, a consult is essential, for there is a "touch and feel" element on the Doctor's part as to what he can accomplish with his techniques.
Having said that, a few comments:
1 Excercise will not tighten your skin, neither will liposuction
2 Lipo will change the contour of the thigh, but not improve (or may even worsen) the rippling in your skin.
3 A thigh lift can tighten skin AND change contour, but it has a longer recovery, and the scar has to be managed carefully.
4 The best results I have had have been staging the procedure, where I first do an aggressive lipo to "debulk" the inner thigh, then do a lift.
Thigh contouring options
Liposuction and removal of excess skin of the thighs are both good options to contour them. Sometimes, both are done! A lot depends on whether you have just loose skin or loose skin and excess fat. Either way, you can get a great result. Talk with several plastics surgeons to get an idea of what you need and who you feel most comfortable with. Look at their before and after pictures as well. Good luck!
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You may need both
The medial thighs can be a difficult area to treat. If there is significant contour irregularity it is likely due to both skin and fat. Without a picture my guess is that you will need both liposuction and a thigh lift. If there isn't significant skin that needs to be removed the thigh lift can be performed using only an incision in the groin crease and not down the leg. However, if there is significant skin than a axial or longitude incision will be needed. See several board certified plastic surgeons.
You shouldn't decide what you want before you see experts for their advice
It will not be necessary for you to pick a therapy (lift or lipo or combo) before you have in-person consultations with experienced plastic surgeons.
They can assess your general health, body proportions, the condition of your skin and subcutaneous fat, and the laxity or support. With these issues in mind they can discuss alternatives specifically tailored to you.
In general liposuction improves localized excess fat, and a thighlift improves lax skin and subcutaneous fat in some areas. The trade-offs and risks are considerably different for the two procedures.
Optimize your lifestyle first
The first thing you should do is examine your lifestyle. Optimize your activity level, exercise routines, and diet. The more fit you are, the safer and more specific the surgery will be. Unless you have loss significant weight and have skin laxity due to loss of elasticity and perhaps the presence of stretch marks, someone you age is usually not looking at a thing lift. However, even though much of your large thigh might be due to fat, the lack of smoothness might be a significant drawback to liposuction. A couple things to remember as you consult with plastic surgeons: it's all about the anatomy, and not every problem has a good surgical solution. Good luck.
If you have loose inner thigh skin, then you will need liposuction with a thigh lift. If your skin quality is great with no laxity or wrinkles, then an inner thigh lift may work. I would expect for you not to have too much skin laxity since you are so young. But without pictures, it is very difficlut to tell.
Can't tell without pictures
Excision of thigh tissue, a thihg lift, is usually done after weight loss to decrease the very loose skin on the inner thighs. The thigh lift leaves fairly prominent scars on the inner thighs, which might be worse than the loose skin you have now. A liposuction of the thighs will remove fat, but will leave the skin looser and possibly indented areas. Another 'trade-off' which could be worse.
Liposuction vs a lift for the legs
This is something that can be evaluated during your consultation. Liposuction can be performed to debulk the legs but excessive treatment may cause skin laxity especially if the skin was of poor quality.
This requires a lot of judgement.
You really need to be examined by an expert in cosmetic surgery. In general, since you are young and have not lost a lot of weight, I would say that circumferential (all around) liposuction of the thighs is what you need.
But what you describe in your inner thighs really needs to be evaluated carefully. You could conceivably need an inner thigh lift, which is the only kind of thigh lift that we do in New York.
My web site has links to the plastic surgery societies, where you can find names near you.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.