The thighs are one of the most challenging areas of the body to firm and tone just through diet and exercise, especially as age and gravity become harder to fight. Additionally, if you’ve recently undergone major weight loss, you may notice excess skin and tissue through the inner and outer thigh that no amount of squats or lunges can eliminate. A thigh lift restores a smoother, firmer appearance to the upper leg for better proportions and a more youthful look.
Recognized as a body contouring specialist and one of the top cosmetic surgeons in the Mobile-Pensacola metro area, Dr. James Koehler is a board certified cosmetic surgeon serving patients from Gulfport to Gulf Shores and beyond. In addition to thigh lifts, Dr. Koehler offers a wide range of plastic surgery procedures for both men and women, and is known for his caring commitment to a patient-first approach.
Are You a Candidate?
The best candidates for a thigh lift notice sagging skin, excess tissue or a general loss of firmness and tone in their inner or outer thighs even after reaching their target weight. Both men and women can make good candidates for thigh lift surgery if they’re in good general physical and mental health and have realistic expectations about their results.
About Thigh Lifts
The body changes over the course of a lifetime, sometimes dramatically. Weight fluctuations can cause skin to stretch out repeatedly and lose elasticity, while the aging process combined with gravity further contributes to sagging and droopiness in the skin and supportive tissues. A thigh lift removes this excess for a slimmer look that can help accentuate weight loss, reveal muscle tone and improve skin appearance and texture.
There are several options when it comes to a thigh lift:
- Inner Thigh Lift: Known as a medial thigh lift, this surgery specifically addresses skin and tissue on the inner thighs, contouring the entire area running from groin to inner knee.
- Stocking Seam Inner Thigh lift: This is a more extensive thigh lift and is used most commonly in patients with significant weight loss where the thigh laxity extends all the way down to the knee. The incision is in the groin region as well as along the inner thigh and sometimes arcross the knee to remove excessive laxity in the thighs.
- Outer Thigh Lift: An outer thigh lift, or lateral thigh lift, is more complex and typically includes some recontouring of the buttocks in addition to addressing the outer thighs as part of a full body lift.
Either type of thigh lift may incorporate liposuction to further enhance the results of your surgery. Thigh lifts may also be included as part of a mommy makeover, or combined with a tummy tuck for more refined contouring throughout the lower body. It’s also common to include a thigh lift with as part of post-weight loss body contouring.
What to Expect
Your thigh lift begins with a consultation, which gives Dr. Koehler a chance to talk with you about your hopes for surgery. Your consultation will also include a physical evaluation to determine the level of correction needed and the surgical approach that will work best for your body.
Depending on the type of thigh lift being performed, incision placement may be hidden in the natural crease where your upper thigh meets your groin or extend from groin up and over the hip. In either case, Dr. Koehler places the incisions as unobtrusively as possible so they can be discreetly hidden by clothing and swimsuits.
Next, excess fatty tissue is removed, sometimes with the help of liposuction. Lipo can be performed directly on the thighs, or used in the surrounding areas in order to ensure a naturally tapered transition following surgery. Lax skin is excised, allowing Dr. Koehler to smooth and tighten the remaining skin over your new contours before closing and dressing your incisions.
Dr. Koehler asks patients to wear a special compression garment to help dispel swelling and prevent fluid buildup, sometimes in combination with post-surgical drains. Compression can also help you feel more comfortable in the early stages of the healing process. It’s also important to engage in mild activity, like walking, during recovery to help prevent blood clots, although more strenuous exercise should be avoided for several weeks.
Risks and Complications
Both inner and outer thigh lifts carry a chance of risks, which may include concerns like having an adverse reaction to anesthesia, infection or unfavorable scarring, which are all possible issues that are associated with any surgery. More serious complications are rare, but possible. Dr. Koehler will go over all the risks and benefits with you before your thigh lift so you’re fully informed about what to expect.
Your New Look
You should see an improvement in the shape of your thighs immediately after surgery, although your final results will take several months to fully develop. Your skin should feel smoother and look firmer, along with an overall improvement in quality and texture. As long as you continue practicing good dietary and exercise habits and maintain your current weight, you should enjoy your thigh lift results long-term.
Thigh Lift FAQ
How do I choose the best thigh lift cosmetic surgeon near me?
Start your search by finding reputable cosmetic surgeons in your area who have specific experience with thigh lifts and other body contouring procedures. Schedule a consultation with your top picks, bringing a list of questions to each appointment. Choose the cosmetic surgeon with whom you feel the most comfortable and confident talking to.
What type of thigh lift is best for me?
The two main types of thigh lifts are inner and outer thigh lifts. As suggested by the name, inner thigh lifts address the area on the inner thighs, running from the groin down to the inner knee.
Outer thigh lifts can be more complex, as they address the outer thigh area, which can run from the buttocks to the knee. Outer thigh lifts are frequently included in a full body lift and can also be combined with an inner thigh lift.
The best thigh lift technique for you will depend on where your trouble areas are and your specific goals.
Does a thigh lift include liposuction?
Most thigh lifts do not automatically include liposuction, but this is a common add-on. A thigh lift on its own will address loose skin in the inner or outer thighs, while liposuction will also remove isolated areas of stubborn fat. Thus, many people find that the inclusion of liposuction in their thigh lift offers more dramatic results.
Does a thigh lift hurt?
You should not feel any pain or discomfort during your thigh lift procedure, as it is usually performed under general anesthesia. Some mild discomfort, swelling and bruising are likely after your procedure, although over-the-counter or prescription pain medication should keep you comfortable as you heal.
What is recovery like after a thigh lift?
Plan to take around 7 to 10 days off work and other obligations and physical activity as you recover from your thigh lift. For the first few days, plan on resting at home and not doing very much physical activity at all.
As you feel up to it, you can go for light walks around the house to promote healthy blood flow and help your body heal. Most people are able to resume normal activities and exercise regimens in 4 to 6 weeks after a thigh lift.
How soon will I see thigh lift results?
While you can see some immediate results directly after your thigh lift, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the results you’d expected right away. Swelling and bruising can take several weeks to dissipate, so your final results will gradually develop as your body recovers. You should have a good idea of what your final outcome will look like around 3 months after your procedure.
How long does a thigh lift last?
Thigh lift results can be very long-lasting, provided you maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Eating healthy and getting enough exercise are key components of long-lasting thigh lift results, as it is possible to gain weight in the treated area down the road.