What is a Thigh Lift?
A thigh lift after major weight loss can improve the upper thighs, especially the outer thighs.
The outer thigh lift I use involves the design of a large ellipse at the hip level to allow the scar to be hidden under a bathing suit. The result can be “previewed” fairly realistically by grabbing a large handful of skin just below the panty line and pulling up. You’ll see that the greatest effect is closest to your hand, and as you look down the thigh, the lift is less and less prominent.
Thigh lifts are far from perfect since the tension that would be necessary to get tightening below the mid thigh can be so great that the scar would be likely to split open or at least heal very poorly. Scars under great tension tend to widen quite a bit.
Before and After Thigh Lift Surgery
Inner Thigh Lift Surgery
Inner thigh lifts are not performed by the majority of plastic surgeons because they rarely tend to be outstanding and often are a disappointment. As with the outer thigh lift (but more so), the greatest effect is closest to the incision and the degree of lift decreases as you get farther down the thigh. Complicating the inner thigh lift is the fact that the leg has to be rolled out to allow the surgeon to get to the area, remove the skin excess and be able to sew it together. After the last stitch, the leg is brought back in, relaxing the lift and limiting how tight it can be, leading to disappointment. I do perform inner thigh lifts but only in the ideal candidate with most of the problem in the upper 1/3 of the inner thigh. The scar can be quite visible bordering the vulva and curves along the inner thigh high up into the gluteal crease. There is a variation which removes skin vertically with the scar extending from the upper inner thigh down to the knee. This results in better skin tightening but because of the extent of the scar I have not used this technique and find very few patients who are willing to consider it. They are often presented at meetings as extreme cases and are probably most appropriate for the extreme post bariatric surgery patient with massive weight loss.
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