When you lose a massive amount of weight, whether through conventional means or via weight loss surgery, you can sometimes be left with excess fatty tissue and skin. This added tissue can make your legs look lumpy, even under your clothing. In severe cases, your clothes may not fit the way you prefer on account of your larger-than-average thighs.
A thigh lift after weight loss can remove this extra tissue to leave your legs looking proportional to the rest of your body. If you want enviable pins and you find it difficult to remove extra fat and skin after the excess weight has come off, a thigh lift might be right for you.
Keep reading to understand why this extra tissue gets left behind and how a thigh lift can help you feel better about the appearance of your legs.
Read our article: Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Surgery Helps You Find Body Acceptance
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your thighs, don’t delay. Act now by calling Healthy Life Bariatrics to schedule a consultation with world-renowned surgeon Doctor Babak Moeinolmolki. Dial (310)694-4486 to choose an appointment time that works best for you.
What is All This Extra Skin?
The thighs are one location of the body that tends to hang on to extra tissue following significant weight loss. Losing a major amount of weight is a huge accomplishment. It is not easy to drop excess pounds when you have become a hundred or more pounds overweight. The way the human body works, the weight tends to come off uniformly, from all around the body. Unfortunately, some fatty tissue can remain, which can be frustrating.
Then there is the issue of tissue laxity. When you gain a lot of weight, your skin stretches to accommodate the new bulk. When you subsequently lose the weight, sometimes the skin doesn’t so readily bounce back. This is known as a lack of skin elasticity. It is sort of like a spandex outfit that has lost its ability to contract after being stretched out too often.
Patients that lose weight can find this added tissue in various areas of the body, including the thighs. While the rest of your body may be trimmed on account of all your hard work, the thighs can be left looking like a deflated balloon.
Loose skin is common with weight loss amounting to one-hundred pounds of excess weight in a short amount of time. Weight loss surgery patients fall into this category of weight loss, which is why post-bariatric body contouring is recommended by surgeons shortly after succeeding with operations like gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery.
Post-Bariatric Body Contouring
The thigh lift is a type of post-bariatric body contouring that aims to remove the added tissue to leave the legs looking narrower and more in proportion to the rest of the body.
There are benefits to undergoing body contouring after significant weight loss that ventures beyond looks, however. Studies show that people who have lost massive amounts of weight and then go on to have the excess skin removed tend to fare better physiologically and psychologically. One important benefit is that these patients are less likely to gain the weight back than those who don’t undergo post-bariatric body contouring.
Loose Thigh Skin Can be a Nuisance but a Thigh Lift can Help
After significant weight loss, loose skin can form on both the inner and outer thighs. Having this extra tissue can make your upper legs appear lumpy and uneven, harming your self-esteem. Whether at the beach in a bathing suit or clothed, the lumpiness can be very noticeable to others. In extreme cases, clothes don’t fit the way they should.
But then there is the hygiene aspect of extra thigh tissue. Loose, hanging skin on the thighs can rub against the legs. This can cause chafing, rashes, and potential infections, particularly when walking or running. Imagine the friction caused by wearing a pair of corduroy pants except you’re forced to wear them all the time and all those ridges have nerve endings. That is what having excess skin can feel like over time.
Exercises for the legs can tone the muscles underneath the skin, but only post-bariatric body contouring procedures like a thigh lift can permanently remove the excess skin around the upper legs.
Read our article: Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Surgery in Los Angeles – When is it Safe?
By removing the excess tissue with a thigh lift, the legs will appear smoother afterward. After healing from the procedure, patients often find that they can perform activities that were difficult or nearly impossible before, such as running long distances. Your self-esteem should also see a major boost following the cosmetic surgical procedure.
It is important to note that a thigh lift is not a weight loss surgery. While some fatty tissue is inevitably removed during surgery, the focus is primarily on removing loose skin rather than significant portions of fat.
How Do You Know if You are a Suitable Thigh Lift Candidate?
You should always wait to have a thigh lift until you are as close as possible to your ideal weight. If you have recently undergone weight loss surgery and have attained a healthy weight as a result, your doctor may recommend waiting at least six months. This ensures that you will be able to maintain a stable weight. It will make you an ideal candidate for a thigh lift procedure.
Other than maintaining a stable weight, you would be an excellent candidate for this cosmetic surgery if you have excess soft tissue along the inner or outer thigh or both. The cosmetic surgeon performing the thigh lift will ask about your medical history and any medications you might be taking. This ensures that you are otherwise healthy with no sign of underlying conditions that could impair healing or increase your risk of surgical complications.
You should be a non-smoker and someone who is committed to leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. A healthy lifestyle is necessary in order to succeed with bariatric surgery. Therefore, if a procedure such as the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass brought you to this point, you should be well on your way toward qualifying for thigh lift surgery.
Finally, the best candidates for a thigh lift are those with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what a thigh lift can accomplish. The post-bariatric body contouring procedure cannot give you legs like your favorite model or movie star. Cosmetic surgery can give you more attractive legs than the ones you have now, where excess tissue and skin have led to aesthetic and hygiene problems.
How is a Thigh Lift Performed?
The first step to undergoing a thigh lift is to schedule a consultation with a qualified cosmetic surgeon. The alternative is to find a surgeon who is qualified in both weight loss surgery and post-bariatric body contouring surgery, such as Doctor Babak Moeinolmolki of Healthy Life Bariatrics. This arrangement allows you to undergo both procedures under one roof and with a surgeon who is already familiar with your medical and surgical history.
During a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon, you will discuss your bodily concerns, the thigh lift technique to be used, the benefits of the procedure, as well as the risks. You will also receive a detailed quote for the procedure. The thigh lift costs around $5,355, not including associated fees such as anesthesia, surgical center fees, and others.
You will be given instructions on how to prepare for surgery, which usually includes not eating anything the night before surgery. The thigh lift is performed under general anesthesia, which requires you to have an empty stomach. On the day of surgery, you will be prepped for surgery before the anesthesia is administered. This will make you unconscious for the duration of surgery so that you won’t feel or remember a thing.
Incisions Vary Depending on the Thigh Lift Technique
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the surgery will begin. The incision pattern used during a thigh lift varies depending on the volume of soft tissue to be removed and surgeon preference.
Inner Thigh Lift
For a thigh lift to remove soft tissue along the inner thigh, an incision will be placed along the groin area. The incision extends downward and wraps around the back of the thigh. There is another technique that involves an incision that runs from the groin down to the knee.
An alternative to the inner thigh lift involves a minimal incision that runs only along the groin area. Your cosmetic surgeon will determine which incision pattern is most appropriate.
Outer Thigh Lift
For excess skin along the outer thigh, an incision is made that extends from the groin around the hip and across the back.
Read our article: Skin Removal After Weight Loss Surgery – What You Should Know
While these incision marks sound extensive, advanced thigh lift techniques allow the incisions to be placed in strategic locations. This allows the marks to be hidden by most types of swimsuits or clothing.
Skin is Removed and Incisions Are Closed
The incisions made by the cosmetic surgeon may be extensive depending on the amount of skin to be removed. The excess skin is cut away before the incisions are closed using deep sutures. These sutures within the underlying tissues help to support the newly shaped thigh contours. As an alternative to sutures, some cosmetic surgeons choose to use skin adhesive tape or clips to close the incisions.
What Are the Results of a Thigh Lift?
After thigh lift surgery, you will awaken in the surgical recovery area. The surgical staff will monitor your vital signs there. While there will be swelling and bruising around the treatment area, the results from a thigh lift are immediately visible.
The results of the procedure will take several months to fully develop. With the excess skin removed, the thighs will appear narrower and more proportional to your body.
The quality of your skin will also improve over time. The skin will feel smoother and healthier following a thigh lift within the coming months.
There are some cases where optimal results are not achieved with a single procedure. In cases such as these, a second surgery may be necessary.
What Do Thigh Lift Scars Look Like?
Scarring from thigh lift surgery is inevitable. The location of the scars and intensity will depend on the type of surgery and your skin type. Some people are fast healers, which means the scars may fade quickly. For slow healers, the scars may linger for some time.
Any scarring that results will be most noticeable within the first six months following thigh lift surgery. The scars will typically appear pink or dark red. Over the next twelve months, the scars should begin to smooth and become lighter and softer to the touch.
How Long Do Thigh Lift Results Last?
The quality and longevity of your thigh lift results will depend on how well you follow your cosmetic surgeon’s advice. Immediately after the procedure, your surgeon will ask that you wear a compression garment. It will aid with blood circulation and healing. The more you wear the garment, the better you will heal, and the better long-term results you will experience.
You will also experience long-term results if you can maintain optimal health. Make sure you continue to eat healthily and get regular exercise in the months and years following your thigh lift surgery. You can further improve your health by refraining from smoking, avoiding excess sun exposure, and limiting alcohol consumption. Maintaining a stable weight is also key to enjoying greater longevity with your thigh lift results.
Is a Thigh Lift After Weight Loss Right for You?
Schedule a Consultation Today to Find Out
Whether you have recently lost weight through conventional means or via weight loss surgery, a thigh lift might be right for you. You don’t have to live with hanging or loose skin along the inner and/or outer thighs. Schedule a consultation with a bariatric surgeon and post-bariatric body contouring surgeon Doctor Babak Moeinolmolki by calling Healthy Life Bariatrics in Los Angeles, California. Dial (310)694-4486 to choose the ideal appointment time.