Dr. Paul Angelchik is a Phoenix area plastic surgery specialist who offers thigh lift at his practice. In the paragraphs below he describes this procedure and how Scottsdale, Glendale and Phoenix thigh lift patients have benefited from treatment.
Inner and Outer Thigh Lifts
Thigh lift procedures are divided into those procedures that lift the inner thigh and those that lift the outer thigh and buttocks. Outer thigh lifts and buttock lifts are now most commonly done in conjunction with a tummy tuck and this constitutes a lower body lift.
Inner thigh lifts may be done with a lower body lift, but most often are done as a separate procedure to facilitate an easier recovery. For some patients enough tightening is attained with the lower body lift that an inner thigh lift becomes unnecessary.
Thigh Lift: Indications & Technique
Inner thigh lifts are done to tighten loose sagging skin on the inner thigh that cannot be corrected by diet/exercise or liposuction because of loss of elasticity (ability of the skin to snap back to its original position when stretched). This loss of elasticity can come from massive weight loss (MWL), genetic predisposition to loose skin, aging, or a combination of the above. The problem may be mild, moderate, or severe and involve just the upper thigh or extend even beyond the knee.
The more traditional inner thigh lift technique involves removing an oval of skin and fat, placing the incision closure in the crease between the thigh and pubic area. This lifts the skin of the lower thigh, creating a tightening effect. The anchoring maneuver helps to reduce the risk of the incisions descending lower on the thigh after they heal, where they might be visible.
This procedure is appropriate for patients with milder forms of thigh sagging and in those patients who wish to avoid more visible scarring on the inside of the thigh. It is not ideal for patients with severe cases of loose skin because the lift's upward pull is not as effective lower down the leg, allowing tissues to relax again.
For patients who have more advanced problems with loose inner thigh skin, often MWL patients, a vertical incision extending down the inside of the leg can help to remove more loose skin and get a better long-term result. However this comes at the price of a scar that could extend the length of the thigh if required for optimum contouring. The results in this group are substantially better if this incision is made. The vertical component of the lift is done not just by taking out a wedge of fat and skin, but by liposuction of the segment where skin is to be removed and then careful superficial removal of the skin only.
The goal of this approach is to avoid disrupting the lymphatic drainage of the leg and to preserve the saphenous vein. Preserving the veins and lymphatic vessels reduces the risk of long-term swelling or blood clots with the surgery. Other areas on the thighs may also be liposuctioned to get better contouring. Patients must accept and understand the placement of the vertical inner thigh lift scar if this is decided upon in consultation.
Thigh Lift: Surgery & Aftercare
The surgery is done under general anesthesia, either as an outpatient or with a one-night postoperative stay. The major issue with recovery from thigh lift procedures is positioning because a sitting or squatting position is discouraged for 2 weeks to avoid pulling too hard on the groin incision until the tissues relax enough to avoid a separation of the suture line. Pain is moderate and well-controlled with oral pain medication. Antibiotics are prescribed for 1 week and hygiene is reviewed to minimize the risk of infection in the groin area. Sutures are dissolvable and do not need to be removed. Early walking is encouraged to reduce the risk of blood clots. Patients can typically return to a desk job at 2-3 weeks. Regular exercise can be resumed at 6 weeks.
In addition to thigh lift, Dr. Angelchik also performs other body contouring procedures in his Phoenix cosmetic surgery practice. Visit these pages in the website to learn about how Dr. Angelchik treats Phoenix liposuction, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), body lift and brachioplasty patients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Angelchik.