Loose, excessive skin along the thighs can result from a dramatic weight loss, gravity, genetics, and the normal aging process. Unwanted, bulky skin along the thighs can leave patients feeling depressed and self-conscious over their appearance, and can cause you to feel self-conscious in clothing like shorts or swimsuits. Exercise and toning workouts will enhance the leg muscles, but unfortunately no amount of weight loss can reduce the hanging skin on the inner and outer thighs.
Corrective surgery is the best option to sculpt the legs and address sagging tissue. A thigh lift will reduce the excess skin and fat on the thighs, creating a tighter, firmer appearance. Two types of thigh lift are available:
Inner Thigh Lift:
- Also known as a medial thigh lift.
- The most common upper leg corrective surgery that is performed as a standalone operation.
Outer Thigh Lift:
- Combined as part of a body lift procedure such as a tummy tuck.
Dr. Amy Ortega performs the thigh lift in Melbourne, Florida. With 20 years of experience, Dr. Ortega can help patients achieve more youthful legs by reducing the excess skin along the inner or outer thighs. Her innovative surgical techniques will restore tissue elasticity for a more sculpted figure.
The Thigh Lift Consultation
Anyone interested in the thigh lift procedure should first schedule a consultation with Dr. Ortega. During the appointment, Dr. Ortega will explain the procedure in detail, along with the recovery and potential risks. You will have an opportunity to review the reasons for wanting a thigh lift, your expectations for the surgery, and the desired results. To determine if the thigh lift is right for you, Dr. Ortega will also review your medical history, previous treatments, and potential allergic risks.
Come to the consultation ready to discuss:
- Current medications, including herbal supplements and vitamins
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
- Any medical conditions or allergies
- Reasons for wanting the surgery and desired results
During your consultation, Dr. Ortega will perform a brief physical exam. She will go over the pre- and post-op considerations. These include the need to stop taking aspirin and or multivitamins two weeks prior to the thigh lift. While patients should be nonsmokers, those who do will be asked to stop smoking for two weeks before the surgery. To allow for proper tissue healing, smoking should not be resumed for at least two weeks after the procedure.
The Ideal Thigh Lift Candidate
Thigh lift surgery will reshape the upper leg by removing excess skin that has started to hang and look full. However, it should not be used as a weight loss solution. The ideal candidate for the procedure will be someone who has loose skin around the inner and/or outer thigh, which does not respond to exercise or a healthy lifestyle. Patients should be at a stable, healthy weight.
You may be a candidate for thigh lift surgery if you:
- Are at a relatively stable weight
- Have sagging skin at the thigh
- Are unhappy with skin that looks full and has lost elasticity
- Are committed to healthy goals for maintaining the results of the procedure
- Have realistic expectations for the surgery and with a positive goal in mind
The Thigh Lift Procedure
Dr. Ortega performs all of her thigh lift procedures in Melbourne, FL. Most procedures are done on an outpatient basis. The thigh lift typically takes between three and four hours to perform, under general anesthesia. The details of each surgical procedure will depend on the type of thigh lift performed and the extent of correction needed.
- Inner Thigh Lift (Medial Thigh Lift) – The inner thigh lift is the most common thigh lift technique used today, and is normally performed as a standalone surgery. Ortega will begin by making an incision along the groin crease, in the inner thigh, minimizing the prominence of the post-surgery scar. From here, she will excise unwanted tissue, then pull remaining skin taut. Finally, sutures are placed along the incision line.
- Outer Thigh Lift (Lateral Thigh Lift) – An outer thigh lift is normally performed in conjunction with other corrective procedures, such as a tummy tuck or liposuction. The outer thigh lift removes excess skin sagging below the hip area, and as such the incision is located at the hipbone area. Once Dr. Ortega has made the predetermined incisions, she will reduce the excess tissue, and place sutures for proper healing.
When closing the thigh lift incision, a longer lasting result can be achieved by attaching sutures to the deep bone ligaments, with deeper tissue layers closed first. A special pressure wrap is then placed after surgery. This compression will need to be worn for at least 4-6 weeks following the procedure.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary
The Thigh Lift Recovery
A thigh lift is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can be home the same day as the surgery, although some patients opt to stay overnight for observation and added comfort. Dr. Ortega has designed her thigh lift operation to allow patients the ability to sit up immediately after the procedure, while prescribed medications will help ease any discomfort.
Like other corrective procedures, Dr. Ortega will see her post-op patients to remove dressings, and drain the incision, if needed. Some activity is possible immediately, although no exercise or heavy lifting are permitted for six weeks. Most patients are able to resume work after one week, as long as there is no major physical activity or heavy lifting involved.
Why Choose Clevens Face and Body Specialists?
Dr. Amy Ortega is one of the most respected female plastic surgeons in the United States; she is a double-fellowship trained, board certified plastic surgeon with 20 years of aesthetic experience. Dr. Ortega has been honored as one of the 10 Best Plastic Surgeons in Florida and one of the nation’s Most Compassionate Doctors. She specializes in plastic surgery of the breast and body, including thigh lift surgery. Dr. Ortega performs the thigh lift and other aesthetic procedures in central Florida, as a part of the team at Clevens Face and Body Specialists. To schedule your thigh lift consultation with Dr. Ortega in either Melbourne or Merritt Island, FL, contact Clevens Face and Body Specialists at 321.727.3223.
Thigh Lift FAQ
What is a thigh lift?
The thigh lift is a surgical procedure designed to reduce unwanted tissue along the inner or outer thigh.
Is there a difference between the inner and outer thigh lift procedure?
Yes. The inner thigh lift (medial thigh lift) concentrates on the tissues along the inside of the thighs. This technique is the most common and can be performed alone. The outer thigh lift (lateral thigh lift), focuses on the outer side of the thighs. This technique is normally performed in conjunction with other body sculpting techniques like the tummy tuck.
Can a thigh lift be combined with liposuction?
A thigh lift on its own is not a weight loss remedy. The technique was designed to remove excess skin, not fat. However, some patients do elect to have other corrective procedures alongside a thigh lift, including liposuction, to remove the excess fat deposits in the upper leg region.
Will liposuction alone work to sculpt my thighs?
No; liposuction by itself cannot resolve loose skin along the thighs. Reducing additional fat without addressing the skin is likely to create additional sagging tissues.
Is a thigh lift painful?
The thigh lift procedure itself will not hurt, as patients are placed under general anesthesia. There will be mild to moderate discomfort during the recovery period, however this should resolve over the following week. Dr. Ortega will prescribe medication to ease any discomfort during this time.
Is an overnight hospital stay required with a thigh lift?
An overnight stay is usually not needed.
Will there be a large scar after my thigh lift?
Yes, a scar will form along the thigh lift incision line. However, Dr. Ortega places the scar in the inner leg and groin crease to make it less visible. She will also recommend scar management practices as appropriate. Over time, the scar will fade somewhat, although it will remain visible.
When can I return to work after my thigh lift?
Most patients are feeling well enough to return to work five to seven days after their thigh lift procedure.
What are the possible complications from a thigh lift?
The thigh lift is a well-tolerated procedure. As it is a surgical procedure, there is always a small chance for bleeding, unexpected scarring, infection, poor wound healing, and nerve damage to occur.