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Benefits of a Thigh Lift

August 23, 2012

The ads promise “thin thighs in 30 days”, but even after weeks of squats, lunges, and ballerina plies, your thighs are far from the firm and contoured limbs you desire. Maybe it’s time to consider a thigh lift.

What is a Thigh Lift? 

A thigh lift procedure reduces excess soft tissue along the inner (medial) thigh region and/or the outer thigh, resulting in a slimmer, more contoured, and shapelier upper leg area. If your skin has good elasticity but you’re plagued by fat in that area, liposuction alone can remove the excess. But if your skin has poor elasticity, a combination of liposuction and thigh lift techniques may be recommended. 
Patients who need more extensive work may opt for a lower body lift (sometimes called a “belt lipectomy”) to tighten loose, sagging skin in the buttocks, posterior thighs, hips, outer thighs, and anterior thighs. During the surgery, loose skin and the underlying fat tissue is removed to allow the remaining tissues to stretch and smooth the lower body, especially the buttocks and thighs. The lower body lift can also be extended to tighten the inner thighs. 

Is a Thigh Lift Right for Me?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), you would be a good candidates for a thigh lift if you meet the following criteria: 
  • Your weight is relatively stable
  • You have excess soft tissue along the inner or medial thigh region and/or the outer thigh
  • You are healthy and have no medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
  • You don’t smoke
  • You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for what thigh lift surgery can accomplish
  • You’re committed to leading a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and fitness 

How is a Thigh Lift Done?

You’ll be given anesthesia — either IV sedation or general anesthesia — before the procedure begins. Then your plastic surgeon will make an incision, basing the pattern on the area or areas to be treated, degree of correction, and patient and surgeon preference.
As explained by the ASPS, one technique involves incisions in the groin that extend downward to wrap around the back of the thigh. This enables the plastic surgeon to reshape and tighten the underlying tissue matrix before reducing the skin and re-draping it to achieve the more proportionate and smoother body contours. A less extensive version is the minimal incision medial thigh lift, in which the incision is made only in the groin area.
After your procedure is completed, your incision will be dressed with bandages, and you may have a compression garment wrapped around the area to minimize swelling and support your new contours as you heal. Your surgeon will decide if you also need tubes inserted under the skin to drain any excess fluid or blood. 

When Will I See Results from the Thigh Lift?

According to the ASPS, the results from a thigh lift are visible almost immediately, though it may take several months to fully realize your final results. The overall look is relatively permanent, as long as you maintain a stable weight and general fitness, although normal aging can cause you to lose some firmness.
For best results, it’s critical to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions for care of the surgical sites and for resuming normal activity and exercise. During the healing time, avoid subjecting the incisions to any excessive force, abrasion, or motion. Your plastic surgeon will also tell you when any dressings, bandages, or stitches will need to be removed and when to return for follow-up care, as well as any complications (shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heartbeats) that indicate a need for immediate medical treatment.  

What Will a Thigh Lift Cost?

Fees are based on the surgeon’s experience as well as the geographic location of the office.  The thigh lift cost estimates for the surgeon alone can range from $4,000 to $4,736, with a thigh liposculpture (using ultrasound to break up and remove the fat) averaging $4,250, according to the Liposuction Prices Guide.      
The Healthcare Blue Book’s fair price of $9,846 for a NYC-based thigh lift breaks down the cost as follows: 
  • Physician fee for procedure and routine postoperative care: $5,656
  • Facility services for outpatient procedure. (Overnight stay is not included.): $2,549
  • Anesthesia services (an average surgery time of 2 hours ): $1,641
There may also be additional costs for medication prescriptions, post-surgery garments and medical tests. Be sure to understand what exactly is included in any prices you are quoted. And visit our cost page to read more about insurance coverage and financing options.
Any plastic surgery procedure will require the skilled hand of a highly specialized surgeon. Research what to look for in a plastic surgeon, and be sure to review the portfolios of their work. Visit our photo center and find a board certified plastic surgeon.

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