The Different Types Of Thigh Lift Procedures Compared
Each year, thousands of patients choose thighplasty to remove excess skin and fat from their upper leg area. The procedure has the ability to dramatically reshape the thighs, enhancing the entire silhouette. Perspective patients should know that there are many different types of thigh lifts., each targeting specific problem areas. Indeed, newly introduced thighplasty techniques have made the procedure highly customizable procedure.
What is a Thigh Lift?
Thighplasty, better known as a thigh lift, is a plastic surgery procedure that reshapes your thighs by removing sagging skin and excess fat. It is typically recommended after significant weight loss due to the challenges of poor skin elasticity. Elasticity helps your skin contour to your muscles and other anatomical features. When you have too little elasticity, the skin sags and hang loose. Unfortunately, no amount of exercise remedies poor skin elasticity.
Thigh lifts dramatically improve the contours of your upper leg area. It also helps with chafing and skin irritation caused by your thighs rubbing together when you walk or run.
Types of Thigh Lifts
Depending on your body type and aesthetic goals, you may be a good candidate for a thigh lift. There are several techniques used for thighplasty, including:
- Mini Thigh Lift
- Inner (Medial) Thigh Lift
- Outer (Bilateral) Thigh Lift
- Spiral Thigh Lift
- Vertical Thigh Lift
- Posterior Lift
- Thigh Lift with Liposuction
Mini Thigh Lift
A mini thigh lift is recommended for men and women who need minimal correction. The technique works best for men and women who require minimal correction.
Mini Thigh Lift Treatment Areas
A mini thigh lift works best for people who have a relatively small amount of excess skin and fat in the uppermost part of the inner thigh. The fat is removed with liposuction, and the skin is removed with a scalpel.
Expected Results of a Mini Thigh Lift
Your thighs look smaller after the procedure. Additionally, the upper thigh area is free of dimples and bumps caused by isolated pockets of fat.
Benefits of a Mini Thigh Lift
- Targets the uppermost part of the inner thigh
- Minimal recovery time
- Surgery takes approximately two hours
- Minimal scarring
How is a Mini Thigh Lift Performed?
A mini thigh lift is performed in two stages. First, small incisions are made in the skin. A thin tube is inserted through each incision and used to remove the excess fat. Second, the loose skin is surgically removed with a scalpel. Incisions are closed with sutures.
You should limit your activities for the first two weeks after a mini thigh lift.
What is the Potential for Scarring with a Mini Thigh Lift?
As with any type of surgery, a mini thigh lift does produce scars (here is more information on thigh lift scarring). Liposuction incisions produce scars that are not noticeable except upon close inspection. Scars produced by removing excess skin are relatively small but may be noticeable to some degree.
Ideal Candidate for a Mini Thigh Lift
The ideal candidate for a mini thigh lift has a BMI of 30 or less. Fat and excess skin is localized to the uppermost part of the inner thigh.
Inner (Medial) Thigh Lift
For men and women who have moderate to severe skin sagging and excess fat in the upper thigh area, an inner thigh lift may be the best option. The procedure is more extensive than a mini thigh lift.
Inner Thigh Lift Treatment Areas
A medial thigh lift is typically the best option for people who have sagging skin and excess fat in the inner thigh area between the groin and the inside of the knee. In most cases, the surgery is necessary due to changes in the area after losing a significant amount of weight.
Expected Results of a Medial Thigh Lift
A medial thigh lift gives your thighs a more toned and sculpted appearance. People who have the surgery also demonstrate higher confidence because they no longer feel embarrassed by their legs.
Benefits of a Medial Thigh Lift
- Improves the upper thighs after significant weight loss
- Removes excess skin and fat
- May be combined with liposuction
How is a Medial Thigh Lift Performed?
The incision for a medial thigh lift follows the natural crease along the upper thigh. It extends from the lower groin area to under the buttock. After making the incision, the surgeon pulls the skin tight and removes any excess. The incision is closed with sutures.
What is the Potential for Scarring with an Inner Thigh Lift?
An inner thigh lift produces a scar along the incision line. The scar is well hidden in the natural crease below your buttock and groin area.
Ideal Candidate for an Inner Thigh Lift
An ideal candidate for a medial thigh lift is a person with excess skin and fat around the circumference of the upper thigh area. Liposuction is typically recommended for pockets of fat that disrupt the smooth, contoured shape of the thighs.
What is an Outer (Bilateral) Thigh Lift?
In some cases, excess fat and skin are limited to the outer thighs. A bilateral thigh lift is the best technique to sculpt and shape the thighs.
Outer Thigh Lift Treatment Areas
A bilateral thigh lift targets the outer thighs, as well as the buttocks and waist. Liposuction may be used in conjunction with the surgery to remove pockets of fat in these areas.
Expected Results of a Bilateral Thigh Lift
A bilateral thigh lift smooths the contour from your waist to your lower thighs. The procedure removes wrinkles and dimples caused by extra skin and fat.
Benefits of a Bilateral Thigh Lift
- Targets three common problem areas – the thighs, the buttocks, and the waistline
- Produces a smoother, more toned appearance
How is a Bilateral Thigh Lift Performed?
The incision for a bilateral thigh lift follows a line around your waist. After making the incision, the surgeon uses liposuction to remove pockets of fat. The skin is then pulled taut and sutured to the hip bone. Excess skin is trimmed.
What is the Potential for Scarring with an Outer Thigh Lift?
An outer thigh lift produces a scar around your waist. The incision is made in a manner that ensures the scar is hidden with a swimsuit or underwear.
Ideal Candidate for an Outer Thigh Lift
A bilateral thigh lift is recommended for people who have fat and loose skin in the thigh and buttock area, as well as around the waist. You should feel comfortable with the resulting scar before choosing this surgery.
Spiral Thigh Lift
A spiral thigh lift is one of the newest innovations in thighplasty. It may be recommended as an alternative to a vertical thigh lift. The spiral thigh lift technique is the only surgical approach that targets the entire thigh area.
Spiral Thigh Lift Treatment Areas
A spiral thigh lift helps tone and tighten the entire thigh area, including the front, back, and sides of your thighs. For some people, the spiral thigh lift technique produces superior results compared to the vertical thigh lift technique.
Expected Results of a Spiral Thigh Lift
Also known as a total thigh lift or 360° thigh lift, a spiral thigh lift provides a dramatic improvement to the shape of your thighs. The technique may also include steps to shape the buttocks.
Benefits of a Spiral Thigh Lift
- Only thighplasty that corrects the entire thigh area
- Improves the contour of the buttocks
- Dramatic results
How is a Spiral Thigh Lift Performed?
A spiral thigh lift requires two incisions. The first starts at the groin area and extends to the inside of the knee. The second is made from the groin area around the waist to the hip bone. The surgeon pulls the tissue taut and removes the excess with a scalpel.
A spiral thigh lift involves removing more skin and fat compared to other thighplasty techniques. As a result, recovery time is longer.
What is the Potential for Scarring with a Spiral Thigh Lift?
After a spiral thigh lift, you will have a scar along the inside of your thigh, as well as around your waist. The scar initially heals with a slightly pink color. Over time, the scar changes to a color that is slightly darker than your natural skin tone.
Ideal Candidate for a Spiral Thigh Lift
The ideal candidate for a spiral thighplasty is someone who requires extensive correction to the thighs and lower body. Additionally, patients should be comfortable with the recovery time and resulting scar.
Vertical Thigh Lift
If you have excess skin and fat from below your groin area to your knees, a vertical thigh lift may be a good option to consider. The goal of the procedure is to tighten the entire thigh region.
Vertical Thigh Lift Treatment Areas
A vertical thigh lift works to tone and shape the upper, middle, and lower thigh areas. It is recommended for individuals with sagging skin and excess fat that requires a more intensive procedure than a mini or inner thigh lift.
Expected Results of a Vertical Thigh Lift
After your vertical thigh lift, you notice that your thigh area has a shapelier appearance. The skin is contoured to your muscles, and you no longer have areas of excess fat.
Benefits of a Vertical Thigh Lift
- Ideal for people who want to improve the entire thigh area
- Provides greater correction than a mini or inner thigh lift
- Tones and tightens the upper, middle, and lower thigh area
How is a Vertical Thigh Lift Performed?
A crescent-shaped incision is made from the inner groin to the inside of the knee. The skin is pulled taut, and the incision is closed with sutures. The size of the crescent is based on the amount of correction that is needed.
What is the Potential for Scarring with a Vertical Thigh Lift?
A vertical thigh lift does produce a significant scar. Yet, it is located on the inside of the thigh where it is less noticeable.
Ideal Candidate for a Vertical Thigh Lift
The ideal candidate for a vertical thigh lift is someone who has a large amount of skin that needs to be removed. Additionally, you should be comfortable with the resulting scar.
Sagging skin and excess fat may develop only on the back of the thigh. In this case, a posterior lift may be the best option.
Posterior Lift Treatment Areas
A posterior lift targets the back of the thighs that is especially prone to sagging skin and pockets of stubborn fat. A posterior lift may also reduce cellulite on the back of the thighs.
Expected Results of a Posterior Lift
After you are fully healed from a posterior lift, the skin has a smoother appearance that is free of dimples caused by cellulite. Your thighs also look toned and contoured.
Benefits of a Posterior Lift
- Targets the back of the thighs
- Helps reduce cellulite
How is a Posterior Lift Performed?
Incision placement for a posterior lift is based on your individual anatomy and aesthetic goals. Once the incisions are made, the surgeon removes excess skin and fat. The incisions are closed with sutures.
What is the Potential for Scarring with a Posterior Lift?
Scarring is normal after a posterior lift. The location of the scars depends on where the incisions are made.
Ideal Candidate for a Posterior Lift
The ideal candidate for a posterior lift has sagging skin, excess fat, and cellulite that is localized to the back of the thighs. You should also understand the recovery process and be comfortable with the resulting scars.
Thigh Lift with Liposuction
Combining a thigh lift with liposuction produces the most dramatic improvement in thigh shape. It removes excess skin and fat, including smaller pockets of isolated fat.
Thigh Lift with Liposuction Treatment Areas
All thigh lift techniques can be combined with liposuction. The most common areas for thighplasty with liposuction are the thighs, knees, buttocks, hips, and waist.
Expected Results of a Thigh Lift with Liposuction
Expect to have smoother skin and a more toned appearance after your thighplasty with liposuction. The surgeon used liposuction to remove and sculpt the fat to create a contoured appearance.
Benefits of a Thigh Lift with Liposuction
- Removes pockets of stubborn fat
- Sculpts the thigh area
- May include neighboring problem areas, such as the knees, hips, and buttocks
How is a Thigh Lift with Liposuction Performed?
A thigh lift with liposuction involves two general steps. First, the surgeon uses a technique to remove the majority of the excess skin and fat. Second, the surgeon uses liposuction to remove smaller, more targeted areas of fat. Patients should understand that the addition of liposuction may require additional incisions.
What is the Potential for Scarring with a Thigh Lift with Liposuction?
Thigh lifts may produce significant scars, and the surgeon uses techniques that hide the scars as much as possible. The same incisions may be used for liposuction, or the surgeon may make several smaller incisions to access the fat layer.
Ideal Candidate for a Thigh Lift with Liposuction
Combining thighplasty with liposuction is ideal for people who want shapelier thighs. Candidates typically have isolated bulges of fat on their thighs.
Side Effects and Recovery from a Thigh Lift
As with any type of surgery, there is a risk of unwanted side effects associated with thighplasty. The possible side effects vary based on the thighplasty technique and the extent of the surgery. More extensive thigh lifts have a higher risk of side effects, such as blood clots, infection, abnormal scarring, and bleeding. These procedures also require a longer recovery period and more intensive aftercare. These procedures also produce the most dramatic improvement.
The reverse is true for less invasive thighplasty procedures, such as a mini thigh lift. Lower invasive techniques typically feature a reduced risk of unwanted side effects while requiring less downtime.
For more information on recovering from thigh lift surgery please see this blog post