Q:  I think I need plastic surgery to improve the look of my thighs, but I’m not sure which procedure would be best.  My thighs are larger than would be expected for a woman my size, and they also have the appearance of rippling on the outer thigh and wrinkling on the inner thigh.  I know that I have excess fat in that area, but do I also have excess skin that would require a thigh lift?

A:  The thigh area is at times a complicated area to treat because of the irregularity of contouring as well as the irregularity of thickness of the deposits of fat in the thigh. The thigh not only is the saddlebag area but also extends around the back of the thigh under the buttock and also the medial thigh between the legs.  It is quite common to have rippling around the outer thigh since cellulite develops there causing an uneven deposit of fat in specific areas leading to the rippled “cottage cheese “ appearance.  Additionally, wrinkling may occur due to the way that excess fat pushes on the thighs outer skin.  This can lead to dimples and other visible irregularities. Many women benefit greatly from thigh liposuction.  The procedure removes fat from targeted areas and leaves the patient with a contoured, slimmer look that is more proportional to their body.  However, some women also benefit from a thigh lift, which removes and tightens excess skin around the thigh and leg.  Here are some helpful tips to determine what procedure might be best for you.

  • Consultation is key:  The first step in determining which procedure might benefit you is to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  At The Kole Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Kole is experienced in thigh liposuction and other procedures, and will be able to tell by examining the look, feel, quality and quantity of the thigh skin and fat which procedures will yield the best results.
  • Have you lost a lot of weight in your thighs?Weight loss leaves excess skin that sags and droops, and requires a thigh lift that will remove excess skin and tighten the remaining skin.  Liposuction will remove any remaining excess fat, but it does not improve the quality of the skin to any appreciable extent. If there is excess skin and fat on the lower thigh area just above the knee area and manually lifting and elevating this skin with your hand gives a better appearance to your thighs, then a thigh lift may be the answer. If when you elevate the skin and the contour improves but the thigh still looks thick or heavy, the liposuction procedure is used to decrease the volume of fat and a thigh lift is also performed in conjunction to remove excess skin.
  • Liposuction will change the contour of your thighLiposuction is a contouring technique that removes fat from specific areas under the skin.  In many cases, the procedure creates a smoother contour of the affected area, but in some cases it may contribute to more ripples, especially if the patient gains weight after the procedure.  For someone with a great deal of rippling prior to surgery, it is important to remember that more rippling is a risk with liposuction. This rippling can be minimized to a certain extent with the use of microcannulas for the fat removal.
  • Liposuction and lifts can be done together:  In cases such as this, liposuction and a thigh lift can be performed together to create the optimal result of a smooth and contoured thigh that is slimmer and more proportional.  The fat is removed through liposuction and the excess redundant skin is excised and pulled tight to create a significant visual improvement.

Dr. Kole can explain in more detail how the two procedures could be done in conjunction during your private consultation to improve the appearance of the thighs.

To find out more about thigh liposuction and lifts, contact The Kole Plastic Surgery Center at 215-315-7655.  Dr. Kole can explain the two procedures and the recovery and risks for both to help you make an informed decision.

To learn more about the liposuction procedure itself and view our before and after gallery click here