Fatty deposits on the inner and outer thighs are especially resistant to diet and exercise. In fact, this is the most common area of the body for liposuction. The overall proportions of the body may be unbalanced. In these cases, liposuction can successfully trim the excess fat in the thighs to achieve a more attractive balance and symmetry to the body.
Liposuction is a technique for reshaping the body by permanently removing localized fat deposits. Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed procedures in cosmetic plastic surgery. Fatty deposits on the inner and outer thighs are especially resistant to diet and exercise. Many patients become discouraged at having lost unwanted pounds without seeing a significant change in the lower body.
The overall proportions of the body may be unbalanced. In these cases, liposuction can successfully trim the excess fat in the thighs to achieve a more attractive balance and symmetry to the body. In fact, this is the most common area of the body for liposuction. If you’re considering thigh liposuction, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure. For more detailed information about how this procedure may help you, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with Dr. Kremer.
Frequently asked questions about Thigh Liposuction by Dr. Michael A. Kremer:
A newly trim lower body can provide a psychological lift and an extra incentive to exercise regularly to maintain fitness. Many patients express relief at not being bothered by chafing in the thigh area, and they also find that clothes tend to fit them better.
During the consultation, you and Dr. Kremer will discuss the changes that you would like to make in your appearance. He will explain the different options available to you, the procedure itself, and its risks and limitations as well as the kind of anesthesia required.
Dr. Kremer will begin with a physical examination to evaluate your overall weight, your skin and muscle tone, and the fat deposits in various parts of your body. He will also take a medical history, including any medications that you are currently taking. A careful history of your weight, diet and exercise is important as well.
Keep in mind that the higher your goals, the more you will have to do to achieve those goals. If you are just concerned about removing fat, liposuction alone will achieve that goal. But if you want an athletic, sculpted look, and you want to look great in a bikini, you may need to incorporate extensive exercise into your plan.
Be sure to ask all the questions you have about the procedure. Learning everything you can about your options, risks and benefits is the key to making an informed decision.
Before surgery, Dr. Kremer will mark the precise areas of the body where the fat is to be removed. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted in a vein in your arm to make sure the fluid level in your body remains in balance.
During the procedure, Dr. Kremer makes tiny incisions in the skin, typically near the buttock crease and over the lateral thighs, and inserts thin tubes called cannulas into the fatty areas. The cannulas are used to break up the fat deposits and sculpt the area to the desired proportions. There are a number of different cannulas available today that differ in length, diameter and the shape of their tips. The unwanted fat is suctioned out with a powerful vacuum, leaving the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels intact.
In the tumescent technique ("wet technique"), a saline solution containing a local anesthetic and adrenaline is injected into the area to be treated, which makes the fat deposits easier to break up and extract. This extra fluid also minimizes trauma to the surrounding tissue, reducing swelling and post-operative pain. The administration of adrenaline also decreases bleeding during surgery, further reducing risks.
An earlier method of liposuction, called dry liposuction because no liquefying agent was used, required general anesthesia. This technique is not in frequent use today and is not used by Dr. Kremer.
The technique Dr. Kremer will choose for your operation will be determined by a combination of factors, including the precise area to be treated, the amount of fat to be removed, or the quality of your skin.
On average, the procedure takes 1-2 hours per area treated.
If you have no medical problems, and the amount of fat being removed is fairly small, the procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, either in Dr. Kremer's office or in an outpatient clinic. You may be allowed to return home within a few hours of the surgery, and spend the night in the comfort of your own home.
If you're having a large amount of fat removed, concurrent procedures, or a lengthier procedure performed under general anesthesia, it may be necessary to spend the night in the hospital so your recovery process can be monitored by a medical staff.
If the procedure is done with a local anesthetic supplemented by a light sedative, the pain experienced is minimal, although you may feel pressure, movement, or a vibrating sensation. More sedation will further reduce sensations, and general anesthesia will eliminate all sensation.
For a day or two, you can expect to feel tired, as though your body has been through a workout. Your legs will be stiff and store, and you may experience some pain, burning, swelling, or temporary numbness. Dr. Kremer will prescribe medication to relieve this initial discomfort.
You will be fitted with a tight compression garment to be worn for up to six weeks after your surgery. This specially designed garment will help reduce pain and swelling, and help your body settle into its new shape.
Most of the bruising and swelling should subside within three weeks. To speed the healing process and to reduce the likelihood of post-operative complications, Dr. Kremer will probably tell you to begin light activity as soon as possible. You should be able to return to work within a few days if your work is fairly sedentary. You should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks as your body heals, but within 6 weeks you should be able to resume all normal activities.
In some patients - depending on the individual skin quality - Dr. Kremer may find it indicated to initiate a postoperative treatment with Endermology™. This external treatment will be continued for several weeks over at least 30 minutes per session and aids in quicker reduction of postoperative swelling as well as formation of a smoother skin surface.
It's important to continue wearing the compression garment, which should be easily hidden under your clothing, until Dr. Kremer tells you that it is no longer necessary.
You should see the visible results of your surgery within two or three weeks, but the full effects may not be evident for six months to a year. The more fat that you had removed, the longer it will take to achieve optimal results, because the skin has to adapt to a more radical change in shape.
Most people are pleased with the new contour of their thighs and often feel a boost in energy and self-confidence.
The fat cells are permanently removed by liposuction, so you will not regain weight in that area. It is important to note, however, that thigh liposuction does not guarantee that you won't gain weight or accumulate fat deposits in other areas of your body.
In general, the best candidates for thigh liposuction:
- Have specific fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise
- Have had no previous surgery in the area where liposuction is desired
- Have firm, elastic skin
- Do not have frequent fluctuations in weight
- Desire reshaping and not weight loss
- Do not have significant medical problems such as diabetes, heart or lung disease, or poor circulation
- Are psychologically stable
- Do not smoke
- Are accepting of any limitations, as discussed with surgeon.
- Are well informed about the procedure
- Hold realistic expectations about the outcome
The above is only a partial list of the criteria that Dr. Kremer will consider in determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you.
Since the normal aging process affects the firmness and elasticity of the skin, older patients may not achieve quite the same results as younger patients.
Thigh liposuction is often performed in conjunction with buttock liposuction.
Although liposuction is the most commonly performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedure worldwide, and the majority of these operations are successful, there are risks and limitations to the procedure, as with any surgery.
After surgery, some patients experience dimpling, lumpiness, numbness, scarring, discoloration, or sagging skin in the treated area.
More serious complications include blood clots, infection, excessive fluid loss leading to shock, and fluid build-up in the lungs. A combination of the following factors is associated with an increased risk of serious complications:
- The removal of large amounts of fat
- More than one procedure being performed at the same time
- The use of general anesthesia
In order to minimize these risks, it is important that you follow all of Dr. Kremer's instructions, both before and after surgery.