Have you been working hard exercising and eating right but not seeing the desired results? Obtaining optimal results in the thigh and buttocks area can be extremely difficult – especially with aging and the loss of skin elasticity. So how do you know which procedure may be best for you? We recommend consulting with your plastic surgeon on your desired results to determine which procedure is best for you and your body.

A thigh lift and a butt lift are similar plastic surgery procedures in the way that both discard excess skin and underlying tissues. Both procedures are the most suitable plastic surgery options for patients that crave a more youthful and toned looking appearance. However, if your goal is weight loss, your plastic surgeon will most likely recommend maximizing diet and exercise until you are close enough to your goal weight prior to a thigh lift or possibly liposuction alone. A thigh lift could be the recommended route if you want to improve the appearance of your thighs. A butt lift is a simple procedure to perfect the look and shape of the buttocks.

The Butt Lift or “Buttock Lift”

Are you happy with your current body weight and looking to tighten and enhance your buttocks and outer thighs? Experts at Perimeter Plastic Surgery will remove the excess skin and fat to improve the look of your outer thighs and buttocks. This is often done in patients who have already had or can be combined with a tummy tuck. The procedure uses a combination of liposuction and removal of excess skin and fat to give a better contour and profile to the outer thighs and buttock areas. This can be done as an outpatient procedure and takes about two hours.

The Thigh Lift 

Also known as a medial thigh lift, this procedure is designed for patients who have excess skin in the inner thighs. This is often combined with liposuction to the area to thin excess fat and then the excess skin is removed either with a groin scar concealed in the groin crease or a vertical scar along the inner thigh depending on the amount and location of the excess skin. This can be done as an outpatient and takes about two hours.

Recovery

Once you are satisfied with your procedure, it is important to recover properly. After a thigh lift, it is common to feel sore and notice bruising and swelling. With both lifts, you may experience irritation and soreness. Our experts at Perimeter Plastic Surgery will converse with you about proper medications to take for the pain. Wearing compression garments will assist in the tightening of the skin in both areas. After receiving a thigh lift, it can be as long as three to five weeks to notice the swelling and soreness to go down. After receiving a butt lift, you will be instructed to avoid sitting down for at least one week. The swelling may take up to six weeks to go down with a butt lift.

Realistically, loose or sagging skin may not be limited only to the thigh area, and for that reason, thigh lifts are often combined with other body contouring procedures to address sagging skin in those areas (buttocks, tummy, arms, etc.). Procedures often combined with thigh lifts include arm lifts, breast lifts, butt lifts, liposuction or tummy tuck. Keep in mind there is a limit to how many procedures can be performed at the same time, so patients must decide which areas are most important to address. (This is for safety reasons—to ensure patients aren’t under general anesthesia for too long, and to minimize the risk of complications during surgery and recovery.) Of course, many people are primarily concerned with their thighs and choose to have only a thigh lift as a stand-alone procedure, and that is perfectly fine.

thigh lift

Who’s a Good Candidate?

The best candidates for thigh lifts are people with sagging or excess skin on their thighs, along with persistent fat or cellulite. Often men or women opt for a thigh lift following extreme weight loss. Generally, patients who benefit most from this procedure are people who are at a stable and healthy body weight; are in overall good health; and do not smoke. The patient should have realistic goals for his or her surgery, and be willing to cope with the recovery process after the operation.

While a thigh lift can dramatically improve the appearance of the thighs, it may not be the right solution for everyone. If you are seriously overweight, a thigh lift may not provide you with the results you need and want; a diet and exercise program may be the answer. Or, if you are primarily interested in reduction of fatty deposits, liposuction may be the best procedure for you, as it is specifically designed for removing areas of stubborn fat, and is less invasive than thigh lift surgery.

What to Expect During Thigh Lift Surgery
Thigh lift surgery can take anywhere from two to four hours, using either general or local anesthesia. Exactly how long the procedure takes and what type of anesthesia is utilized depends on the complexity of the thigh lift and whether additional procedures are being done.

thigh lift resultsWhen performing a standard thigh lift, Dr. Deutsch generally starts by making an incision. The exact length and placement of the incision varies, depending on the aesthetic goals of the patient. Often the incision is made inside the thigh where the leg meets the groin; other times the incision extends from the groin around to the back of the body. Incisions are placed as discreetly as possible, so patients will be able to wear their bathing suits in the future without any scarring being visible.

Once the incision is made, Dr. Deutsch removes pockets of excess fat and trims away extra skin. The remaining skin is then repositioned and gently placed back over the thigh until it is taut. Stitches are then used to close the incision. Next, dressings and bandages are applied, and surgical drainage tubes are placed to remove any fluid that accumulates. The patient will also be fitted with compression garments (one on each thigh) to promote proper healing.

Recovery After Thigh Lift Surgery
Following your thigh lift, Dr. Deutsch will send you home to rest, with your drainage tubes in place (these will be removed at a follow-up visit with Dr. Deutsch about two or three days after the operation). If you have undergone a more extensive thigh lift or a combination procedure, you may need to stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 nights before being sent home.

The compression garment you were given after the surgery will need to be worn for the next couple of weeks to minimize swelling and help support your tissues as they heal. Even so, you will experience some swelling, along with bruising, feelings of tightness and pain, all of which will subside on their own and can be managed with prescribed pain medication.

Dr. Deutsch will send you home with specific instructions for your recovery. He may advise you to keep your legs elevated to help reduce swelling, and to start doing some slow walking about two days after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work one or two weeks after surgery. Full recovery may take 4 to 6 weeks, at which at time normal physical activities can be resumed.

Your New Look
You will be able to see some of the results of your thigh lift almost immediately after the operation. However, you probably won’t see the full results until the bruising heals and the swelling completely subsides, and that may take a couple of months. Although some scarring will remain, your final results will be dramatic. Your thighs will be smoother, tighter, more sculpted, and in better proportion with the rest of your body. Any dimples, saddlebags or cellulite that you were embarrassed about before, will be gone.

The results of a thigh lift can be permanent, as long as patients maintain a fairly stable weight and healthy lifestyle following the surgery. Of course, a thigh lift can’t stop the natural aging process, so some minor loss of firmness in the years that follow are inevitable.

Want to Learn More?
Get the answers you need during a complimentary thigh lift consultation with Atlanta area plastic surgeon, Dr. Mark Deutsch. Contact Perimeter Plastic Surgery by phone at 404-255-0886 to schedule your consultation, or fill out our online appointment request form. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will schedule your consultation at your earliest convenience.