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 consult a plastic surgeon who is board certified
or has completed a residency program that includes
instruction in this procedure
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.
How is thigh liposculpture performed?
Before surgery, the surgeon 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. If you are not undergoing general
anesthesia, you may be given a sedative for relaxation.
During the procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision
in the skin, typically in or near the buttock crease
or at the site of a previous scar, and inserts a thin
tube called a cannula into the fatty area. The cannula
is used to break up the fat deposits and sculpt the
area to the desired proportions. The unwanted fat
is removed with a high pressure vacuum, leaving the
skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels intact.
In the super-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.
The tumescent technique involves injecting a solution
with a local anesthetic into the areas to be treated
prior to suctioning. An incision is made near the
area from which the fat is to be removed; and a specially
designed surgical tube, called a cannula, is placed
through the incision into the fat. The cannula is
attached by flexible tubing to a vacuum pump that
removes the fat by suction as the cannula is manipulated
beneath the skin. Compared to other conventional liposuction
techniques, the tumescent technique is more precise
and accurate. This procedure minimizes blood loss,
removes more fat and has a faster recovery time.
A relatively new method, ultrasound-assisted liposuction
(UAL), uses sound waves to liquefy the fat after the
injection of fluids. Like the super-wet and tumescent
techniques, UAL minimizes trauma, bruising and blood
loss. UAL also minimizes trauma, causing less bruising
and blood loss. It is particularly useful on difficult-to-treat
fibrous areas of the body, such as the male chest,
the upper abdomen, and the upper back.
Your surgeon will choose the best technique for you.
His/her choice will be determined by a combination
of factors, including the precise area to be treated,
the amount of fat to be removed, his/her training
and experience, as well as your personal preferences.
How long does thigh liposculpture
The procedure generally takes one to two hours per
thigh to complete.
What type of anesthesia is used?
Thigh liposculpture is usually performed using local
anesthesia along with a light sedative to make you
feel drowsy and relaxed. General anesthesia may also
be used, causing you to be asleep during the whole
Where is the procedure performed?
Thigh liposculpture is usually performed on an outpatient
basis, in the surgeon's office-based surgical suite,
an outpatient surgery center or hospital.
When can I return home and resume
There is no hospital stay required and normal activities
may be resumed within several days.
How do I prepare for thigh liposculpture?
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will
discuss the changes that you would like to make to
your appearance. Since the appearance of your thighs
is a matter of personal perception and preference,
you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so
your surgeon can determine the appropriate alternatives.
You also should make arrangements ahead of time for
someone to drive you to and from your procedure and
to assist you with your daily activities during your
Prior to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will
perform a complete health history and physical examination
to evaluate your overall weight, your skin and muscle
tone and the overall distribution of fat deposits.
In particular your surgeon will ask you about any
problems you have had with high blood pressure, blood
clotting or a tendency to develop large scars.
Knowledge of your allergies, medications and previous
surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention
at this time. Specific instructions to assist you
in preparing for this procedure will be given to you
after the health history and physical is complete.
Depending on your individual health status, the instructions
may include guidelines regarding your diet, alcohol
intake, smoking and which medications to take or avoid.
Your experience will be much smoother if you remain
compliant with your surgeon's instructions.
What precautions are necessary
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,
your surgeon will probably tell you to begin light
activity as soon as possible.
It's important to continue wearing the compression
garment, which should be easily hidden under your
clothing, until your doctor tells you that it is no
What are the possible complications
after thigh liposculpture?
After surgery, some patients experience dimpling,
lumpiness, numbness, scarring, discoloration, or sagging
skin in the treated area. Follow-up surgery may be
needed to correct these problems.
UAL liposuction may cause friction burns to the skin
or to the internal organs.
No procedure is without risks; however, the majority
of complications known to be associated with a breast
lift are minor when the procedure is performed by
an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. It
is always important to be informed about the possible
complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss
any concerns you may have with your surgeon.
What results can I expect after
For the first couple of days, your legs will be stiff
and sore. In addition, you may experience some pain,
burning, swelling, bleeding or temporary numbness.
Your surgeon will prescribe medication to alleviate
Your surgeon may prescribe an antibiotic ointment
to prevent infection at the incision sites. Your stitches
will be removed in a week to 10 days, unless they
dissolve on their own. You will be fitted with a compression
band to cut down on swelling and to hold your buttocks
in its new shape until the tissues have adjusted.
Since the normal aging process affects the firmness
and elasticity of the skin, older patients may not
experience results as dramatic as those typically
achieved in younger patients. 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
Most people are pleased with the new contour of their
thighs and often feel a boost in energy and self-confidence.
Choosing the right surgeon
To obtain further information regarding thigh liposculpture,
we advise you to consult with a qualified and experienced
board-certified plastic surgeon. Regardless of the
type of procedure you are considering, it is crucial
to choose the right surgeon for your individual goals.
To receive a complimentary consultation with a specialist
in your area, simply fill out our Online
Referral Form or call Toll