Outer Thigh Lift (Lateral or Bilateral)

What Is An Outer Thigh Lift?

An outer thigh lift is often referred to as an lateral thigh lift or a bilateral thigh lift but surgeons use all these terms to describe a surgical procedure that is done to remove excess skin, large skin folds, and excess fat from the outer thigh area and sometimes extending around to the front of the thigh as well.

It is often performed to correct conditions that are left after a massive weight loss and to provide the patient with thinner more naturally proportionate and contoured thighs.

It is important to point out that a lateral thigh lift is one of the most difficult thigh lift surgeries to perform. The skin and fat that are located on the outer thigh area are heavier and denser and require an elevated area of expertise.

Illustration: Different types of thigh lifts
Illustration: Different types of thigh lifts

Who Is A Candidate For Lateral Thighplasty?

If you have lost a considerable amount of weight through bariatric surgery or other means, and have loose skin, uneven fat deposits, skin rolls, or other issues along your outer thighs, a lateral (outer) thigh lift may be right for you.

Candidates for a lateral thigh lift:

  • Are close to or within range of their target weight;
  • Are generally healthy;
  • Do not smoke;
  • Are not suffering from conditions that would prevent them from undergoing surgery;
  • Have loose, excess skin and fat located on their outer thighs;
  • Have lost a massive amount of weight and are left with loose skin inhibiting their daily routine;
  • Have a positive outlook and realistic expectations of the results.

How Is A Lateral Thigh Lift Done?

An outer thigh lift is performed under general anesthesia.

Most lateral thigh lifts begin with the surgeon performing liposuction on the outer thigh and removing excess fat. The liposuction procedure begins with the injection of tumescent fluid that contains adrenaline which helps to mitigate bleeding and bruising. In addition to removing the unwanted fat, power-assisted liposuction helps the surgeon to more easily remove other unwanted tissue during the surgery.

Next, the surgeon makes an incision from the groin and around the front of the thigh to the side of the hip. Excess skin is removed and the remainder of the skin is pulled taut and sutured into place. The surgeon may place drains in the incision site to help alleviate swelling during the healing process and then stabilize the incision and drains with surgical tape.

The patient’s thighs will be wrapped with a special compression garment that will be worn continuously for several weeks to foster proper healing.

Combining A Lateral Thigh Lift With Other Surgery

Patients often wish to combine surgical body contouring procedures to maximize their results.

During an outer thigh lift, the incision can be extended to continue around under the fold directly below the buttocks to combine a butt lift with a lateral thigh lift.

A lateral thigh lift can also be combined with an inner thigh lift to create overall proportionate thighs. This is often done for patients who have lost a lot of weight and have a significant amount of loose, saggy skin in the upper thigh area.

Recovery From Outer Thigh Lift

The recovery time for an outer thigh lift will be based on the extent of the surgery, unique patient circumstances, and whether combined with other procedures. Most patients typically recover in about eight weeks from lateral thigh lift surgery.

Outer thigh lifts require an additional measure of caution during recovery because the skin and fat located on the outer thigh are dense and heavy. Care must be taken to avoid applying excess force on your incision sites as this may cause them to separate.

Patients will be discharged with a prescription for pain medication to help manage any discomfort and possibly antibiotics to prevent the risk of infection.

Swelling is normal and usually is worse during the first three or four days but patients are advised to keep their legs elevated to help keep swelling down as much as possible. The swelling will subside gradually over the next two to six weeks.

It is important to follow all of the individualized aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon including drain care, compression garment usage, medication schedules, etc.

Your surgeon will also advise you when you are able to return to work and resume normal activity.

Bilateral Thigh Lift Results

Generally, patients have noticeable results from an outer thigh lift immediately. Especially patients who have a massive amount of loose skin or fat deposits due to weight loss surgery.

The results will become more evident after the swelling subsides and it may be several months before the final results of an outer thigh lift are visible.

If you have lost weight and are now bothered by loose, saggy, or large folds of skin on your outer thigh, contact SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics today and set up a consultation. Dr. Angelina Postoev is a triple-board certified cosmetic surgeon and is one of the only experts in the United States who specializes in outer thigh lift surgery.

Dr. Angelina utilizes the avulsion technique using a special liposuction procedure during thigh lift surgery to minimize the risk of lymphedema.

To learn more about lateral thigh lift surgery and if it is an option for you, contact SurgiCare Arts today. You and your more youthful, smoother thighs will be glad you did!

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