Improvement of the appearance of the thigh generally focuses on 3 main goals:
- Removal of unwanted fat collections
- Treatment of loose or lax thigh skin
- Correction of cellulite
Fat collections within the thigh can be circumferential or may be localized to a specific areas, such as the lateral thighs (“saddlebags”), upper-inner thighs, or the lower inner knee areas. In general, localized fat collections can be addressed with liposuction.
Laser-assisted liposuction, such as SmartLipo, is particularly helpful in the upper-inner thighs, and knee areas, as the laser energy can be used to tighten the skin as well as melt the fat to be suctioned. This helps to prevent wrinkling of the thin skin of the upper thigh and knee areas that can occur after liposuction alone. When larger volumes of fat are removed, such as after large volume circumferential liposuction of the thighs or after massive weight loss, then surgical treatment of loose skin may be indicated. This is treated with direct excision of skin to tighten the remaining skin.
Loose skin in the upper-inner thigh can be removed with a small, crescent-shaped incision up in the bikini line or a small T-shaped incision in the upper-inner thigh. For larger thigh-lifts, such as are required after massive weight loss, a full, traditional thigh-lift uses an incision that runs up the medial portion of the thigh from the knee to the bikini line. This may be done with or without liposuction to the anterior of the lateral thigh. Excess or sagging skin in the lateral thigh can be removed with a “lateral thigh-lift” utilizing a scar that runs in the bikini line just below the buttock area.
“Dr. Carpenter is AMAZING!!! He knows what he is doing and he listens to all of your concerns. I am only 6 hours out and I can clearly see a difference! I cannot say enough wonderful things about him, I highly recommend him!!!”
A new and exciting area of thigh contouring utilizes the “Precision Tx” fiber-optic laser to contour the lower thigh just above the knee. Many women are plagued with excess wrinkling of the skin of the knee area and this has been difficult to treat with traditional excisional techniques in the past. Laser tightening of the skin in this area can yield significantly improved results for the appearance of the knee region.
Cellulaze is the only FDA approved treatment for long-term correction of cellulite in the buttock and thighs. The procedure is done under local anesthesia and usually only one treatment is needed to see results. The procedure uses laser energy to actually change the anatomy of the fatty and fibrous tissue under the skin that gives rise to cellulite. Results are long-lasting.