Today’s blog post is all about freedom from loose thigh skin after major weight loss Specifically, we are talking about excess skin removal with an inner thigh lift after weight loss surgery. If your thighs are rubbing together, it can be a huge relief to get rid of saggy inner thigh skin for good.
If you are struggling with excess skin after weight loss, no one needs to tell you that the saggy skin can be an issue. That is especially true since you have come so far in your journey to lose weight. While you feel a new sense of freedom, feeling “lighter” both physically and mentally, the extra skin after weight loss can sometimes be burdensome.
For those of you considering an inner thigh lift, this article has everything you need to know. This is your guide to planning a thigh lift correctly. Proper planning makes a huge difference to get a good result.
Why is sagging thigh skin after weight loss a problem?
Sagging skin after weight loss is not just a cosmetic problem. It can be a big source of discomfort for post-weight loss patients due to the inner thighs rubbing together. Chafing is common in the inner thighs. The more loose skin you have, the more uncomfortable it can feel.
Sweating, rashes and skin infection are another concern. Heat and moisture get trapped in the skin folds. This can make you feel uncomfortably hot and lead to perspiration, which can be embarrassing.
Those skin folds are also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Bacteria love warm, dark, damp places. Excess skin folds on inner thighs are no exception. This can cause skin infections and rashes. Not only are rashes unsightly, they are uncomfortable as well.
As you can see, there are many compelling reasons for inner thigh skin removal.
Inner thigh reduction
An inner thigh lift, also known as thighplasty, is a cosmetic surgery that removes sagging skin on the upper legs. It is most common for patients after getting weight loss surgery. While the body slims down drastically, the skin usually does not stretch back. This leaves loose, hanging skin on the tummy, inner thighs, arms, etc.
An inner thigh lift is usually the second cosmetic surgery for post-weight loss patients, second only to the belt lipectomy.
What happens at the inner thigh lift consultation?
When you meet Dr. Bernard Beldholm, FRACS, you are in good hands. Doctor Bernard specializes in excess skin removal and body contouring after major weight loss or pregnancy. Belt lipectomy, tummy tuck, and inner thigh leg lifts are among his most requested surgeries.
After weight loss surgery, there’s a good chance you will have loose, sagging skin on several parts of the body. Patients usually come in for a consultation to get a tummy tuck first. While you are there, you will also have a chance to address other areas that are concerning you.
After the tummy, thighs are the second most common area that patients wish to get loose skin removal surgery. Since you may need more than one surgery to remove loose skin, Doctor Bernard will provide you with information on each surgery. At the consultation, you will also learn about the full cost of the procedure(s). All your questions concerning skin removal will be answered. That way, you can make a decision about whether to get excess skin removal surgery.
At our clinic, we understand that cosmetic surgery is a big decision. Doctor Bernard’s consultation comes with no pressure or obligation to make a decision on the spot. It is all about providing you with information so you can make an informed choice about how to reach your goals.
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Planning your inner thigh lift surgery
When you think ahead to a few years from now, what do you see? If you are seeking body contouring surgery, you are probably picturing an attractive body without all that loose skin.
If you want to remove loose skin on multiple body parts, it is important to note that these are big surgeries. A tummy tuck is a 6 hour operation alone. Surgeries should be spaced apart so you have time to heal before addressing the next area. You may consider a tummy tuck or belt lipectomy, inner thigh lift, arm lift or breast work.
As Doctor Bernard explains, you may not end up doing all of them, but it’s planned out during the consultation. That way, you know where the end point is should you choose to address loose skin in other places besides the tummy.
It all takes time. But for many post-weight loss patients, the results are worth it. In the big picture of your life, a few weeks here and there recovering from surgery is a small price to pay to get the body you want.
Removing all that excess skin gives you a new lease on life. And while cosmetic surgery can be expensive, you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate to help pay for post-weight loss cosmetic surgery. It is even possible to get early access to super for plastic surgery in some cases.
Your roadmap to success
At the consultation, Doctor Bernard will listen to your concerns. After examining the areas that are bothering you, he will provide you with a roadmap to get the body you want.
Planning the next two years or so of surgeries helps you see what milestones you will reach, and when. You will also have a clear picture of when the end point is. That way, you won’t be just dreaming about a better body…you will actually have a plan to get there.
It’s usually advised to remove loose abdominal skin before an inner thigh lift
Post-weight loss patients may undergo a belt lipectomy surgery, first, and then, as a second operation, an inner thigh lift.
It’s often a big mistake to just get the inner thigh lift. Getting a belt lipectomy first helps tighten the thighs since everything gets lifted and tightened during the procedure. Skipping the belt lipectomy and going straight to an inner thigh lift means the patient will still have loose skin on the tummy and outer part of the thighs. It won’t be as good of a result.
Do I really need to get a belt lipectomy before an inner thigh lift?
For patients that have lost a substantial amount of weight thanks to weight loss surgery or extreme dieting, the answer is usually yes. A belt lipectomy is the first step to tightening both the tummy and thighs. It is very important to approach it this way.
A belt lipectomy involves a 360 degree cut and lift around the tummy area. Think of it like pulling your pants up. When Doctor Bernard pulls the lower body skin upward during the surgery, it helps tighten the tummy, outer thigh and inner thigh. That is the goal of belt lipectomy.
For some patients, a belt lipectomy provides adequate tightness and lift to the thigh area that they may not want to get inner thigh lift surgery. If there is still loose skin on the legs three months after belt lipectomy, you may choose to move forward with an inner thigh lift.
Usually, Doctor Bernard waits at least three months after a belt lipectomy. This gives your body a chance to heal. From there, he can assess the inner thighs.
The belt lipectomy is a big operation. The surgery is six hours long. There is a bit of recovery time involved. It’s probably one of the biggest operations out of all the post-weight loss operations. So it is important to take that time to recover before doing an inner thigh lift.
I just want an inner thigh lift. What can I do?
For post-weight loss, the majority of patients want to remove tummy skin first, and then get rid of excess thigh skin. Yet not all patients that come in to see Doctor Bernard for excess inner thigh skin need work on the tummy as well.
Fat distribution varies from person to person. Upon losing weight, bottom-heavy patients may be left with loose skin on the inner thigh area alone. While this is rare, it can happen. In this case, Doctor Bernard will consider an inner thigh lift as the first operation, skipping the belt lipectomy.
However, 99% of the time patients that lose 30-40 kilos or more will have loose abdominal skin and inner thigh skin. In this case, a belt lipectomy followed by an inner thigh lift may be recommended.
I just need inner thigh fat removal. Is an inner thigh lift right for me?
An inner thigh lift is not the only surgery that improves the inner thighs. For example, young mothers that have lost weight after pregnancy may have excess fat in the thigh area that won’t budge even with diet and exercise.
This is not the type of substantial weight loss as someone with lap band, gastric bypass, or sleeve gastrectomy surgery. She may just have a bulge in the inner thigh area that remains after losing the pregnancy weight. For them, liposuction may be all that is needed. Doctor Bernard uses the latest liposuction technology to help slim the inner thighs.
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Inner thigh lift techniques
There are a few ways to remove loose inner thigh skin.
Thigh lift basics: What happens during surgery?
An inner thigh lift operation takes three hours. The goal is to tighten loose skin and reduce inner thigh fat.
First, Doctor Bernard performs extensive liposuction in the thigh area to remove stubborn pockets of fat. Then, the loose skin is trimmed away and the incision is carefully stitched closed. For post-weight loss patients, two kilos or more of loose skin is removed on average.
Doctor Bernard has been performing inner thigh lifts for more than 12 years. As a specialist body contouring surgeon for post-weight loss and post-pregnancy, he has researched and performed thigh lifts with a variety of techniques. This has enabled him to perfect his thigh lift technique to give patients great results.
The two most common techniques are: vertical inner thigh lift and T-junction inner thigh lift.
Vertical thigh lift
This is Doctor Bernard’s preferred surgery. After healing from belt lipectomy, an inner thigh lift with a vertical incision and thigh liposuction is done.
A vertical incision on the inner thigh with liposuction provides an excellent recovery with minimal adverse side effects. Post-op care is simple and the incision usually heals quite easily.
The downside with a vertical incision is that it does not have a skin lifting effect. That is why it is important to get a belt lipectomy first. Doing so helps with inner thigh tightening and lifting.
T-junction inner thigh lift
The T-junction is another common thigh lift technique. This involves an incision in the groin area. The incision then extends down the inner thigh, toward the knee. It sounds simple enough, but there can be problems with this approach, particularly for female patients.
Performing a groin incision can cause the labia to spread apart in a way that is not cosmetically desirable. If this occurs, it is almost impossible to fix. Avoiding the T-junction incision is used to avoid that problem.
Second, a T-shaped incision means there is an area on both sides of that T that will have a reduced blood supply. Research shows that maintaining a good blood supply to the surgical site reduces complications and makes healing easier.
With a T-junction, there is a higher chance of wound break down, poor healing and a longer recovery time. For those reasons, Doctor Bernard prefers the vertical incision instead of the T-junction.
With more than 12 years of fine-tuning his inner thigh lift technique, it is Doctor Bernard’s medical opinion that post-weight loss patients often do better with a belt lipectomy first, then an inner thigh lift with a vertical incision and liposuction.
This approach isn’t one size fits all. Each patient is unique. The surgery will be tailored to your exact cosmetic concerns and goals. It all starts with a consultation and creating an individualized surgical plan to improve your body post-weight loss with as few surgeries as possible.