Liposuction of the Thighs
Liposuction of the thighs can be divided into four parts: the inner thigh and knee, the outer thigh, the front thigh, and the posterior or back thigh. Tumescent liposuction, which is performed with very fine instruments called microcannulas, is particularly well suited for treating the thighs because it can provide smooth, natural results even in areas that are typically avoided by practitioners of traditional liposuction.
Many patients who opt for liposuction of the inner thighs have inner thighs that touch or rub together, which can be uncomfortable and make clothing fit poorly. It is important in most cases to treat the inner knee at the same time as the inner thigh because more fat can be removed, slimming the thigh more effectively, and because a smoother contour of the inner thigh can be achieved. Neglecting the inner knee can often lead to disproportionate inner knees after inner thigh liposuction.
Outer thigh liposuction is very effective at reducing the 'saddle bag' appearance that many patients find distressing. The most common female fat distribution pattern involves mostly the hips and thighs, which is why hip and outer thigh liposuction are so popular. Reducing the fat in these areas can effect a more sleek contour and help to reduce the pear-shaped appearance associated with the female fat distribution pattern. With the special positioning pillows that are part of the tumescent liposuction technique pioneered by Dr. Jeffrey Klein, the outer thighs as well as the inner thighs can be reduced while maintaining in a beautiful, natural manner.
The front thigh is an area that, to this day, is avoided by most liposuction surgeons because the large cannulas used in traditional liposuction can leave skin irregularities that are aesthetically unacceptable. Through the use of microcannulas, tumescent liposuction is capable of reducing the front thigh without leaving irregularities of the skin. Though some patients would benefit from liposuction of the entire thigh, it is recommended to limit liposuction of the thighs to two to three parts to prevent complications. Indeed, this dedication to safety is why tumescent liposuction has such an excellent safety record, with major complications being practically unheard of.
Patients with very disproportionate thighs will sometimes be best served by adding liposuction of the posterior or back thighs to their selection of areas to be treated. In particular, there is an area of fat just below the buttocks known as the banana-form fold. This area must be treated with caution, as excessive liposuction in this area can cause a double gluteal fold. This area usually has contributions from both the inner and outer thigh fat compartments and is typically treated simultaneously with these areas. The rest of the posterior thigh can be liposuctioned as needed to blend in with the rest of the thigh.
It is important to realize that liposuction is not a cure nor an appropriate treatment for obesity. Although most patients have thigh fat and can experience a reduction in thigh circumference with liposuction, obese patients are likely to have enlarged thigh muscles, which will mean liposuction will make less of a difference than they would like. A consultation in person is the only way to determine whether thigh liposuction would produce a beneficial change to body contour.
An ideal candidate for liposuction has been at a normal, stable body weight for at least 2 years and is physically fit and healthy. Other people, including some who are obese, can be reasonable candidates for the procedure as long as they are not likely to increase their body weight further and as long as their expectations are in line with what liposuction can be reasonably expected to achieve.