Ask Dr. Pane: Am I A Candidate For Thigh Lift?
Prospective patients seek out cosmetic surgery for a number of reasons:
- to forestall the ravages of time and aging;
- to remediate issues arising from illness, accidents and birth defects;
- to correct body changes after pregnancy or radical weight gain and loss;
- to achieve a physical appearance which they find more pleasing
To name just a few. There are really no “wrong” reasons to seek out cosmetic surgery, but some patients may get better results than others. In some cases, the procedure a patient wants may not be the best solution for their needs. One example is the focus of this week’s Ask Dr. Pane segment. The viewer, from the Miami area, asks, “Am I a candidate for thigh lift?”
Dr. Pane reviewed the photographs the viewer included. The patient has a slender build and, according to her notes, is unhappy with the “gluteal crease,” which in this case Dr. Pane believes refers to the horizontal fold of skin directly beneath the buttocks rather than the vertical crease. She did not disclose her age or whether she has experienced weight gain or loss, both of which might be positive factors for indicating a thigh lift may be needed.
Normally, a thigh lift is done when the patient has exaggerated looseness of the skin around the upper thighs. In this situation, Dr. Pane says he saw no evidence that this is the case, although he does note as always that photographs are never a substitute for an in-person clinical evaluation. The patient’s overall slender build further contraindicates the need for a thigh lift, leading him to wonder if the patient is actually referring to a Brazilian butt lift, which is a very different procedure, because the patient states she wants a better-defined posterior with more volume. A thigh lift will not assist with adding definition to the buttocks, although it may help tighten up the area in question, but a Brazilian butt lift would. While Dr. Pane is not ruling out a thigh lift altogether, he does not feel the patient would find this procedure the optimal choice.
Dr. Pane says when a patient has the choice between implants and a fat transfer to achieve the desired shape and volume, the fat transfer is almost always better. Because the fat is being harvested from the patient’s own body, there is far less chance of rejection and other complications than may occur from an implant. This is not to say that implants are universally bad or never the right choice! Sometimes they are, especially if a patient does not have sufficient subcutaneous fat deposits to make harvesting their own fat for transfer a feasible option.
In this situation, Dr. Pane recommends the patient consider a liposuction/fat transfer. Because she is rather thin and therefore has less margin for error based on her body type, he strongly cautions choosing the surgeon who will perform the procedure with a great deal of care. Many cosmetic surgeons will refuse to attempt fat transfer on patients with certain builds. In the past, Atlantic Coast Aesthetics has been able to successfully perform fat transfers on many patients whom other surgeons turned away, although this is by no means applicable to all cases.
Another point patients should always keep in mind is that when performing any kind of surgery, there will inevitably be some scarring. While these scars may be minimized or concealed to a degree, depending upon their placement on the body, it is not possible to perform “scarless” surgery. Therefore, the patient will want to consider the anticipated scarring carefully and determine whether they are comfortable with it, both clothed and disrobed, before proceeding. While scar remediation is possible to a certain degree, scars never quite fade entirely, and some patients find results which look amazing in regular street clothing or even a bathing suit make them self-conscious when unclothed in front of an intimate partner. Evaluation of what a given patient might expect in terms of scarring is based on a number of factors, and is best left for a clinical consultation where the doctor and patient can examine the areas of concern together in person.
If you have a question, concern or interest regarding any facet of cosmetic surgery, the staff of Atlantic Coast Aesthetics is always glad to take some time to “talk shop.” Simply email us through our contact page; call us at (561) 422-4116; or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Your question might even be the focus of an upcoming Ask Dr. Pane segment, helping us to educate and inform others while giving you the straight talk you want and need to make an informed decision. Remember, at ACA, we believe the only bad question is the one you don’t ask!
*Individual results may vary