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Thigh Liposuction and All its Many Wonders...

Author: Letty's Staff Writer

Next to abdominal liposuction, thigh liposuction (for women in particular) is extremely popular.

This is one area that women laser focus on to improve their looks when they go to the gym every day. And don't get me wrong – you should most definitely start at the gym when considering losing fat, and toning the body.

Diet and exercise is the best over-all approach to making the body healthier and more attractive.

But what if diet and exercise don't address my tricky spots?

Then a good option for those who have small troublesome areas on their thighs is to consider liposuction. Liposuction can take a generally toned thigh and make it more proportional and pleasing to the eye.

Let's talk about liposuction for thighs.

Should I be considering liposuction of the thighs?

This is how I envision the decision process for deciding whether or not to have thigh liposuction:

First, you lose all of the excess weight that bothers you with diet and exercise.

Then depending on the presence of hanging skin (both inelastic and over-stretched) you may consider a lift procedure, or other skin tightening procedure. Skin tightening procedures generally involve more invasive surgery. But lift surgeries correct problems that liposuction cannot address.

Then lastly you consider liposuction, in conjunction with a lift procedure or as a stand-alone.

A good candidate for liposuction is an overall healthy individual with good skin elasticity, and who is close to an ideal range for body weight.

Is liposuction for me if I'm overweight?

I actually think this a good question.

The seemingly obvious answer to the "overweight" question, is that liposuction cannot help you lose significant weight.

And that is true...

However, there is a place for a relatively overweight person who wants to appear more proportional in areas – having some liposuction done to achieve that balance. Again, liposuction does not correct being overweight, but it can make an overweight person more shapely at their current size. So, if an individual is realistic and understands the limitations of the procedure then it can be an appropriate procedure.

Again, the caveat is that the individual must be healthy enough for surgery.

How does it work?

During surgery small incisions are made throughout the treatment area. A special fluid is then injected into the area to both anesthetize and make the fat easier to remove. Next a long, thin and hollow wand – called a "cannula" – is inserted into the incisions.

And the suction process begins.

The surgeon moves the cannula back and forth through the treatment area suctioning fat and fluid out until the proper contour is achieved.

When the surgery is done the surgeon may chose to leave the incisions open to drain. Drain tubes may also be inserted depending on the extent of the liposuction surgery performed. But in all cases, the surgeon will wrap the area in a compression garment to speed healing and prevent uncomfortable swelling after surgery.

Again, depending on the extent of the liposuction surgery it may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to recover completely from surgery and all residual swelling to diminish. However, generally within a couple weeks patients are able to return to their normal daily activities.

How much does thigh liposuction cost?

Ahhh the money question....

Liposuction – like all things in our society – costs money. And it is not inexpensive either. Expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 dollars for your thigh liposuction surgery. It is also important to keep in mind that liposuction is not a guaranteed surgery. In other words, you may get a result that you cannot live with.

In that case, you may need a second surgery at some additional cost to you.

My best advice is to self-insure. So, save for your initial surgery times 2 (twice the cost that you expect to pay for one surgery). If something goes wrong and you want to seek out the services of another surgeon, you will be able to afford it because you've planned for the unexpected.

What are some of the risks associated with thigh liposuction?

Be prepared to discuss possible negative side effects with your doctor. Liposuction is not without risks – and it is very important to understand that going into to it.

Some of the risks of liposuction include (but are not limited to):

  1. Infection. When the skin is pierced for any reason bacteria, fungi, and viruses can invade deeper tissues.
  2. Bruising and Swelling. Usually resolves within a few weeks to a few months after surgery.
  3. Blood clotting (fat clots can happen too). This is potential fatal if clots move to vital organs.
  4. Nerve damage. The back and forth motion of the cannula during surgery can temporarily disrupt or damage nerve endings in the treatment area.
  5. Adverse reaction to the numbing medicine. Some people have had fatal (or nearly fatal) reactions to the numbing medicine.
  6. Asymmetrical results. Too much or too little fat may be removed from one side or the other.

In Conclusion:

I am not trying to dissuade you from having liposuction by pointing out the potential risks. But I do want to impress upon you that any surgery is major surgery – precisely because there are potential consequences involved.

The take home lesson here is that - you SHOULD seek out liposuction for the right reasons, understand what the surgery is designed to address. And finally, be aware of the potential for what things can go badly.

Watch this Mom's make-over reveal:

After her graduation from college - then there was LIPOSUCTION...

Thigh Liposuction References:

  • Venkataram Jayashree. "Tumescent liposuction: A Review. (CME)(Clinical report)." Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. 1.2 (July-Dec 2008): 49. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale.

  • "Liposuction." Editors of Salem Press. Magill's Medical Guide, 4th Rev. ed. eLibrary. (Dec 2008).

  • "Cellulite." Mai Tran, and Teresa G. Odle. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 4 vols.

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