Liposuction of the Thighs & Legs
Long, slender legs are eye-catching. How thighs are shaped, where the fat on the thigh is located, and how the fat is distributed in proportion with fat on other areas of the body can have a huge impact on a woman’s overall appearance. Thigh gap liposuction, which targets the inner thigh area, has become an important treatment area at the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center, but many patients also choose to target the outer thigh to remove saddle bags or fat that’s settled above the knees. After having Waterlipo™ surgery safe and sophisticated liposuction treatment that uses a gentle stream of water pressure to re-shape the thighs, patients often find that the appearance of their body as a whole is more pleasing to the eye.
About Thighs & Legs
At the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center, we use Waterlipo™ to treat excess fat deposits on the thighs. Waterlipo™ is a liposuction technique that uses water pressure as opposed to scraping to remove excess fat cells from targeted areas of the body. As such, Waterlipo™ is safe and gentle enough that doctors can use AwakeLipo rather than general anesthesia to numb the target area and make the patient comfortable during the procedure. AwakeLipo is an anesthetic system that uses a combination of local anesthetic to numb the target area and sedation to make the patient comfortable and extremely relaxed. The combination of Waterlipo™ and AwakeLipo anesthesia, optimizes the results of thigh liposuction surgery.
There are four different areas of the thighs that can be targeted using liposuction:
- The inner thighs
- The outer thighs
- The banana fold
- The front of the thighs
The inner thighs are a source of concern for many women. By targeting the inner thighs using Water Lipo, surgeons at the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center are able to improve the overall contour of the legs and correct issues such as the inner thighs rubbing together. Inner thigh fat is particularly resistant to dieting and exercise but luckily this area of the body is easily targeted using Water Lipo.
Outer thigh liposuction has a powerful slimming effect on patients. Excess fat in this area of the body may be caused by a genetic predisposition or it may come from prolonged obesity. The fat that gets stored in the outer thighs tends to be globular and heavier than the fat that deposits in the inner thighs. So while dieting and exercise can have some effect on outer thigh liposuction, patients with excess fat in areas such as the saddle bags may have trouble targeting this area of the body effectively by making lifestyle changes.
The banana fold, or the fat located just under the buttocks on the back of the thigh has an important effect on the appearance of the buttocks as well as the leg. Many women don’t realize the possible aesthetic benefits of targeting this area of the thigh. Our surgeons at the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center regularly help patients develop a treatment plan that can enhance the overall appearance of both the thighs and buttocks by targeting excess fat in the relevant parts of the leg that could benefit most from treatment.
While some patients develop fat on the front of the thigh, it’s important for patients to realize that some of this tissue may be muscle. During the initial consultation, the doctor will evaluate the shape of your leg to determine which areas would benefit the most from Waterlipo™ treatment.
Who Is the Ideal Candidate for Thighs & Legs Liposuction?
Most patients who are in good overall health and who are close to their ideal weight can benefit from thigh liposuction. Patients should be aware that this not a weight loss procedure, though some patients do seek out thigh liposuction to jumpstart a new diet and exercise regime. During the initial consultation, your doctor will examine your skin to determine whether it has adequate elasticity to get good results from this procedure.
Patients with a large amount of cellulite on the thighs should be aware that liposuction can’t be used to target cellulite. Cellulite is caused by fatty deposits and tissue deformities in the deep tissue layers of the skin. Liposuction can only be used to target fat that sits between the bottom-most layer of the skin and muscle tissues. While the appearance of cellulite may be improved by thigh liposuction, it could also become worse.
The ideal thigh liposuction patient has tried diet and exercise programs to lose excess fat on the thighs, but with no success. Below are important criteria that we require of our Waterlipo™ patients before scheduling surgery:
- Patients should be in good general health with no life-threatening illnesses.
- Patients should have a stable weight and be close to the ideal weight for their height (no more than 30% above or below).
- The patient should have good skin elasticity.
- The patient should have realistic expectations about what thigh liposuction can accomplish for them.
During the initial consultation, patients will have the opportunity to discuss all aspects of the thigh liposuction procedure with their doctor. Topics that can be covered during the consult include finances, medical history, and the patient’s expectations for the procedure. During this initial appointment our doctors will help the patient develop realistic expectations according to the patient’s unique situation.
Finally, non-smoking patients who drink alcohol only in moderation are the most likely to have good results from this procedure. Smoking cigarettes reduces blood flow throughout the body which can lead to poorer outcomes from liposuction surgery. Patients who smoke but who would still like to have thigh liposuction surgery should quit smoking at least 3 weeks before the surgery.
At the Chicago Liposuction Clinic, our goal is to provide patients with the best results using the safest techniques that lead to the fastest recovery.
Patients should expect to take the first 48 hours after thigh liposuction surgery to recuperate and rest. During this time, patients are likely to feel some discomfort in the treated area. The doctor will prescribe pain medications to alleviate discomfort during this time. Within about 1 week after the procedure, many patients find that the discomfort has passed. Within 2 weeks after surgery, patients are often able to return to less strenuous aspects of their normal daily routine.
The amount of downtime required for patients to recover from Waterlipo™ surgery varies from patient to patient. At the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center, we’ll provide you with recovery guidelines to help you anticipate how much time it will take to recover fully from the thigh liposuction procedure, but each patient differs in terms of how quickly they’ll get through the healing process. Most patients see some results right away after Waterlipo™ surgery, but during the initial stages of recovery, inflammation and swelling can obscure the results. Within 2 to 3 weeks, patients are likely to see a pronounced change in their appearance with the final outcome becoming visible about 6 months after surgery.
During the recovery process, patients will need to take special care to follow the doctor’s instructions in order to get the best results from the procedure. Below are some important self-care guidelines that patients should follow to achieve the best results from their procedure:
- Avoid Hot Showers, Bathing, Hot Tubs, and Swimming -For the first two days following surgery, patients should avoid extreme heat and they should also avoid being completely submerged in water (bathing, hot tubs, and swimming). After two days of recovery, patients can take a warm shower, but they should continue to avoid bathing, hot tubs, and swimming until their incisions have closed and the doctor gives them permission to be submerged in water.
- Wear the Compression Garment as Prescribed -After surgery, the patient will be asked to wear a compression garment 24 hours per day for approximately 1 week. Wearing the compression garment is important because this elastic bandage provides support to the tissues as they heal. After the first week of recovery, patients may be able to take the compression garment off for periods of time each day, but it’s important that the patient follow the doctor’s instructions in order see good results from their surgery.
- Eat Healthfully -During recovery, your body needs plenty of high-quality nutrients in order to heal properly. Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts to supply your body with all the nutrients it needs.
- Drink Plenty of Water -If you stay hydrated by drinking water, your body will be able to release toxins more rapidly and as a result, you’ll move through the recovery process more quickly.
- Take the Medications As Prescribed -If your doctor prescribes medication for you to take, be sure to follow the prescription and take it on schedule.
- Avoid Strenuous Activities -During recovery, your body needs as much energy as possible to heal traumatized tissues. By avoiding strenuous activities, you can ensure that your body gets plenty of downtime to rest and to heal. Get your doctor’s permission before you return to your normal exercise routine after thigh liposuction surgery.
Most patients are fully recovered and back to their normal routine within 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, but the recovery time will depend on the patients pre-operative health status combined with the patient’s willingness to follow the doctor’s self-care instructions after surgery.
Before and After Photos
At the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center, we customize our treatment protocols to meet each patient’s unique needs. By personalizing treatment plans, we’re able to get the best results possible from thigh liposuction surgery. You can discuss your goals for the procedure with one of our doctors during the initial consultation and our doctors will inquire about your medical history and other important information that will help them tailor the procedure precisely to your needs. This personalized approach leads to the best outcomes possible.
Every single one of our patients has a unique situation. We take Before and After photos of each patient to demonstrate the dramatic post-operative effects of Waterlipo™ to treat the thighs. Each patient received individualized treatment to address the unique aspects of their medical history, body shape, and overall health profile, so patients can also expect to see results that are uniquely their own. But in all cases, patients should expect for their thighs to look more proportional in terms of the rest of the body’s features and for the patient’s overall physical appearance to be more pleasing to the eye.
The Before and After photos below demonstrate the results that other thigh liposuction patients have experienced using Water Lipo:
Thigh Liposuction female patient 25 years – before (left) – 2 weeks after (right)
Liposuction Cost and Financing
Liposuction of the legs is usually an elective surgery, but there are some cases (for example, lipedema) in which patients might be able to get health insurance reimbursement for their surgery. If the surgery is not medically necessary, it is unlikely that your health insurance will reimburse you for thigh liposuction, but we encourage patients to review their health insurance policy or contact their insurance provider to find out whether Waterlipo™ would be covered. You can also contact the staff at the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center to learn more about whether or not your procedure would be covered by insurance.
If your procedure is not covered by insurance and you need financing in order to afford the procedure, the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center has several options to consider. We have relationships with multiple lending agents who can arrange payment options that can fit with any budget. Patients who are interested in financing can apply online for credit.
The cost of thigh liposuction surgery using Waterlipo™ depends on several different variables:
- The cost of pre-op lab tests
- The cost of pre-op and post-op prescription medications
- How much time will be required by the surgeon to complete the surgery
- The size and number of body areas that will be targeted in the procedure
At the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center, we offer discounts to patients who choose to treat more than one target area of the body during their procedure. Many patients take advantage of these discounts to target multiple body areas and achieve more striking results from their Waterlipo™ surgery. For example, a patient who wants to have liposuction of the thighs may choose to have abdominal liposuction during the same procedure. By targeting multiple areas of the body, the patient will see more dramatic results and experience less downtime at a significant cost savings than if they were to have had two completely separate surgeries.
Waterlipo™ is a minimally invasive procedure that’s both safe and gentle. It can be performed using AwakeLipo, a method of anesthetizing the patient that uses only a localized numbing agent in combination with a sedative. AwakeLipo is a system that involves very few risks in comparison with the use of general anesthesia. But while the surgeons and staff at the Chicago Liposuction by Lift Body Center work hard to ensure that procedures are performed safely, it is still possible for complications to arise. All surgery involves an element of risk. So it’s important for patients to understand these potential risks before undergoing this procedure.
To learn about the safety of Water Lipo, please visit our Liposuction Safety page for more information.Learn About Procedures Cost