“There isn’t one thing I haven’t had lifted, cut or sewn back on,” says Sharon Osbourne while being interviewed by talk show host Anderson Cooper on the set of Anderson Live. When asked by Cooper, “What was the most painful?” Osbourne replied, a leg lift. She says while it was “quite fabulous” she also stated it was probably the most painful.
Even though it can be painful, nearly 10,000 leg lifts were performed last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Age, gravity and weight loss are the usual causes of sagging skin and heavy thighs, says board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. J. Peter Rubin, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Sagging Skin and Heavy Thighs are Common Complaints in Aging Women
A thigh lift reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thigh. According to Rubin, there are some versions of these operations where the scar can be minimized. He says, “You may qualify for a minimal incision medial thigh lift which involves an incision only in the groin area.”
Planning Ahead is Critical in Thigh Lift Surgery
The timing and planning for a lift procedure is critical. Rubin recommends that patients ask themselves the following questions when considering a thigh lift.
- Has my weight been stable for the last three months?
- Have I reached or am I close to my goal weight?
- Am I committed to the lifestyle changes that will help me be successful with long-term weight loss?
Once a patient feels the timing is right, patients need to know that recovery from a thigh lift can be fairly extensive. Rubin says, “These are major operations and recovery time has to be accounted for when you’re planning for these procedures.”
“Each operation is tailored to an individual’s specific body type,” says Rubin, “and your surgeon will determine what’s appropriate.” Dr. Rubin advises these operations should be performed by a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in patients who have lost a substantial amount of weight.