Athletic and well-defined legs are commonly thought of in young, healthy women. However, as women age, they may be unhappy with the appearance of their legs, more specifically, their thighs. There are many factors that contribute to the appearance of the legs during the aging process. Injury, illness or extreme weight loss can change the contour of a woman’s legs, along with the effects of gravity. Some cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation and face lifts, are very familiar to most people. However, thigh lifts are much less “mainstream.”
We see more and more patients seeking to enhance the appearance of their legs. Eliminating unsightly leg veins, improving the appearance of dark spots, tightening of skin laxity and reduction of cellulite are the most common complaints voiced by patients. Many patients require a combination approach to address their concerns.
During thigh lift surgery, your surgeon will make an incision below the bikini line, in the upper inner thigh. Through this incision the surgeon is able to remove fat and excess skin. Liposuction is frequently used to aid in getting rid of pockets of fat. The skin is then pulled tight creating a smooth look. The best candidate for a thigh lift are those at a stable weight that have excess soft tissue along the inner and outer thigh. While no surgery can reproduce the legs of a 20-year-old, the improvement is significant.
In addition to a thigh lift, there are several other procedures that can improve the appearance of the legs. Ultherapy is the use of ultrasound technology to tighten the skin on the legs, specifically the knee area. Another problem surrounding the knees can be stubborn excess fatty deposits. The deposits can be very difficult to get rid of even with diet and exercise. However, liposuction can not only reduce the pockets of fat in the knee but also in the entire thigh region.
Varicose veins is another issue many women over 50 begin to encounter. While larger varicose veins are treated by vascular surgeons, smaller varicose veins can be treated using a saline solution injected into the veins. It usually takes several treatments and a few weeks to see the final results. Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, can be used to treat very small varicose veins, as well as dark spots or age spots on the legs.
If your legs are making you feel like you look older and you want to see what options are best for you, schedule a personal consultation with one of our award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Peter Butler, Dr. Jocelyn Leveque and Dr. Nathan Patterson.