Great legs are at the top of every woman’s wishlist. However, as we age, getting or keeping your legs in shape can be difficult. Between the effects of gravity, weight fluctuations, and aging, the skin on the legs can lose elasticity. Many naturally carry excess fat in the thigh area, and may have fat deposits that they find unattractive. Women that have lost a significant amount of weight can be left with excess skin in the thigh and knee area, that can be uncomfortable and restrict movement. Fortunately, plastic surgeons’ have many tools in their toolbox to fix these problems
One of the most common complaints voiced by patients are concerns about excess fat bulges on the outer or inner thighs. These localized fat deposits are relatively easy to treat with surgical liposuction. Often, liposuction of the inner or outer thighs can be performed in the office under local and oral sedation. Coolsculpting is a great non-surgical option for patients with small fat deposits. The results of liposuction are more predictable the Coolsculpting, and they are immediately apparent. However, there is some downtime involved. Coolsculpting is non-surgical, painless, and there is no downtime. It provides a 25% reduction in fat per treatment, so more than one treatment is usually required. Results for Coolsculpting typically take about four weeks to be visible.
For women that have a significant amount of loose skin and tissue in the upper thighs and buttocks, a thigh lift, or thighplasty, might be the answer. This procedure is usually done after a significant weight loss. A thighplasty reduces sagging skin in the thigh and buttocks and is sometimes performed in conjunction with a body lift. This surgery is a great way to reshape the thigh and buttocks, enhancing the body’s contour and symmetry.
If loose skin around the knees, or “knee wrinkles,” are a patient’s chief complaint, Ultherapy might be the answer. Ultherapy is a new technology that uses ultrasound energy that promotes collagen production in the skin. This new collagen helps tighten and tone the skin, giving the legs a more youthful appearance.
Getting to the gym is more challenging than ever. Even if you have been able to keep up with an exercise routine, your legs might need a little boost. CoolTone uses magnetic muscle stimulation (MMS) technology and is FDA-approved to strengthen, tone, and firm the buttocks, thighs, and stomach. It is the ideal way to help increase muscle tone and definition.
Cellulite plagues 80-90% of all women. It is more common as we age. Radiesse is an injectable dermal filler made of Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHa). This minimally invasive procedure consists of injecting the dermal filler in the depression in the skin. It smooths that area treated and effectively eliminates unsightly cellulite. The treatment lasts about a year, and sometimes longer.
Finally, sun damage can age the legs, just as it does the face and hands. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are a great way to fade dark spots and other discolorations on the legs. Intense Pulsed Light is a medical treatment that uses a broad spectrum of wavelengths of light. This type of light targets specific colors or pigments, including brown and red. Darker pigmented areas or dilated capillaries absorb the light energy. One to two weeks following the treatment, the treated spots will crust and eventually reabsorb or slough off the skin’s surface.
If you’re unhappy with your legs’ appearance and want to see what your options are, schedule a personal consultation with one of our award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeons at Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery, Drs. Peter Butler, Jocelyn Leveque, or Nathan Patterson or visit The Skin Care Center at Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery.