Reasons for Having Thigh Lift Surgery

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The thighs are a prominent area of the body, and consequently there are a number of reasons that people have for wanting them to be surgically altered.  These range from reducing everyday physical discomfort, to opening up opportunities for wearing more restrictive, figure-hugging clothing and not least to boost self-esteem and induce more confidence in body image.

  • Discomfort

Having large thighs or excessive skin between the legs as a result of significant weight loss is a common problem for both men and women.  Aside from issues with self-perception of body image, this can cause considerable discomfort, especially during hot weather or exercise.  Even mild exercise such as walking can cause chafing (a painful, burning sensation induced by the friction of the legs rubbing together) and can result in blisters.  This can restrict the activities you feel comfortable in doing and this in turn can reduce exercise, making weight loss more challenging.  The proximity of the two thighs to each other can also reduce ventilation, producing an uncomfortable, sweaty feeling.  This cannot always be alleviated by a healthy lifestyle, as the thigh area is one of the most intractable when it comes to weight loss.  Even if drastic weight loss is accomplished, the soft tissue around the upper legs has often lost its elasticity, leaving a loose, saggy appearance.  A similar effect can be had from the natural ageing process.  Although not a danger to health, this can be unsightly and cannot be remedied by exercise alone.

  • Appearance

The importance of appearance is, as for all cosmetic procedures, a significant one.   The aim of thigh lift surgery is to make the upper legs appear more toned, taut and streamlined.   This inevitably has an anti-ageing effect, as well as the added benefit of smoothing out (to some degree) the dimples of cellulite.  The desire for smaller and firmer thighs can also make the upper legs look more proportionate to the rest of the body and therefore make buying close-fitting clothes from fashionable outlets in regular sizes easier.  This is perhaps reflected in the increased preference that women have for this type of surgery compared to men.  The way that fat deposits accumulate is also different for women, making the thighs particularly susceptible to gaining more weight. This can make the ideal of an hour-glass figure with curved, well-defined legs particularly difficult to achieve.  Thigh lift surgery can therefore be seen as a way to improve the contour of your figure both beneath clothes (such as skinny jeans) or in more revealing garments like shorts and skirts.

  • Psychological Well-Being

As is well known, the size and shape of your body has psychological as well as physical health repercussions.  Having excess skin remaining around the thighs can reverse the gains in self-confidence made by weight loss, and continue to restrict what you choose to wear.  Having a more youthful body and more toned legs can in some cases restore such confidence and give you a more positive self-image.  Surgery for this reason can reap dividends, allowing those crippled by self-consciousness to feel more comfortable around others.  This can be a positive force in everyday interactions, as well as more intimate relationships.     However, surgery is fundamentally a physical procedure and if confidence is an issue, it is all the more important for expectations of the final result to be discussed in detail with an experienced surgeon.

What Thigh Lift Surgery Cannot Do

While thigh lift surgery can improve the shape and appearance of the skin on the thighs, it is not a viable means for quickly and effortlessly losing weight from the legs.  The procedure works by pulling up the skin towards the groin, making the skin tighter and smoother.  However, it does not remove a great deal of fatty tissue.  For this, it is necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and if necessary to have liposuction before or in conjunction with the thigh lift.  In addition, while the surgery has a lasting effect, this can only be maintained while you are a steady weight.  Putting on more weight will only stretch the skin again, rendering the first operation useless.  The skin will also continue to lose elasticity with age, so inevitably results will not last into old age.

If you feel particularly negative about your figure without being classed as overweight or having excess hanging skin, it may be possible that you have body dysmorphia- an inaccurate, exaggerated opinion of your own body shape and size.   In this case it is very important to ask a sensitive but honest friend or family member for their considered opinion on whether you really need surgery; it is useless to resort to a medical procedure as a cure-all for another problem, such as deeper confidence issues.  Your General Practitioner may be able to put you in contact with a counsellor or support group to help you improve your self-image in a less drastic and more effective way.

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