The inner thigh area is a common area of concern among women who seek liposuction. Inner thigh liposuction can significantly improve the silhouette of the thigh and reduce the rubbing together of the inner thighs. Ideally, there should be no significant lumpiness or irregularity of shape, and no visible evidence of a surgical procedure. Occasionally a male patient will request liposuction of the upper inner thigh.
Inner Thighs and Inner Knees
Inner thighs and inner knees are often treated at the same time. Most women who seek liposuction of the thighs have fat that extends continuously over the entire extent of the inner thigh and knee. Treating the inner thigh and inner knee as separate areas can result in unevenness at the intervening area where no liposuction is done. When liposuction of both the inner thigh and knee areas is needed, then liposuction over the entire combined area permits more complete liposuction with smoother results.
Cannula Size Counts
Smooth results following liposuction of the inner thigh is largely dependent upon the size (diameter) of the liposuction cannula. Large cannulas tend to cause surface irregularities. Fat of the inner thighs contains little fibrous tissue and has a soft jelly-like quality, and it is easily and rapidly liposuctioned. If large cannulas are used or if liposuction is not done carefully, then localized areas of excessive liposuction may result. The use of microcannulas (outside diameter between 1.5 and 2.8 mm) permits liposuction of fat in small incremental amounts. With careful and continuous attention to detail, one can consistently achieve exceptionally smooth results.
Liposuction of the inner thighs with the patient lying on her back does not allow sufficient access to the fat on the posterior portion of the inner thighs which therefore is often insufficiently treated. This situation arises most often when general anesthesia is used. Under general anesthesia, with a breathing-tube inserted into the trachea or wind-pipe, it is safest to have the patient positioned lying on the back. Rolling a liposuction patient onto her side is risky because changing position might dislodge the breathing-tube and impair oxygen delivery. Attempting to treat the entire inner thigh with the patient on her back often results in inadequate fat removal from the posterior inner thigh.
Women who have prominent inner thigh fat and good skin elasticity can expect excellent results following liposuction. When the medial thigh skin is excessively wrinkled and crepey, liposuction may not provide a satisfactory degree of improvement. In older women, and especially in women who have lost a considerable amount of weight, the skin overlying the anterior portion of the inner thigh tends to be wrinkled. Liposuction will not improve this wrinkled appearance. In fact liposuction may worsen the degree of wrinkling. Prospective patients whose anterior inner thighs already show some degree of wrinkling should be informed that liposuction may be expected to improve the shape of the thigh while at the same time exacerbate the wrinkled appearance of the skin.
Alternative Surgical Procedures
For a woman who cannot tolerate her extensive wrinkling of the inner thigh, there is the option of a surgical thigh lift. Most women are often disappointed by the aesthetic results of an inner thigh lift. They find the scaring associated with a medial thigh lift to be worse than the wrinkling. For patients with marked wrinkling, and only a minimal amount of medial thigh fat, the most reasonable option might simply be no surgical treatment.
Postoperative care for the inner thighs or knees is simple and designed so that most patients can change dressings easily, and without assistance. The recovery period is quite rapid provided that the surgeon has done some liposuction via an incision placed along the most dependent margin of the treated area, and that this incision has not been sutured. Having thus guaranteed maximum drainage of the blood-tinged anesthetic solution, one need only apply adequate absorptive padding and moderately firm compression. With multiple open incisions, or adits, the drainage usually ceases within 36 to 48 hours. Many women choose to wear the garments beyond the minimum time because of the comfort and security provided by the garments.