Exposed or in clothing, women aspire to achieve the most shapely and attractive contour of thighs and legs. Certainly, genetics plays a significant role in lower extremity shape, although there is much we can do to improve and refine the appearance. Adherence to a fitness regimen that combines a healthy diet and both cardio and strength training is paramount to achieving great looking legs. Whether through yoga, Pilates, squats and lunges, stair-climbing, running, or biking, it is vital to tone the quads, hamstrings, calves, and gluteal muscles. Nevertheless, there are those women for whom, despite rigorous work and dedication, less-than-ideal shape and “trouble spots” may persist. In such cases, liposuction may be the solution.
In keeping with all aesthetic plastic surgery procedures, liposuction is not for individuals who are severely overweight or obese, or for those who do not exercise at all. Liposuction should not be viewed as a quick fix, or a substitute for the hard work that is a necessary step in the preparation process. Candidates for body contouring plastic surgery procedures should be at or close to their ideal body weight, and for liposuction of the legs and thighs, should be at a maximally trained level of lower extremity tone and fitness.
When the trouble zones persist after fitness and health have been maximized, liposuction techniques are indicated. Gluteal and lateral thighs (saddle-bags), inner thighs, suprapatellar (above the knees), medial knees, and ankles are common regions for the storage and persistence of localized fat that may not respond to diet and exercise. For the treatment of “localized adiposity” of the thighs and legs, liposuction through tiny access sites with very thin cannulas (tubes), also known as microliposuction, is performed. Most often, the access “incisions” are made with a needle only (rather than a scalpel), and the excess fat cells are removed with very small caliber cannulas that range in width from 2 to 3 mm. This micro-liposuction process lends to more meticulous and aesthetic contouring, with a high degree of safety and very low risk of irregularities. Recovery time ranges from 2 to 7 days, and most patients return to exercise after 4 – 5 days.
Is there a role for nonsurgical contouring of the thighs or legs? At Mangat-Holzapfel-Lied Plastic Surgery, we find that CoolSculpting can be helpful for fat pockets on thighs and legs. When recalcitrant fat persists after diet and exercise, however, there is truly no substitute for liposuction.
Call us at Mangat-Holzapfel Plastic Surgery for a consultation at (513) 984-FACE in Cincinnati, (859) 331-9600 in Northern Kentucky, or (970) 766-FACE in the Vail Valley of Colorado.