Episode 20: How Can I Get Rid of Inner Thigh Fat?
How can I get rid of fat on my inner thighs? This is something that we hear so frequently in the office that I think it really deserves its own episode on the podcast. So there are a couple of different reasons why people might want to get rid of some extra fat or adipose tissue on their inner thighs, or as we call them, the medial thighs. And two of the kind of very common things we hear is that I have quote unquote chub rub, which is kind of that heat rash you get when your thighs hit each other, when you're active and it's humid, and it just doesn't feel that great. And the other reason is purely aesthetic. Some people say they really want to have that thigh gap, which can be really attractive and aesthetically pleasing.
How can I get a thigh gap?
For both of these problems, the kind of treatment strategy is essentially the same. And as I often say, the key to this is taking a real problem based approach. And to do this, in the case of the inner thighs, we have to say, well, what's causing that kind of extra inner thigh fullness? Is it extra fat? Is it loose skin? Or is it both? And far and away, the most common thing we're seeing in our office for people that want to have trimmer inner thighs that they just have a little bit of extra inner thigh fat. And the best way to treat that, in my opinion, and that serves my patients very well is with a little bit of focused liposuction.
And this is a procedure that can be done under local anesthesia in the office, and you're in and out within the day, often in a couple hours. And the way that it works is you would come in, you might take a pill to feel a little more relaxed, you'd lie down in the operating room, we'd give you some local numbing medicine, we'd make a tiny incision about two to three millimeters in each of your groin creases, and we would use that incision to instill some numbing fluid into the area in preparation for that liposuction of the inner thigh. We'd let that numbing medicine worked for awhile, and after about 10 or 15 minutes, we come back with a long, thin instrument called the cannula, and we'd carefully suction out the extra fat that we just don't want there anymore.
The whole procedure takes about half an hour, 45 minutes in most cases. We close each of those little incisions with a stitch. We put you in a compression garment. You wear it for 48 hours. You take it off after 48 hours, and you're really good to go after that. You'll have some swelling to the tune of about a week or two before you start to see any kind of real result, then really over the next few months, after about three months, you'll usually get a pretty good idea of what the final result is. So this is a very straightforward procedure that can make a very big difference.
Can I get a thigh gap without surgery?
Now for people that don't want to have any kind of surgery at all, even this minor surgery, you can start looking at noninvasive body contouring options. And the one that I think really works the best for this is CoolSculpting, but I'm not such a huge fan of this procedure, because it takes several rounds of CoolSculpting to even get close to the result that you would achieve with liposuction. And there's an earlier episode that goes into an in depth comparison between CoolSculpting and liposuction, but suffice it to say that CoolSculpting is an okay option for people that really just want nothing to do with any kind of surgery, no matter how minimally invasive or minor it is.
But I would really encourage people to consider some kind of very focused micro liposuction for this area, because it just works so well, and it's the kind of thing where you'll get an excellent customized result after just one treatment, if you're going to someone who really specializes in this kind of thing.
So the other thing to take into account here is how much loose skin is present, and the inner thighs are a particularly sensitive area when it comes to dealing with extra skin, because if you're taking out fat and there's a lot of skin laxity in the inner thighs, that can actually make the inner thigh look worse. That skin can hang and just look unflattering. So as part of your consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, body contouring expert, to evaluate your extra inner thigh fullness or fat, the amount of extra loose, saggy skin you have on your inner thighs should really come into play.
What can I do about loose skin?
And for people with mild to moderate loose skin of the inner thigh, I'm a big fan of radio frequency energy for skin tightening, such as with the body type procedure, which is a great minimally invasive, no downtime thing that we do at the same time as liposuction. It often adds a little bit of time to the procedure, but it doesn't make recovery really any worse. The only thing is that with the skin tightening procedures, instead of wearing a compression garment for 48 hours, we really do like you to wear it for a good month to let the skin tightening take hold and heal down to the kind of deeper tissues below. So the radio frequency skin tightening really allows us to kind of shrink wrap your skin to the new improved body contour that we're creating with the liposuction.
So for folks with severe loose skin, then we start getting into the realm of excisional procedures like medial thigh lifts. And this is something that you really don't want to get involved with unless you have a severe loose skin problem. And these are people that have often lost a significant amount of weight, and then their skin just couldn't contract all the way, so they have extra skin that needs to be removed by cutting it out. And for them it's a really reasonable option, because the trade off of having a longer, more difficult recovery, and a long scar that goes from the inner thigh down to almost the knee in a lot of cases, is worthwhile, because they're going to have a tremendous improvement in the shape and contour of their inner thigh.
But for those that have only mild to moderate skin laxity, I would really encourage looking at this minimally invasive radiofrequency skin tightening route. So that's a rundown on what to do about chub rub or how to get your thigh gap and getting rid of extra fat on the inner thighs. And I hope you found this helpful. And we're always willing and happy to take any questions that you have by DM or email. So please take care, and get in touch.