Getting Great Legs Without Surgery
I hate my saggy thighs. Despite that I am a fairly fit runner and my BMI is within normal, the lumps of fat always seem to migrate to my thighs in the form of dreaded cellulite. It’s especially obvious when performing a “downward dog,” the semi-inverted yoga pose that leaves you no choice but to stare at your imperfect thighs.
So my latest move in “the year of turning 60” project – where I share my experiences as I personally try out the latest cosmetic procedures offered here at Van Dyke Laser & Skin – is to tackle the impossible: great legs without surgery, starvation diets or 8 hours a day at the gym. I know some people feel that diet and exercise are the only acceptable ways to improve your appearance, but I beg to differ. I think non-surgical cosmetic procedures can be a great complement to any fitness routine.
One of my favorite combination treatments is Liposonix & Thermage. Liposonix is a fat reduction treatment and Thermage a skin tightening treatment, a winning combo. While I was focused on my thighs, this same procedure can also be used on the tummy, bra fat and flanks. Learn more about Liposonix, Thermage and Fraxel (a skin resurfacing treatment) at our upcoming Non-Invasive Mommy Makeover event. Join us on Wednesday, May 21 for either a Lunch & Learn Seminar: (1 - 2:30 PM) or a Happy Hour Seminar: (5:30 - 7 PM) and find out how Liposonix, Thermage, and Fraxel can work together to restore your natural pre-pregnancy body shape, while reducing the appearance of stretch marks at the same time. But in the meantime, back to my experience with both Liposonix & Thermage.
Because my nearly 60-year-old legs show some laxity and sagging as well as extra fat, I opted to combine my Liposonix with a Thermage treatment. While you can see firming and lifting with Liposinix fat reduction I wanted to specifically target skin laxity which is where Thermage shines. Thermage uses radiofrequency energy to generate heat deep within the skin itself triggering collagen tightening, stimulating new fibroblasts and resulting in new collagen formation. Collagen is the magic material that makes younger skin smoother, firmer and less crepe-like.
Day of: To be honest, Liposonix is an uncomfortable, even painful procedure for some. Most patients chose a pain pill such as Percocet or Vicodan combined with a mild sedative like valium for the treatment, about 5% go for twilight sleep. Various other options include prescription and over the counter anti inflammatories. Comfort management is entirely customizable to the procedure that the patient. Notably, discomfort following the procedure is minimal and does not require pain medications. Because I have decided to have several treatments done at the same time (I will review Ultherapy for facial laxity in a future blog but this was also done at the same sitting) I chose to have twilight sleep. My favorite anesthesiologist (board certified of course and his nurse) arrived at the office to do a quick medical check in, start an IV and I drifted into a lovely slumber.
The Procedure: I was photographed, measured and weighed for base line. Then the areas to be treated were meticulously marked off according to the plan developed at my consultation. We discussed again what areas were of concern. The front of the thighs, inner thighs and the area under the buttock were “grided” (a blueprint for the treatment). Liposonix would be applied precisely to the areas of need. Since I also chose to do Thermage over the same areas on the same day this area was also marked off and included the cellulite/laxity zones of my anterior thighs.
Liposonix was done first and with 40 sites treated took just about 1.5 hours. Immediately after Liposonix was completed the fronts of my thighs were treated with Thermage (about 45 minutes) to further firm and tighten.
After the procedure I felt pretty sore, like I had run a marathon (which I am proud to say I have actually done). I slid into some long leg SPANX for the comfort and compression that reduces soreness, bruising and swelling. And yes I did bruise, Arnica was applied to hasten the resolution and reduce soreness. I must say it did not slow me down one bit. We treat with a high-energy protocol when patients are sedated and the result can be bruising. When patients (95% patients) do not have twilight sleep we use a lower energy protocol that is more comfortable and causes less soreness and bruising but delivers the same results although the treatment time is about 75% longer.
I am now excited to see my results but as I tell my patients: patience! It takes weeks to months for the ultimate result.