At our practice serving patients from Albany, Saratoga Springs, and beyond, certain plastic surgery trends seem to be popular topics of discussion among patients and practitioners alike. Occasionally, these trends may be caused by the invention of an effective procedure or piece of equipment that changes the industry for the better. But sometimes, they are merely fads that patients would best avoid.
One of the latest trends — and one that has been cause for concern for many in aesthetic medicine — is the “thigh gap.” The goal is for a woman’s inner thighs to be so thin that they don’t touch each other when she stands with her feet together. Fueled by certain celebrity bodies and an online craze, the concept has gained popularity to the extent that diets and exercise routines have been developed to target this area.
Plastic surgeons who have vast medical training know that very few healthy women are able to achieve a thigh gap through diet and exercise alone. In many cases, only unnatural means would be able to provide the coveted gap.
Although such a surgery (likely using liposuction) may be safe for a given patient, an experienced plastic surgeon may hesitate to recommend it. I strive to create a balance between a patient’s goals and a natural look, and I’m reluctant to permanently change someone’s body to fulfill what may ultimately be a passing trend.
I encourage my patients to bring in photographs of people with the features they desire, and these often include celebrities. It’s OK to admire a celebrity’s body, but it’s important to remember that what works for that person may not work for you. It’s best to base your decisions about aesthetic changes on the advice of a qualified surgeon who can evaluate your proportions with a trained eye and on your own well-thought-out goals — not on what’s popular.