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Thighplasty or Thigh Lift


                             Thigh Lift

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The next step to completing the Lower Body Lift transformation is a medial or an inner thigh lift.  This type of procedure tightens the skin around the inner thigh reducing "sagging" or "flab" and also re-contours the shape of the thigh.  Most of the time, just removing the excess skin is not completely enough, so liposuction is used to remove the excess fat deposits in the upper thigh area.

The surgeon makes an incision in the groin area, in which the skin and any remaining fat and tissue are surgically removed. The area from the groin to the top of the knee is reshaped and contoured/ with this procedure.

A thigh lift can be performed either under twilight sedation or general anesthesia.  An inner thigh lift procedure takes approximately two hours.  A straight thigh lift is not intended for the removal of any fat deposits, if this is necessary then liposuction will be added to the procedure to remove the fatty tissue and followed by surgically removing the excess skin.  It is common after this procedure to have some bruising and swelling, which should subside after a month or so.  You might have residual mild swelling for a couple of months after the procedure.  Getting back to your exercise routine and normal activities happens around six weeks post operative.




Patients who have the following, are considered good candidates for a Thigh Lift

  • Loose excess skin and localized fat of thighs after significant weight loss
  • At a weight loss "plateau" for a period of six months
  • Non-smoker
  • Understands the scope of the surgical procedure





               Before Lateral Outer and Mid Thigh Lift        After Lateral Outer and Mid Thigh Lift

                                      Copyright 2010 ASAPS - Used with permission

                                     Before and After  Lateral / Outer and Mid Thigh Lift  



               Before Medial or Inner Thigh Lift        After Medial or Inner Thigh Lift

                                            Copyright 2010 ASAPS - Used with permission                                 

                                     Before and After Medial / Inner Thigh Lift



There are a couple of approaches that can be used when lifting the thigh. Depending on the patient's anatomy and where the excess skin and fat are located either a inner groin incision will be made or a combined inner and outer groin incision. This procedure is combined frequently with a buttock or gluteal lift to re-contour and shape the lower body appearance. 

Patients with more severe thigh contour problems will need an incision that extends from the groin area along the inside of the thigh - down to the knee. 

Drains may be placed during surgery to help with any fluid accumulation or the possibility of a seroma forming. Because of the friction with walking and other activities and also the moisture that can occur all can contribute to the healing in the inner thigh. With this procedure, it is not uncommon for sutures to sometimes separate and have to be redone.



                                     Surgical Incisions for a Medial or Inner Thigh Lift

                                          Copyright 2010 ASAPS - Used with permission                        

                                   Surgical Incisions for a Medial or Inner Thigh Lift



There are many different versions of the thigh lift - including, inner thigh, outer thigh, circumferential. These surgical procedures can be combined with a buttock lift with or without augmentation. Scars can be circular, or vertical as everything is dependent on the extent of the excess and sagging tissue that a patient might have.

No matter which type of thigh lift you are considering, you must be able to weigh the benefits against the possible costs and risks, such as scarring and the risks of anesthesia. Choosing a surgeon you trust and knowing what to expect from a thigh left can be critical to ensuring the procedure goes smoothly.


A medial thigh lift reduces excess skin and fat from the upper portion of the inner thigh. It is designed for patients who are dissatisfied with the shape of their legs or wish to remove excess skin from weight loss. 

In a medial thigh lift (inner thigh lift), the surgical incision is made in the inner thigh along the line where the leg meets the groin. The inner thighs are a common site for skin laxity. Depending on the person need, a crescent of tissue is removed, and the resulting skin is drawn together for a slimmer, tighter appearance. This procedure targets the inner thigh to help people who have trouble losing excess fat from this area.  Surgical time to perform a inner thigh lift is approximately two hours.


This thigh lift involves longer incisions from the knee to the groin area on the insides of the thighs.  A triangle of tissue is removed from each thigh, reducing excess skin in two dimensions to create a firmer and more pleasing contour.


This procedure tightens the skin on the front and outside of the upper leg. A bilateral thigh left tightens the skin on both the right side and left side of the leg, and is especially helpful for those who have excess skin from extreme weight loss. The scar is typically located where your palms are when you grab your hips with your elbows pointing outward. It tightens the skin on the outside of your thighs.


In a lateral thigh lift (outer thigh lift), the incision is made from the groin around the back of the body, so that the buttocks are lifted along with the thigh.


Scar runs across your back, at the junction between back skin and the buttocks. It lifts the buttocks.



                                                  Image of a toned thigh area                             

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A thigh lift can do the following:

  • Directly removes excess skin and fat of thighs
  • Lifts and firms thighs
  • Slims thighs with liposuction





Surgery Length: Two to Eight Hours

Back to Work:  One to Two Weeks

Return to Exercise - Medial Thigh Lift:

  • 2 weeks (light exercise)

  • 3 weeks (moderate exercise)

  • 6 weeks (strenuous exercise)


Surgery Length:  Two to Eight Hours

Back to Work:  Two to Three Weeks

Return to Exercise - Circumferential Thigh Lift:

  • 2 to 3 weeks (very light exercise)

  • 3 to 4 weeks (moderate exercise)

  • 6 to 8 weeks (strenuous exercise)




Risks and complications are similar to those for abdominoplasty and other types of body contouring

Risks include:

Due to the location and the degree of tension that is applied with a thigh lift procedure and the incision line,  a certain degree of scar fullness or thickness may result as well as numbness, itching, and swelling.





A patient with phlebitis in either leg, which is are blood vessels that become inflamed.  This pre-existing condition rules a patient out on this procedure.

A thigh lift is not an alternative to weight loss.  Most surgeons like their patients to be within 15 percent of their ideal body weight before undergoing this procedure.

Patients need to be at their desired weight and maintained for at least 6 months before having a thigh lift.  Having this surgery before a patient is down to their ideal weight might end up with loose and lax skin in the thighs - possibly meaning a revision lift.

Patients who have had healing problems with delayed wound healing before and if they are susceptible to hypertrophic or keloid scarring. A thigh lift can leave a patient with visible and raised scarring. 





Recovery from a thigh lift can be the same as a body lift

Including the following post operative advise:

  • A responsible adult should be with you for the first couple of days following this procedure.

  • Either a pain pump or oral narcotic pain medication should be taken as written

  • Surgical drains will be probably be used to help reduce the chance of a seroma forming.  These will be taken out within a week to ten days.

  • It is not unusual for the first few days following surgery to have drainage from the incisions. If liposuction was performed, fluid will be injected into the surgical area (thighs) to decrease the blood loss and to help with the extraction of fat deposits.  Most of the drainage will be this fluid.

  • Either sutures, staples or possibly fibrin

  • tissue glue will be used to close the incisions.  If sutures or staples are used, these will be removed within a week to ten days. 

  • A compression garment will be worn for a period of time after the procedure.  This is to provide support and help with re-contouring the skin, especially if liposuction was performed.

  • Light exercise, such as walking helps with the healing process and also reduces the chances of a blood clot forming.  No strenuous exercises should be attempted for at least six weeks post operative.  Your own surgeon will tell you when it is safe to get back to your normal routine.

  • Your surgeon should be contacted if there is any chance of infection or bleeding after surgery.

  • The scars from a thigh lift will continue to change for up to 18 months, however; they usually fade and can be easily concealed.

Read more about Recovering from a Thigh Lift







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