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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Thigh Lift or Lower Body Lift ?

After liposuction, my thighs are just loose bags.

Doctor Answers 11

Pros and cons of a thigh or lower body lift

A LOWER BODY LIFT = Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) + LATERAL Thigh Lift (x 2) + Buttock lift.

Liposuction removes fat. It does not (despite all the hype out there) shrink skin significantly.

In areas of the body where the skin is not really anchored to the underlying muscles (such as the inner thighs), the removal of the fat UNCOVERS the skin laxity which was there. Since the resulting deflation after fat removal is not accompanied by the skin being pulled against the muscle, the skin hangs down.

The skin looseness on the OUTSIDE (=Lateral) aspect of the thighs WILL BE smoothed with a Lower Body Lift. Skin Looseness of the Inner thighs will require an INNER THIGH LIFT operation.

The price of smoother skin and a more attractive figure is surgical hemlines (scars) along the zones where the skin was lifted and tightened.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

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The extent of looseness in your thighs and buttock will determine whether a lower body lift or more

Following liposuction to the thighs, laxity in the skin can develop if the elastic fibers in the skin do not retract to allow the skin to smooth itself against the underlying muscle. Depending upon where you had your liposuction in the thigh, inner thigh, lateral thigh, posterior thigh, anterior thigh, or circumferentially, you may have looseness in any of these locations. The areas of loose skin will determine the best approach in choosing between a more focused thigh lift and the more extensive lower body lift.

The lower body lift has the advantage of tightening in multiple areas of the thigh and buttocks. It extends circumferential around the back to allow tightening of the buttocks and back of the thighs, the hips and lateral thighs, and the front of the thighs. If you are satisfied with your abdominal contours this can be extended into the groin crease area to help tighten the inner thighs. While it makes a more dramatic difference in those patients who have lost weight through bariatric surgery, it is also very useful in patients who have lost more moderate amounts of body weight. Lifting in the buttocks and back of the thigh, as well as the hips and sides of the thigh can transmit a significant amount of tightening to the inner thighs, lessening the amount of skin removal needed in this area. Because of the amount of skin removed, there are long incisions which mean longer scars, longer healing times, and the use of drains. In the properly chosen patient, the lower body lift will achieve a great deal of slimming and patient satisfaction.

If your thigh has been treated with liposuction in only one or two areas, and the resulting skin laxity is limited to only the inner thigh or the outer thigh, a more limited thigh lift may be all that is needed. The procedure may take a shorter amount of time in the operating room and may, therefore, be less expensive. However it may still require the use of drains. Whenever skin is being pulled to tighten areas near joints, like the hip and waist, there can be separations in the wound and delayed wound healing in either limited thigh lifts or more extensive lower body lifts.

However, the best way to make your decision is to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience in both lower body lift surgery and in thigh lifts. Only a surgeon with experience in both procedures can tell you which one is more appropriate for you based on your individual distribution of skin laxity, and based on his experience doing both types of procedures. A surgeon who has done thigh lifts but only a limited number of thigh lifts may not be able to contrast the benefits for you based on that experience. Examination of before and after photographs of thigh lifts and lower body lifts will give you a better sense of any surgeon's individual experience.

Hope this is helpful. Good Luck!

David N. Hing, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon

A brief synopsis

Unfortunately, the skin elasticity was not adequate to shrink down after fat removal.

Basically, you have some choices. You can live with things the way they are or you may choose to have a lift.

The pros- skin and supporting tissues are lifted and tightened.

The cons- $, pain $ recovery, large scars, risks of surgery including all kinds of wound healing problems, drains, anesthesia.

If done by an experienced plastic surgeon, your chances of having a safe and successful outcome are very good.

Body lift is not for every body

Lower body lift works well for masive weight loss patients . These patients have a lot of loose skin . The down side of the lower body iift is the scar and it's position. For the maasive weight loss patient scar my be extended to the inner thigh. For the patients after liposuction with loose skin limited lift works better.

The other down side is the wound breakdown and this is very common since incision is in the crease of the innner thigh and very hard to keep it dry and clean. This is usually limited and local wound care will resolve it.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Lower body lift 360 body lift circumferential body lift thigh lift medial thigh lift liposuction

The 360 lower bodylift removes skin and fat from the abdomen, lateral thighs, saddlebags, and buttocks.  The circumferential body lift pulls up the outer or lateral portion of the thighs.  Thus, the 360 lower body lift elevates the lateral thigh.  
The medial thigh lift removes excess skin and fat from the inner thigh. Typically, the medial thigh lift does not affect the outer thigh.  
The "pros" of a 360 bodylift and the thigh lift include removal of skin and fat.  This can eradicate a significant amount of stubborn skin and fat of the abdomen, saddle bags, buttock and thighs.  It allows one to finish their massive weight loss journey.  It allows one to exercise easier. It allows one to buy clothes that show off all your weight-loss efforts and achievements. It increases self confidence.  
The "cons" of a 360 bodylift and the thigh lift our typical to most surgical procedures. There is healing time, downtime, and time from work.  In addition, there is a scar.  However, most patients are willing to have a scar in order to get rid of excess skin and fat.

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Thigh Lift v. Lower Body Lift

A lower body lift definitely gives benefit to the thighs.  There is good pull in the groin and anterior thigh as long as the deep layers are closed.  The lateral thigh often gets repositioned with a lower body lift and tightens skin.  The posterior thigh does not get much change.  The scars are easier to conceal with a lower body lift than with most thigh lifts and the recovery is actiually easier because there is not the rubbing of thighs with every step.  There are ways to vary scar position for both a lower body lift and a thigh lift.  The best choice for you may take careful consideration and planning.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Thigh Lift or Lower Body Lift? How to Decide.

The decision about which body contouring operation or operations you should have is unique to your anatomy and to your goals.  

Thigh lifts remove the lax skin from the upper inner thigh.  

An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck removes the excess skin from the front of your body and tightens your abdominal wall, narrowing your waist.  It doesn't treat a sagging buttocks.

The lower body lift removes skin from the front and back of your trunk.  As a result, a sagging buttocks is lifted, the excess abdominal skin is removed and the waist is tightened.

Sometimes an inner thigh lift can be combined with an abdominoplasty, belt lipectomy, or lower body lift.

A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon will allow for evaluating and discussion of your options.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Thigh lift

If after liposuction your thighs are loose bags, then you may be a good candidate for a thigh lift. Depending upon your laxity this could be as simple as a crescent excision in the groin or if more involved a longitudinal incision in the thigh as well.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Patients with excess hanging skin are excellent candidates for body contouring

Excess skin laxity following liposuction is very common. It usually indicates that your skin integrity was inadequate to "shrink wrap" down after liposuction. Patients with this issue are excellent candidates for open body contouring procedures. This can include tummy tuck, lower body lift, brachioplasty and thigh lift. If you have a significant amount of excess skin that hangs down, surgical removal probably is your best option.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Lower body lift

Body lift is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, hips lateral thighs, inner thighs and the buttocks. Excessive skin sagging can result from age, pregnancy, or excessive weight loss and gain.

Lower body lift addresses multiple areas which can be combined in one procedure or divided into two or more procedures. It also combines liposuction of areas of fat accumulation, to rejuvenate and restores youthful curves to the body
Staging these procedures make the recovery more easy and the procedure safer. These procedures are done under general anesthesia. The incisions used in lower body lifts are designed to be hidden by the swimsuit or underwear, and usually run circumferentially around the abdomen upper thigh, buttocks and for the inner thighs the incision is placed high in the groin crease. Excess skin and fat is removed and the skin is tightened to restore smoothness and beauty.

ABDOMINOPLASTY, tightens the abdominal muscles, and removes the excess, lax skin of the upper and lower abdomen. The procedure includes liposuction of excess fat in the upper abdomen, waist line and hips.


The abdominoplasty incision can be extended over the hips to the buttocks will remove lax skin over the thighs and buttocks, thus lifting the buttocks and the lateral thighs.


Medial thigh or inner thigh lift is done through an incision placed high in the groin crease, well hidden by bikini or underwear. Excess skin is removed and the inner thigh is lifted and tightened.


Often the buttocks need to be lifted and enhanced at the same time.
Tissue from around the hip area can be used to enhance the buttock as well.

• Seromas, or fluid collection under the skin
• infection
• Delayed wound healing
• Numbness
• Asymmetry may occur
• Bleeding
• Scarring, hypertrophic scars, keloids, painful scars.
• Blood clots in the legs (Deep venous thrombosis), can travel to the lungs (pulmonary emboli)

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.