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Will a Thigh Lift Get Rid of Sagging Skin After Weight Loss?

I lost a lot of weight about a year ago, and I am still at my ideal weight but my skin hasn't "bounced back" since I lost the weight.  The worst area is in my thigh and buttock region.  Will a thigh lift work to get rid of saggy skin leftover from when I was bigger?

Doctor Answers 22

Body contouring surgery

There are many operations out there with names that can be confusing. Some names are surgically descriptive, and others are open to interpretation. Here are some terms to help: Abdominoplasty / tummy tuck - leaves a scar across the front of your body, and tightens the skin on the front (as well as the muscles) Thigh lift - there are several versions: - Lateral thigh lift - 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. - Inner thigh lift - Scar inside the groin crease, improving the skin on your inner thighs Buttock lift - Scar runs across your back, at the junction between back skin and the buttocks. It lifts the buttocks. An Extended abdominoplasty is really a combination of a standard abdominoplasty and a Lateral thigh lift. A Body lift or Circumferential abdominoplasty (or Belt lipectomy) results in a scar that goes all the way around the waist, and is effectively a combination of an abdominoplasty, lateral thigh lift, and buttock lift. This is a bit of a simplification of the operations, as there are specific nuances to refine the results, but it should help understand what you are asking for. My advice is to seek consultation with an experienced surgeon, point to the areas that you want addressed, and hear what they suggest.

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One of the most common and satisfying operations for patients who have lost large amounts

of weight is the medial thigh lift.  Following large weight loss, it is very common for the laxity that was present in the medial thigh area to remain, and this can be a source of significant distress for many patients.  Fortunately, a modification of the traditional medial thigh lift, with extension of the scars towards the mid thigh leaving a "t" or "l" shaped scar can smooth out the extra skin.  If the amount of skin to be removed is not excessive, than the scar can be hidden in the groin area, without any extension down the thigh.  To find out which procedure would be best for you, consider a consultation with an experienced surgeon. 

Michael H. Rosenberg, MD
White Plains Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Thigh lift after weight loss

You have done very well loosing the weight. Congratulations.

Skin tightening procedures can tighten the skin and improve on the appearance of these areas. There are different designs to these tightening procedures. After examination your PS can dicuss with you the different options and where the scar is located.

After significant weight loss the skin does not retract back and results iin sagging of 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.

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

Sagging skin after weight loss

Surgical skin and fat excision is necessary to correct skin laxity. The procedure depends on the degree and location. In most cases of significant weight loss require a patient may require a combination of a thigh reduction and lower body lift. . Thigh reduction with a vertical scar in the inner thigh, from groin to knee. A lower body lift with side and back excision is necessary to lift the buttock. Buttock implants do no provide sufficient lift for sagging skin.  

Robert Sleightholm, MD
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Thigh and buttock lift

After losing "a lot" of weight as you describe, a thigh and buttock lift may indeed be your best and only hope for significant improvement in those areas. You would likely find a consultation with a surgeon to be very helpful in determining what would be best for your body. He or she would have the benefit of being able to weigh factors such as your age, remaining skin elasticity, body proportions and your genetics.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

A thigh and buttock lift will help with loose skin after weight loss

The skin of the thigh and buttock loses its elasticity after weight gain and massive weight loss. Its unlikely that any laxity that you have at this time will recover spontaneously. Depending on the degree of laxity that you have along the surfaces of your thigh and buttock, you may benefit from a thigh lift and buttock lift procedure. There are several varieties, and a good plastic surgeon with a busy body contouring practice should be able to steer you in the right direction.

Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for a thorough evaluation of your body contour issues.

Thigh Lift after weight loss

If fitness and weight loss efforts have not achieved your goals for a body that is firmer, more youthful-looking and more proportionate to your overall body image, a surgical thigh lift may be right for you. This surgery reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body.

William J. Hedden, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 192 reviews

Thigh lift for sagging skin

A large weight gain often destroys the ability of the skin to spring back (IE Elasticity). When the weight is lost, the skin looks very much like a sail does when the wind goes away.

If your weight has been stable for 6 months, it is safe to assume that what you see is what you are left with. In tackling body contouring, you will need to be very honest about what bothers you the most and prioritize your operations based on what you would like to fix first, second and third.

Usually, we would do an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) before a thigh lift because we can get some anterior thigh lifting with the tummy tuck thereby improving skin laxity.

As it comes to a thigh lift, you may only need either a lateral or a medial thigh lift. In other cases, you may need to have both. But, while a thigh lift would improve your appearance, advising you WHICH thigh lift may be for you without a photo or an examination would be guessing.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Thigh lift

congratulations on your weight loss.

There are many ways to address your thighs. And the best option will depending your anatomy (the amount and exact location of your excess skin). A thigh lift can range from a groin crease incision/scar to a scar extending down the medial aspect of your thigh down to the knees. I would consult an ASPS member surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Buttock and or thigh lift

Thigh lifts will help to remove loose and excess skin. However, there are many different versions: inner thigh, outer thigh, circumferential. These can be combined with a buttock lift with or without augmentation. Scars can be circular, or vertical.

You need to discuss the goals with a plastic surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 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.