Bad Thigh Lift Results. Are Revisions Ever Done for Unhappy Patients?

I am very unhappy with my thigh lift and feel that the improvement is good but the results are not acceptable. I still feel that I need to cover up and not wear shorts. Also my tummy tuck left me with very large and noticeable dog-ears. I have spoken with my surgeon and it will cost me more money for the improvements. What about revisions? Don't surgeons do that for their patients?

Doctor Answers 12

Revisions for body lift procedures

It really depends on your understanding prior to surgery. Surgery following massive weight loss typically and commonly requires multiple surgical procedures. It is not realistic to expect a one procedure solution. Commonly your dog ears indicate that you would benefit more from a circumferential body lift rather than a tummy tuck.

Discuss your concerns and expectations in a frank conversation with your plastic surgeon who is invested in achieving a satsifactory result.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews


The answer depends on the understanding between you and your surgeon.  It is common to require revision procedures after skin excision for weight loss procedures.  There is also always a tradeoff between contour and scarring in body contouring surgery.  Discuss your concerns and expectations with your surgeon.  

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Revisional Thigh Lift Surgery

                  Thigh lift surgery often involves a series of tradeoffs between thigh contour and the scarring associated with thigh lift surgery.  In other words, removal and tightening of thigh skin is always associated with scarring, which in some cases may be visible.  For this reason, it’s not unusual for patients to seek revisional surgery following this procedure. 

                  The type of revisional surgery is totally dependent upon the residual deformity.  In most cases, the procedure involves excision of widened scars and re-closure of the wound.  In other cases, more aggressive procedures may be necessary.  In these cases, major flap elevation may be necessary with mobilization of significant amounts of tissue.

                  If you’re not happy with the results of your previous procedure consultation with your plastic surgeon is appropriate.  This surgeon should be able to form a treatment plan that minimizes your scarring.  It’s important to realize that some scarring will always be present and this is one of the tradeoffs that’s necessary to improve thigh contour.  

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Cost for revision surgery.

The policy for revisions should be discussed and understood at the time of the consultation. The decision to revise is when the surgeon believes that he or she can make it better.  Cost for revisions are based on what exactly needs to be done.

Robert Sleightholm, MD
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Revision surgery, who pays for it

I am sorry to hear that you are not happy with your results. It is not uncommon that a small revision is required on patients that require significant body contouring. Each physician has there own policy. In my practice I tell patients that if the revision is reasonable, that I have no problem doing it without a surgeons's fee if it is in the first year. I often can do revision, including dog ears, in the office under local anesthesia. Since this is done in the office there is no cost to the patient. Some revisions are more extensive and require going to the operating room. For these cases I personally do not charge them, but there will be a facility and anesthesia fee that they will be required to pay.

Joseph Michaels, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Revisions and Fees

I'm sorry to hear that you are not completely satisfied with your results.  In my own practice, I perform procedures such as dog ear revisions in the office with pain medicine and local anesthesia.  This is comfortable for patients and avoids the surgical facility fees associated with revisions in an operating room.  When the rare return to the operating room is necessary, this is a difficult situation.  I do not charge a professional fee.  Nevertheless, an anesthesia provider, nurse, and scrub technician are often required.  Unfortunately, these practioners require compensation.  Thus, it is ideal to avoid a return.  When it is necessary, each surgeon varies with their policy.  Occasionally, insurance will pay for anesthesia.  If you are considering a procedure in the future, be sure to discuss this possibility with your physician.

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Thigh lift revision

It depends on the surgeon.  You must always seek a board certified plastic surgeon to start with.  I persoanlly would be happy to perform revision on my patients when indicated.  I also perform a large number of body contouring revisions after other surgeons.

Siamak Agha, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Unacceptable thigh lift results

It is not unusual for a portion of the scar to require revision.  The policy on Surgeon's fees vary widely.  If possible, the surgeon may perform the revision under local anesthesia to minimize costs.  If the revision requires an anesthesiologist and return to the Surgery Center, those fees are separate.  It is important to clarify these issues prior to surgery.

Malcolm A. Lesavoy, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Revision surgery

These issues should have been discussed before the surgery.

Any surgery may require some tweeking. You must discuss these issues before the surgery and what are your responsibilities for the cost of revisional surgery.

If the dog ears are real dog ears and not more prominent illiac crest fat that needed liposuction then the dog ears should be revised with minimal charge. In the hands of a Board Certified PS there shoul be no dog ears.

As for the thigh lift it depend on the location of the scar, a longitudinal scar improves the thigh very well but leaves long scar from grion to knee. That scar cannot be changed

If the scar is in the grion area it can be revised to a better scar provided you have waited till the scat matured enough one to one and a half years for scars to mature.

If that scar is pulling down it can be revised earlier.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Surgeon's policies on revision differ


Revising things is part of plastic surgery, but who pays for it is a matter of policy. This is something to discuss with your surgeon.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.