I Had a Consultation About a Thigh Lift and the Surgeon Recommended Doing One Thigh at a Time is This Normal?

I Had a Consultation About a Thigh Lift and the Surgeon Recommended Doing One Thigh at a Time is This Normal? 

Doctor Answers 11

Bilateral Cosmetic Procedures Are Not Considered Normal

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                  Staging bilateral cosmetic surgical procedures wouldn’t be considered normal under any circumstance.  One of the major goals of cosmetic surgery is the creation of symmetry.  When bilateral procedures are staged the wounds are healing at different rates.  In other words, one is always ahead of the other during this dynamic process.  This can make the creation of symmetry difficult and adversely impact the aesthetic result.  In addition, the patient is exposed to the risks of two procedures instead of one procedure. 

                  The only justification for a staged surgical approach is the avoidance of a prolonged procedure.  An experienced surgeon, first assistant and surgical team that focus on efficiency are much better ways to minimize the length of a bilateral procedure.

                  It’s important that you discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon.  If you’re not comfortable with the response it might be appropriate to get a second opinion.

Not the norm to do thighs individually

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No, this is not normal.  All plastic surgeons that I know do both legs at the same time.  There is no need to stage these procedures but a significant amount of experience is required and the coordinated surgical team is essential in the operating room.

Thank you,

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Thigh lifts are done as a bilateral procedure.

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Both thighs are usually done at the same operation during a thigh lift.  To do otherwise could risk aymmetry.  In some cases  liposuction is done as the first stage to thin the thighs and the lift is done at a later stage, but for either surgery both thighs are completed on the same day.  A second opinion may be in order.  Be sure your doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  This is the gold standard to assure adequate training.

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Thigh lift is generally a bilateral procedure

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Thank you for your question. Some surgeons prefer to break up a thighplasty into liposuction at one sitting and the thigh lift at as a second procedure. I prefer to do both at the same time. I am not sure what condition you could have that would cause your surgeon to do one thigh at a time. I suggest that you get a second opinion and make sure that your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Thighlift, one thigh at a time

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It is not normal to operate on one thigh at a time when performing a thighlift. While thighlifts may require 2 stages, both thighs receive the same surgery. Two stage surgery may include liposuction followed by thighlift, or vice versa, for example.

Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Surgeon recommended thighlift one at a time

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This is highly unusual to do only one thigh per operative setting unless your surgeon had some very specific reason.  I would ask your surgeon for his rationale.  

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Not usually....

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Thigh lift surgery is usually done on both sides at once. Maybe your doctor can share with you his or her reasoning?


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Thigh lift procedure

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I have never heard of doing one thigh at a time. It makes much more sense to do them together, as it would be only one anesthetic and one recovery. Also it would be easier to achieve symmetry when then they are done simultaneously.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Thigh lift

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Thigh lifts are done both at the same time. There is no benifit to doing one side at a time. Could be due to lack of experience or qualifications. Consult a board plastic surgeon ( American Board of Plastic Surgery).


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Thigh lifting

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Thank you for the question.

Thigh  lifting surgery is generally done bilaterally (both sides at the same time)  unless there is a specific reason that your consulting surgeon was thinking of.

You should also be aware that thigh lifting surgery, compared to most other body contouring operations, is relatively rarely performed. Therefore, you should be very careful in the selection  of the plastic surgeon who is to perform the procedure.

I hope this helps.

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.