What is a Thigh Lift?

How is this procedure is actually done?

Doctor Answers 13

Thigh lift to tighten loose skin on inner or outer thighs

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I'm assuming you are asking about a medial (inner) thigh lift. An outer thigh lift is usually part of a larger procedure called a lower body lift.

A medial thigh lift can be done as a stand-alone procedure. It usually involves some liposuction, followed by removal of a crescent of skin from the upper inner thigh. The final scar should rest in the upper leg crease where your underwear sit. This type of lift tightens the upper inner thigh, but doesn't do much around the knees. If you need tightening further down the leg, your surgeon may suggest a vertical medial thighplasty, which uses a long straight scar along the inside of the leg from the groin to the inner knee. This type of thigh lift removes a large ellipse of skin and tightens the leg all the way down to the knee.

I do these procedures on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day. I don't use drains. The sutures are beneath the skin and they dissolve.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Thigh Lift Surgery

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Anesthesia is administered then an incision will be made in the thigh or lower buttock area to address the underlying tissue, reshaping and tightening it. Liposuction may be performed to eliminate fat.  


Thigh Lift Surgery - The Procedure & Recovery Period

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                  Excess thigh skin can cause a variety of problems including difficulties with ambulation, clothing and hygiene.  In some cases skin rashes and ulcerations may occur as a result of this condition.  In other cases, excess thigh skin can also adversely impact thigh aesthetics and negatively impact self-confidence, self-image and self-esteem.  For these reasons it’s not unusual for massive weight loss patients to see surgical correction of this problem.

                  Thigh lift surgery is designed to remove and tighten excess thigh skin following massive weight loss.  A variety of thigh lift options are available for treating saggy thigh skin.  The option chosen is dependent upon the specific anatomic findings associated with this condition.

                  The procedure is performed by making an incision along the groin crease.  In some cases this incision is extended down the inner aspect of the thigh to the level of the knee.  Skin flaps are then mobilized and the excess skin is removed.  Depending upon the severity of the skin sag this may involve both the transverse and vertical dimensions.

                  The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia.  Drains are placed at the time of the procedure and are left in place for 7 to 14 days.  During this period patients are instructed to minimize activity levels and are restricted to bathroom and kitchen privileges.  After two weeks, they can resume normal activities with the exception of heavy lifting and strenuous activities.  At 6 to 8 weeks patients can resume all of their normal activities without restrictions.

                  Thigh lift surgery is associated with high satisfaction rates.  The procedure removes and tightens excess thigh skin and ultimately results in significant contour improvement of the thighs.  Unfortunately, the procedure is associated with the potential for severe scarring.  Transverse scars in the groin region can be easily hidden and minimized with good surgical technique.  Scars along the inner aspect of the thigh are more problematic because there’s no way to entirely hide them.

                  It’s important to understand that this procedure involves a series of tradeoffs.  For this reason, it’s important that any patient considering thigh lift surgery consult a board certified plastic surgeon.  This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan and provide the technical expertise to maximize these tradeoffs.  

Thigh Lift Explained

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A thigh lift removes excess skin and tightens the skin and soft tissues of the thighs, most often the upper thighs. This is often performed in conjunction with the Tummy Tuck, also called Abdominoplasty, in massive weight loss patients.. The incision is made in the groin and in some patients vertically down during the thigh lift down  the inner thigh extending toward the knee.

Liposuction: This procedure may be used to assist in the removal of isolated fat areas before or at the time that  excess skin has been removed.                                                     These lifts remove excess skin and tighten the skin and soft tissues near the buttocks and upper thighs. This is often performed in conjunction with the Abdominoplasty. The incision is made below the belt area in the body lift and during the thigh lift; the incisions are placed on the inner thigh extending toward the knee. Liposuction may be used to assist in the removal of isolated fat areas after excess skin has been removed. It may be used alone in areas such as the back rolls, outer thigh, inner thighs, or in conjunction with all of the other contouring procedures to enhance the results

Thigh lift surgery

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A thighplasty (thigh lift) is performed by placing an incision in the inner aspect of the thigh.  This allows the surgeon to lift, remove, and re-contour the thigh skin. 

Thigh lift procedure details

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The thigh lift is a procedure designed to tighten the skin of the thigh and reduce sagging in the inner or outer thigh. This procedure is sometimes done alone but often done in combination with other procedures such as a body lift.

Thigh lift surgery can be done under 'twilight' anesthesia or general anesthesia. Immediately before surgery, I mark the patient's thighs while she's standing up. The skin is pinched and elevated towards the groin and an estimate is made of how much skin should be removed. I design the surgery so the final scar is hidden in the groin crease. Excess skin and fat are then removed and the remaining thigh skin is elevated and tightened.

The thigh lift is generally a well tolderated procedure, but the recovery time is 2-3 weeks. We suggest strict bed rest for the first 10 days--to avoid all movement to speed up recovery time. The pubic area is shaved the morning of surgery so that the area is smooth and without hair. Stray hairs can infect the incision,s so shaving helps to eliminate this risk. Out of town patients who have the thigh lift must stay a minimum of 2 weeks in town.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

What is a thigh lift?

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A thigh lift 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.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Thigh Lift

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A thigh lift is a procedure that is performed to lift the thigh in a vertical direction. Some plastic surgeons will also call vertical thighplasty a thigh lift.  However the former procedure is not a true lift. It is best called a thigh reduction in my personal opinion.

What is a thigh lift

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A thigh lift involves removing excess skin of the inner and usually upper area of the thigh.  Often after significant weight loss, patients may have loose skin of their inner thigh area which may extend down toward their knees.  There are two basic types of thigh lifts.  One involves an incision which is located in the groin crease and removes the upper thigh skin primarily, this is referred to as a medial thigh lift.  Another type of lift involves more of a vertical incision which extends down the inner aspect of the thigh from groin to knee area.  This latter type of procedure is better suited for patients who have laxity or looseness in both the horizontal and vertical directions.  Usually a small drain is left in place under the skin at the time of surgery which is removed five days later.  Sometimes, patients may also require liposuction of the thigh area at the same time as the thigh lift.  Most patients will take off about one week from work for this procedure.

Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine which type of thigh lift is best for you and to determine if you are a candidate for this type of surgery.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 400 reviews

Thigh lift procedure - thigh lift after weight loss

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A medial thigh lift is a surgical procedure that removes skin and fat in the middle thigh area, below the groin crease. In practice, a thigh lift recontours the inner thigh and allows for less bulk in the area. It can be performed before or after weight loss.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 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.