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.

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
Mount Kisco 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 6 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 11 reviews

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 267 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 93 reviews

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 69 reviews

Thigh lift helps part of the thigh.


Congratulations on the weight loss Gwen!

There are a number of body lift operations geared for tightening soft tissue after weight loss. Thigh lift improvements generally concentrate on the inner part of the thigh. A lower body lift (buttock lift) works around the backside. You really need to be examined and have a discussion with your surgeon to figure which procedure(s) may work best for that which bothers you.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Will thighlift help me?

Once you have sagging skin, it is difficult to remove it with non-surgical means. Usually, it requires procedures like a thighplasty that you mention. There are different options on where the scars can be placed in that area and it depends on where the excess is.I see many patients from out of town and I have them send photos to evaluate or do Skpe or Facetime consultations then help them with insurance coverage.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Thigh lift after massive weight loss

Generally, after losing a lot of weight it can be difficult for the skin to tighten back up again. It has been my experience that any obvious sagging present before liposuction surgery remains afterward, and can even get worse. As a result, a thigh lift would probably be better suited.   

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.