thigh lift

Thigh Lift (Inner and Outer, Partial belt lipectomy)

To create a slender profile, this patient had an inner thigh lift to tighten loose skin, hanging skin in the thigh areas.

What is a Thigh Lift?

The Thigh Lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to tighten the skin of the thigh and reduce sagging in the inner or outer thighs. The procedure is commonly performed on patients with massive weight loss, but it is also performed on people who have not experienced weight loss. There are two types of thigh lifts:

Inner Thigh Lift or  medial thigh lift
Outer Thigh Lift

Patients who have the Body Lift procedure will have the Outer Thigh Lift performed as part of the procedure. Additionally, the Outer Thigh Lift can be performed with the Tummy Tuck procedure. This combination of Outer Thigh Lift plus Tummy Tuck is called the Extended Tummy Tuck

However, the Inner Thigh Lift procedure is commonly performed as a single procedure. Patients who have a Body Lift will often have the Inner Thigh Lift performed as the second step of their total body transformation.

What problems does a Thigh lift address?

Candidates usually have these signs or symptoms:
Poor skin elasticity on inner/outer thighs
Dramatic weight loss resulting in excess skin on thighs
Sagging,  hanging, and excessive skin on inner or outer thighs

If the skin of the inner or outer thigh sags, a thigh lift will eliminate excess skin, and then tighten and firm the skin contour. The procedure creates beautiful, long sculpted legs. Patients who have lost a lot of weight are ideal candidates for a Thigh Lift, as they usually have excess hanging skin.

Please note that if your thighs are also very big and have lot of fatty tissue it might be best to do liposuction first to get rid of as much of the excess tissue as possible. After a few months we can re-evaluate the inner thigh to see if you will additionally benefit from a Thigh Lift.

How is a Thigh Lift performed?

Type of anesthesia

These procedures are performed under IV anesthesia instead of General Anesthesia. Patients have a quicker recovery with IV anesthesia and much of the nausea associated with General Anesthesia is eliminated.

Incision locations

The Inner and Outer thigh lift each have a unique incision location and surgical protocol.

Inner thigh lift

The pubic area is shaved the morning of surgery so that the area is smooth and without hair. Stray hairs can infect the incisions, so shaving the pubic area helps to eliminate the risk of infection. To provide the most sterile and bacteria free environment possible, the surrounding pelvic and anus area are cleansed with betadine. Sterile fields are always used in surgery, but for this procedure we like to widen the sterile zone to include adjacent areas.

Immediately before surgery, while you are still awake and standing, I will mark your inner thigh with the incision location. The skin is pinched and elevated towards the groin and an estimate is made for how much skin should be removed. The incision is located in the groin crease.

Outer thigh lift

The Outer thigh lift is done to remove excess skin that hangs below the hip area. The incision for this procedure is located near your hip bone. If you are having a tummy tuck at the same time, the incision simply extends horizontally from the tummy tuck incision.

On the morning of surgery, while you are still awake, the incision location is discussed with you standing in front of the mirror. We will pinch the area of excess skin and I am careful to place this incision below the panty line. To assist with the surgical markings, we ask you to bring along a favorite bathing suit to help determine the best incision location.

Incision closure

For both types of thigh lifts, excess skin and fat are removed. Before we cut the excess skin, the skin is elevated. To reduce complications I perform only a small amount of dissection from the tissue beneath the skin. By not undermining this tissue with dissection, I reduce the risk of fluid accumulation dramatically. For this reason, most of my Thigh Lift patients do not need drains.

To close the wound, I use dissolvable sutures and start closing the deeper tissue layers first.

Pre-Operative preparations

Your BMI (Body Mass Index) must be less than 35 kg/m2. This is calculated based on your height and weight, and is important to reduce the risk of post op complications.

Quit smoking 2 weeks prior to surgery

Stop taking multivitamins, herbals, and aspirin prior to surgery

Have an Physical examination

NPO after midnight before surgery

What is Thigh Lift Post-Op recovery like?

Thigh Lift recovery time is 3 weeks. We strongly recommend bed rest for the first 7 days–avoiding all movement to help speed up recovery time.

Out-of-town patients who have the thigh lift must stay a minimum of 2 weeks in town. Following surgery, you should do the following:


What are the risks and possible complications?

The most common complications include:


Poor Wound Healing

Skin Loss

Numbness or changes in skin sensation

Wound Separation

Sutures that surface through the skin


Possibility of secondary procedure to correct the above complications

Lower complication rates can be achieved for patients who have not undergone massive weight loss diets. In my surgery center we are very proud of our extremely low complication rate with the Thigh lift surgery.

The most common minor complications with the Thigh Lift are fluid accumulation and wound separation which can lead to seroma and hematoma formation. In my own practice, I have fine tuned many steps of my procedure to reduce the complication rate for this procedure.



I have lost lots of weight and this has left me with loose skin on my thighs. I exercise regularly but it’s having no effect on them at all. I have heard of this surgery, would it help me ?

If you have lots of redundant skin on your inner thigh areas, you maybe a candidate for a thigh lift . The best course of action is to arrange a consultation with a Plastic Surgeon to discuss this and see if you would be suitable.

How long does the operation take, is it done under a general anaesthetic ?

The operation takes about two  to three hours. It is usually performed under general anaesthetic or spinal anesthesia .

How much time will I need off work ?

Allow fourteen days off work, depending on the type of work that you do. You must avoid heavy lifting and excessive opening of the legs in any event for three to six weeks.

Will the results last ?

Yes, provided that you do not gain or lose weight significantly in the future. Of course as you age the skin on your legs age just as everywhere else

I have some fat on the outer thighs too, can this be removed at the same time ?

Yes, the Surgeon can remove this excess fat with a little liposuction altogether unless there is too much fat which in this case the liposuction should be performed first .

Will there be a scar afterwards ?

Yes, there will be a scar but it will be in the natural contours of the thigh. In any event the removal of the excess skin will greatly improve the appearance and this will be evident immediately after the surgery.

I drive with my job, how soon can I drive again ?

It may be up to six weeks before you can get behind the wheel. Your legs will be sore in the initial recovery period.