What is a thigh lift?

A thigh lift removes excess skin and fat from the inner and/or outer thighs to smooth the skin, sculpt the thighs and improve the proportions of the lower body. If diet and exercise haven’t worked to reshape your thighs, or if you’re left with excess tissue after losing a lot of weight, a thigh lift could be a good choice for you.

A thigh lift is often done as part of a mommy makeover, and your doctor might recommend having liposuction along with your thigh lift if your skin doesn’t have a lot of elasticity.

How a thigh lift works

A thigh lift can be performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation; your surgeon will talk with you about what would work best for you.

Your surgeon will customize the approach to give you the results you want. To lift the inner thighs, one approach uses incisions in the groin that extend downward and wrap around the back of the thigh. Another uses an incision down the inseam area from the groin to the knee. An outer thigh lift might use an incision that begins in the groin, goes around the hip and extends across the back.

The surgeon makes the incision, removes excess skin and fat, and places deep sutures to keep the new contours in place. Skin sutures, surgical adhesive or another method is used to close the incisions, and drainage tubes are placed to remove excess fluid for one to two weeks after surgery.

How long does it take to recover from a thigh lift?

Recovery from this procedure usually takes several weeks — but as with every surgery, recovery is highly individual. During your consultation, your doctor will talk with you about what to expect. You’ll begin to see results almost immediately, though it will take several months for the tissue to settle and achieve your final results.

Frequently Asked Questions About Thigh Lift

Q. Are the effects of a thigh lift permanent?

A. Thigh lift results are meant to last, but weight gain and aging can affect the results. Most doctors recommend waiting until you’ve reached your goal weight before having a thigh lift.

Q. Is there a difference between a thigh lift and a body lift?

A. A thigh lift addresses only the thighs, while a body lift is a comprehensive procedure that includes inner and outer thigh lifts along with a tummy tuck and buttock lift.

Q. Does a thigh lift leave visible scars?

A. All incisions result in some scarring; the extent of your procedure will determine the length and location of your incisions and the resulting scars, though scarring is usually very faint. Whenever possible, your surgeon will place incisions so the resulting scars can be covered by shorts or a skirt.