A thighplasty, also known as a thigh lift, is a cosmetic surgical procedure to tighten and improve the appearance of your thighs due to excess skin on your thighs that can be a result of aging, pregnancy, or a significant weight loss. Your thighs may look dimpled with sagging skin or have a flabby appearance. The goal of a thigh lift is to lift and contour your thighs so that they look slim and in proportion with the rest of your body. A combination of a thighplasty and liposuction techniques may be performed to give the thighs a smoother, more toned appearance.


People considering thigh lift surgery should know that it is not a surgical means of losing weight. It is a procedure for those who are close to their ideal weight but unhappy with the appearance of their thighs.



  • If you want your thighs to have a better, more proportional contour and a firmer look and feel.

  • If you have undergone bariatric surgery or massive weight loss.

  • If you are distressed about loose, flabby skin on your thighs.

  • If you have difficulty fitting into clothing because of heavy thighs.

The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider a thigh lift:​

  • The effects of aging have led to sagging, cellulite and loose skin on your thighs.

  • You have succeeded in a weight reduction program and you now desire shapely thighs and legs that reflect your more proportional, toned figure.

  • Clothes do not fit properly because of your heavy thighs.

  • Your thighs make you feel self-conscious and you want to restore your self-assurance regarding your body.

  • If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.


  • Clothing and swimwear will fit better.

  • Your body will appear more shapely and proportional.

  • Your thighs will be firmer and more youthful, with a curvaceous appearance.


  • There may be visible scarring.

  • The skin may appear deflated where fat has been removed by liposuction, the skin may appear deflated.

  • A secondary procedure may be required to correct any unevenness or bumps.

  • These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering a thigh lift. If you want to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.


There are three types of thighplasty: inner, medial, and bilateral.

  1. An inner thigh lift targets the skin in the lower portion of the inner thigh

  2. A medial thigh lift targets the skin and fat on the upper part of the inner thigh

  3. A bilateral thigh lift focuses on the skin on the front and outside of the thigh​

Inner and medial thighplasty procedures are usually performed on an outpatient basis. A bilateral thigh lift may require an overnight stay in the hospital.


Medial (inner) thigh lift: An incision is made in the groin area, and any excess fat and skin are excised along the inner aspect of the thigh. Liposuction may be but is not always included with an inner thigh lift, depending on your individual requirements. The area from the groin to the knee is recontoured and the procedure is repeated for the other thigh. If a more substantial wedge of tissue is removed, the procedure is called a thighplasty.


Lateral (outer) thigh lift:This is a more complex procedure, usually involving recontouring of the buttocks as well as the outer thighs and removal of more tissue. Scarring is more extensive, and the skin will be less elastic after the surgery, so weight should be maintained.


A physical examination, a thorough medical history and a discussion with your surgeon will help determine whether a medial or lateral thigh lift is most appropriate, or whether you will benefit from a combined lower body lift.


Medial thigh lift: The incisions are made in the groin area for an inner thigh lift. For patients requiring more substantial removal of excess skin, a longitudinal incision may be made along the inner thigh.


Lateral thigh lift: Depending on the requirements of a lateral thigh lift, the incisions will extend from the groin, around the hip, and possibly a buttock fold incision will be included. The surgeon will attempt to place the incisions where the scars can be hidden by clothing, but the incisions will be more extensive than for a medial thigh lift.


Thighplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure with general anesthesia or an epidural. Depending on the type of thigh lift and the area being treated, the incision pattern will vary. The most common thigh lift technique begins with an incision in the groin area. In all cases, skin and/or fat is removed; the underlying tissue is reshaped and tightened and the remaining skin is lifted and smoothed, and sutured into place at the incision site. Surgery typically takes 2 to 3 hours.


Post-operatively, there will be bruising, swelling and soreness in the area. You will need to wear compression garments to minimize the swelling and promote healing. You may have drains in place to collect excess fluid and reduce the risk of infection. You will need to record the amount of fluid collected in a log book. When the level of fluid removed meets your surgeon’s expectations, the drains will be removed.

The surgical sutures will be removed within two weeks. Pain medication and anti-inflammatory medications are typically prescribed during the post-operative period. You will not be able to use a bathtub, swim, or use a hot tub until you receive clearance from your surgeon. You may shower 48 hours after the procedure. You will most likely be able to return to work within 7 to 10 days and resume physical activity after 4 to 6 weeks. While there are scars, they are mostly hidden in your body's natural creases, and they will fade over time.


There are risks associated with any type of surgery. The risks with a thighplasty include the following:

  • Anesthesia risks

  • Poor healing of the wound

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Asymmetry

  • Deep vein thrombosis

  • Pain

  • Pulmonary or cardiac complications

  • Fat necrosis

  • Skin loss or discoloration


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