Sometimes referred to as a “thighplasty”, a thigh lift is a surgical procedure performed to reshape the thighs by removing excess skin and fat. The result is a slimmer and more toned appearance. Thigh lifts are performed to reduce sagging and tighten the skin around both the inner and outer thighs. These procedures are often combined with buttock augmentation or liposuction to improve the overall appearance of this part of the body.
Is Thighplasty Right For You?
Those who have sagging, loose skin around their thighs are ideal candidates for the thigh lift procedure. Also those with concentrated fat deposits that do not seem to respond to diet or exercise. The people most likely to have this procedure done are those who have lost a significant amount of weight or have experienced a noticeable decrease in skin elasticity resulting from aging. If you are able to pinch folds of excess skin on your thigh, this procedure may be right for you.
Good candidates are adults in good overall health who are at or near their ideal weight. While a thigh lift can remove several pounds of excess skin and fat, it should not be considered a weight loss procedure.
There are several types of thigh lift surgery which differ based on which areas of the thigh are in need of surgical attention. If you have stubborn pockets of fat in the inner thigh, you would need to undergo an inner thigh lift. If most of the excess tissue is in the outer thigh or “saddlebags” area, an outer lift may be right for you.
Thigh lift procedures are performed with general anesthesia and usually take two to four hours. First, the surgeon makes incisions in the groin crease, where the resulting scars will not be noticeable. This incision may continue around to the crease underneath the buttocks if most of the excess tissue is in the back of the thighs.
These incisions enable the surgeon to remove excess fat and skin. Once the underlying tissues have been tightened and reshaped, the skin is pulled upwards towards the incision, and the excess is trimmed away in the groin area near the incision line. The remaining skin is sutured together, with the result being a much smoother and proportionate contour.
Complications & Risks
The possible risks include reactions to the anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and fluid accumulation. These risks are incurred with all types of plastic surgery procedures that requires incisions. Additional risks include skin discoloration, reduction in skin sensitivity, and asymmetrical or bumpy aesthetic results. Scarring is also possible as well, although the incisions are intentionally made in a natural skin crease to reduce the potential for visible scarring.
During the recovery period, the thighs will feel sore and tender. Muscle soreness and a feeling of skin tightness are to be expected, along with swelling, bruising, and redness. These side effects will keep you off your feet for at least a few days, so you may want to arrange to have someone stay with you as you recover. Many thigh lift recovery patients report that sitting and bending are uncomfortable as well. During this time, it is important to avoid placing stress on the thighs and to wear a compression garment which will support the thighs as they heal. Most patients return to work in one to two weeks.
What Does a Thigh Lift Cost?
When it comes to the cost of thigh lift surgery, the surgeon’s fee averages $4,507. This amount varies depending on the extent of the surgery involved, such as whether it is performed on the inner or outer thighs, or both regions. Also, it does not include the costs of anesthesia or the surgical facility, which brings the average cost to approximately $5,500 to $6,500.
- Thigh and Knee Liposuction: Author: John A Grossman, MD; Chief Editor: Zubin J Panthaki, MD, CM, FACS, FRCSC
- Update on Safety and Efficacy of Outpatient Plastic Surgery: Rod J. Rohrich, M.D.; Bernardino M. Mendez, M.D.; Paul N. Afrooz, M.D
- NCBI: Medial Thighplasty: Horizontal and Vertical Procedures after Massive Weight Loss (n.d.)