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Thigh Lift

A thigh lift, medically known as thighplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure aimed at enhancing the appearance of the thighs. This treatment is particularly beneficial for individuals seeking to remove excess skin and fat to achieve a more toned and proportionate leg contour. Thigh lifts are often considered by those who have undergone significant weight loss, leading to sagging skin, or individuals experiencing natural changes in skin elasticity due to ageing.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for a Thigh Lift?

Ideal candidates for a thigh lift are individuals with excess soft tissue along the inner or outer thigh. Candidates should be in good general health, non-smokers, or willing to quit smoking well in advance of the surgery to promote better healing. Additionally, it is crucial for candidates to have realistic expectations about the procedure’s outcomes and to be at a stable weight, as significant weight fluctuations post-surgery can affect the results.

Preparing for a Thigh Lift

Preparation for a thigh lift involves several steps to ensure the safety and success of the procedure. Initially, a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is essential. During this meeting, the surgeon will assess your medical history, conduct a physical examination, and discuss your aesthetic goals. It’s an opportunity to ask questions and understand the risks, benefits, and expected outcomes of the procedure. Pre-operative instructions may include guidelines on diet, smoking cessation, avoiding certain medications, and arranging for assistance during the recovery period.

The Thigh Lift Procedure

Thigh lift surgery is typically performed under general anaesthesia and can take several hours, depending on the extent of the procedure and whether additional surgeries are being performed simultaneously, such as liposuction. The surgical technique used during a thigh lift varies depending on the area of the thigh being targeted and the amount of excess skin and fat:

  • Inner Thigh Lift: Focuses on the inner thigh, involving an incision in the groin area, extending downward and wrapping around the back of the thigh.
  • Outer Thigh Lift: Also known as a lateral thigh lift, involves incisions that start from the groin around the hips. This procedure is often combined with a buttock lift for more comprehensive lower body contouring.

The surgeon will remove excess skin and fat, tighten the remaining skin, and then close the incisions with sutures. Drainage tubes may be placed to remove excess fluid, and the treated areas will be wrapped in compression garments to minimise swelling.

Recovery and Results

The recovery period for a thigh lift varies among individuals but generally involves taking it easy for at least a few weeks. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are common but can be managed with medication prescribed by your surgeon. Compression garments should be worn as advised to support the healing process. Most patients can return to non-strenuous work within a few weeks, but it may take several months for swelling to fully subside and the final results to be apparent.

It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully, including attending follow-up appointments, to ensure a smooth recovery and optimal results. The outcomes of a thigh lift are long-lasting, provided you maintain a stable weight and healthy lifestyle.


A thigh lift can significantly improve the appearance of the thighs, making them look more toned and proportionate. However, it’s a major surgical procedure that requires careful consideration and planning. Selecting a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, having realistic expectations, and adhering to pre-and post-operative instructions are key to achieving the best possible outcomes.


A thigh lift and liposuction are two different procedures that target the thighs but with distinct goals. A thigh lift primarily focuses on removing excess skin and tightening the remaining skin to improve the thigh’s contour and appearance. It’s ideal for individuals with significant skin laxity. Liposuction, on the other hand, targets the removal of fat from the thighs and can be performed alone or in conjunction with a thigh lift for those who have both excess skin and fat.

The recovery time from a thigh lift surgery varies among individuals, but most patients can return to non-strenuous activities and work within 2 to 3 weeks. Full recovery and the subsidence of major swelling can take several months. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions, including wearing compression garments and avoiding strenuous activities, to facilitate a smooth recovery.

The results of a thigh lift are generally long-lasting, especially if you maintain a stable weight and adhere to a healthy lifestyle. However, it’s important to note that natural aging and gravity will eventually affect the skin’s elasticity over time, which might lead to some degree of sagging. But, significant changes in weight can more dramatically alter the results.

As with any surgical procedure, a thigh lift comes with certain risks, including infection, bleeding, scarring, asymmetry, changes in skin sensation, and complications related to anaesthesia. Choosing a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon and closely following pre-and post-operative instructions can significantly minimise these risks.

A thigh lift is designed to remove excess skin and fat and improve the overall contour of the thighs, but it may not significantly affect the appearance of cellulite. Some patients may notice a reduction in the appearance of cellulite due to the tightening of the skin, but the primary goal of this procedure is to enhance the shape and tone of the thighs rather than to treat cellulite. For cellulite reduction, other treatments may be recommended in conjunction with or instead of a thigh lift.

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