What is a Thigh Lift?

Thigh lift surgery reshapes the thigh by reducing excess skin and fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body.

The looseness in skin is mostly from the fluctuations in weight, aging, and heredity. If fitness and weight control efforts have not achieved your goals for a body that is firmer, a surgical thigh lift may be right for you. If there is not much excess skin and good skin elasticity, the liposuction is recommended. However, if there is too much excess skin and not good skin elasticity, both procedures may be considered.


How should I prepare for Thigh Lift surgery?

  • Consult with the plastic surgeon about the surgery including the steps, techniques, incision, operating hours, results, risks, complications and recovery recommendation. 
  • Evaluate your general health status such as blood test, Chest x-ray, ECG based on the hospital safety policy
  • Continue taking the current medications for underlying disease
  • Stop smoking at least 2 – 4 weeks prior to surgery
  • Stop taking Aspirin and Anti-Inflammatory drugs including the herbal supplements, which can easily cause the bleeding tendency, at least 2 weeks prior surgery or according to the physician’s advice.


What are the steps of a Thigh Lift surgery?

Incision patterns vary based on the area or areas to be treated, degree of correction and patient and surgeon’s preference.

1. The inner thigh lift incision which involves an incision in the groin area is suitable for patients with minimal excess skin.

2. The inner thigh lift  with an incision from the groin area and along the inner thigh removes both the excess skin and fat from the inner thigh area.


Who is a good candidate for Thigh Lift surgery?

  • Adults with significant excess skin and fat laxity in the inner and outer thighs  
  • Adults of any age whose weight is relatively stable for at least 3 months
  • Healthy without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
  • Non-smokers
  • Have realistic expectations


Results after surgery :

  • The results are apparent almost immediately following the  procedure, but the final results may take up to several months after surgery.
  • At the beginning period after surgery, the incision will be swollen and the patient may not be able to stand straight until the internal wound is healed. It generally takes up to 1-2 weeks. 
  • The skin quality will be improved in both external areas and sensation.
  • The scar is visible after surgery which could be pro. The scar may be good or bad depending on the heredity and after wound care. Normally the scar will be steady as a result in 1-2 years after surgery.
  • The tighter contours of the arms are according to the body ages.
  • In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
  • Following your physician’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.



  • The surgeon will wrap your thighs with an elastic bandage which will be replaced by a support thigh compression garment or another elastic bandage (in case of too much swelling) after the surgeon removes the surgical drain tube.  
  • An appointment will be made for the  patient to remove the eternal stitches 7-10 days after surgery.
  • Usually patients can return to work within 14 – 21 days after surgery.

Post-op care

How to take care of yourself after surgery?

Swelling and Bruising: 

  • Bruising and Swelling will occur within 48-72 hours after surgery. The third day is usually the worst and then it will gradually get better after day 4. 
  • Bruising will be better after 4 days and will fade away within 21days.
  • Swelling will subside quite quickly in the first 2-3 weeks and then gradually subside between 3 to 6 months. 
  • Cold compress with a cold pack or a bag of ice is needed in the first 3 days. It will help to reduce swelling and bruising.

Pain and Medication:

  • The most painful moment is right after the surgery and on the first day. In some patients, it will take some time until all the pain disappears. 
  • Take pain relievers only when you are in pain. Do not take it more than 6 times per day. 
  • Side effects are nausea or dizziness
  • If a rash or itchy occurs after taking medication, the patient must  inform the surgeon immediately.

Medication Dosage:

  • The antibiotic medication must  be taken the entire course. 
  • Any underlying condition and medication needs to be informed and adjusted by a surgeon or medical doctor both before and after surgery. 
  • Do not take Aspirin or any medication in Aspirin group, Vitamin E, herbs, or any supplements at least 2 weeks before and after surgery as it can cause bleeding and bruising.

Smoking and Drinking:

  • You must stop smoking 4 weeks prior and 4 weeks post surgery as the Nicotine causes the delayed wound healing. 
  • You must stop drinking 2-4 weeks prior and 2-4 weeks post surgery.


  • Get enough sleep and rest after surgery.
  • Sleep on  your back position and use 1-2 pillows to prop your under both knees and legs above the heart level; it will help reduce swelling.

Wound care:

  • Before surgical drain tubes are removed, the patient can take a sponge bath.
  • After surgical drain tubes are removed, the surgeon will put on a waterproof dressing, a quick shower is allowed. 
  • Remove waterproof dressing within 48 hours after discharge from the hospital.
  • Check the waterproof dressing; make sure that it is clean and dry at all times.
  • Do not touch the wound directly after removing the waterproof dressing.
  • Use wooden cotton buds with normal saline to clean the wound and apply antibiotic cream twice a day. 
  • The surgeon will remove stitches in 7-10 days
  • If there is any sign of infection or complications, please inform surgeons immediately.
  • Scar cream, scar gel, or silicone sheet can be used 5-7 days after all stitches are removed or as soon as the wound is recovered.

Thigh Compression Garment:    

  • You must wear a thigh garment for 24 hours at least 1-2 months after surgery or as long as the surgeon recommends.                                    


  • During the first 5 days after surgery, it is important to not engage in any activity which will elevate the blood pressure and possibly cause bruising or hematoma under the skin.
  • Only light exercise is allowed  4-6 weeks after surgery.
  • Avoid exercise at least 2 months after surgery. 
  • No weight lifting or lifting anything heavy in the first 6 weeks
  • Avoid hot tubs or saunas for at least 6 months after surgery. 
  • Do not participate in any contact sports for at least 6 months.


Risks and Complications:

General Risks & Complications:

  • Complications of general anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Bleeding 
  • Blood Collection
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Keloid scar
  • Poor wound healing
  • Painful

Risks and Complication of Thigh Lift:

  • Seroma      
  • Swollen and skin color change
  • Necrosis and wound separation
  • Recurrent of excess skin at thigh area
  • Upper thigh skin contour irregularities
  • Numbness and chance of skin sensation is changed and weak muscle
  • Chance of Revision



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