Procedures

Thigh Lift

What to Expect

  • Anesthesia: General
  • Length of surgery: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
  • Outpatients/inpatient: Outpatient
  • Adjunct procedures: Mommy Makeover, Liposuction
  • Recovery: 3-4 weeks

Following massive weight loss, or the natural changes that occur with age, many people are left with poor skin tone on their thighs. This may result in hanging skin, saddlebags, wrinkles, cellulite and poorly proportioned contours in the lower body. Although some patients successfully tone their thigh muscles with exercise, excess skin is often resistant to such activities and must be corrected with a surgical approach. A thigh lift focuses on removing loose skin and unwanted fat from the inner and/or outer thigh region.

If you are interested in learning more about thigh lift surgery, contact Edina Plastic Surgery at 612-688-3177 or through our online contact form. Our board-certified and board-eligible surgeons Drs. Leigh, Philbin, Stewart and Wilke are excited to discuss the ways this procedure could help you regain the shapely, youthful thigh contours you desire.

Personalizing Your Thigh Lift Procedure

 

 

The surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery will adapt your thigh lift procedure to meet your specific needs and address your unique anatomy. One of the most important recommendations they will make is whether you should proceed with an inner or outer thigh lift incision. Both are capable of addressing severe skin ptosis (sagging) and stubborn deposits of fat, but they differ in the areas of the body they affect.

Inner Thigh Lift Incision

This incision is made on the inside of the leg. Some patients achieve sufficient skin excision with an incision in the groin crease only. Others require an incision in the groin crease as well as vertically down the length of the thigh to the knee. The incision will be as long as needed to address all the problematic areas you would like corrected. It can also extend around toward the back or front of the thigh. This technique provides discreet results since the scarring occurs on the inside of the leg.

Outer Thigh Lift Incision

An outer thigh lift often involves a larger incision and more extensive scarring. The incision starts near the groin and wraps up and around the patient’s hip. The incisions are strategically placed to be hidden under most clothing and swimsuits, but they may be more visible than the scars of an inner thigh lift. However, more extensive incisions generally mean more ability to correct and more dramatic results, and many patients find this is a trade they are happy to make.

Deciding If a Thigh Lift Is Right for You

A thigh lift creates taut, slender contours throughout the thigh area. If you are struggling with excess skin, textural problems or stubborn deposits of fat in your thighs, a thigh lift is a great way to rid yourself of those concerns. The most common candidates for thigh lift surgery have succeeded with massive weight loss and are left with excess skin that may cause chafing or make wearing tight pants uncomfortable. We recommend that you are at your goal weight and that it has been stable for six months prior to surgery.


Preexisting conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure put you at a higher risk of developing complications during your surgery. These conditions don’t automatically disqualify you, but you will need to discuss them with your surgeon during your initial consultation so they can make the safest and most effective recommendations for you. Smoking and other nicotine usages also put you at higher complication risk, so quitting as soon as possible is highly recommended.

 

Your surgeon will determine if you are a good thigh lift candidate after an in-person evaluation and conversation about your aesthetic concerns.

Preparing for Your Thigh Lift

Your journey to a slimmer, sleeker lower body starts with an initial consultation with one of our board-certified or board-eligible plastic surgeons. Bring along a list of any questions and concerns you might have so that your surgeon can inform you as much as possible.

It’s also valuable to come with a clear idea of what you would like to achieve. The better your surgeon understands your unique appearance goals, the better your surgical outcome will be.

Your surgeon may recommend an additional surgery to achieve the results you’re hoping for. Liposuction is frequently done with this procedure to maximize the contouring effect around the hips and under the buttocks.

Once you have received your final surgical plan, our team will present you with payment options and a list of preoperative instructions. Following these instructions ensures you have the calmest and safest surgery day possible.

The Thigh Lift Procedure

 

We conduct thigh lifts and other surgeries at our state-of-the-art, fully equipped and accredited surgery center. After you arrive and check in, our team of surgical techs and nurses will prepare you for surgery, and a certified nurse anesthetist will administer anesthesia to ensure your comfort during the procedure.

Your surgeon will begin by making incisions according to the type of thigh lift you are undergoing. Those incisions allow him or her to remove fat and tissue in the necessary areas to restore a smooth, shapely contour. Liposuction may be used to loosen and remove additional fat. The skin is then pulled and redraped over the thigh, and the incisions are closed. Sutures may also be placed within the deeper tissues beneath the skin to promote a taut appearance.

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Before & After

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Thigh Lift Recovery and Results

When you wake up from your procedure, it is normal to feel some minor pain and discomfort. Medication will be given to you to help with these sensations. Small tubes may also have been inserted into the surgical area; these are there to help drain the incision sites and minimize swelling immediately following the procedure. You will be required to have someone with you on the day of the surgery to drive you home. You should also arrange for someone to remain with you during the first day and night after your procedure to help with anything you might need.

Thigh lift patients typically return to work and other regular activities within one to two weeks, but the timeline is highly dependent on your body’s natural healing pace and how well you follow the postoperative instructions given to you by your surgeon. It can take six months for swelling to resolve completely. Some patients may have residual swelling of their lower legs as well as their thighs after this procedure. It is important to wear compression garments postoperatively for six weeks.

Once recovered, you can expect to see a tighter, smoother appearance throughout your thighs. There will be a significant improvement in the contours of your legs and a more balanced appearance throughout your body overall. Instead of hiding your thighs under conservative clothing, you may find yourself shopping for clothes you wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing before and showing off your legs with confidence.

Request a Consultation Today

It’s not easy to rid yourself of loose skin and stubborn fat. It can be especially frustrating if you’ve put in the hard work to lose a large amount of weight and still aren’t seeing the figure you want. Some people need a little help getting to their ideal place, and that is OK. When you find yourself in that position, Edina Plastic Surgery is excited to help you over the finish line.

Our board-eligible and board-certified surgeons, Drs. Leigh, Philbin, Stewart and Wilke, are ready to provide you with world-class surgical care here in Edina, Minnesota. Give our office a call at 612-688-3177 or fill out our online contact form to get started today.

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