A patient’s inner thighs are assessed during a pre-surgical consultation to determine whether it is necessary to remove extra skin. If there is no significant amount of extra skin on the inner thighs, then liposuction alone can be done. Non-surgical skin tightening methods may also be combined. A significant amount of extra skin may best be addressed by cutting out that area, tightening the circumference of the skin of the thigh.

Types of procedures

  • Horizontal scar thigh lift: only a small amount of upper inner thigh skin is removed in this procedure. This is best for patients with flabby, extra, upper inner thigh skin looking to avoid a long scar along on the inner thighs.
  • Vertical scar thigh lift: this is for patients with extra skin along the entire length of the inner thigh. This scar is concealed between the legs.

Procedure details

  • This surgery is typically done under general anesthetic on an outpatient basis
  • The patient is marked in the standing position before surgery
  • The target areas are identified with the patient
  • Planned incisions are marked on the thighs
  • Skin is cut along with the underlying fat
  • Sometimes additional liposuction is performed in order to create an optimal contour
  • The skin is stitched with dissolvable stitches, glue or glue tape is applied to the skin edges, and a drain is placed to remove excess healing fluid
  • A postsurgical garment or ACE wrap is applied. Patients are encouraged to continue postsurgical garment use for two months to reduce swelling and improve results
  • The patient goes home approximately one hour after surgery
  • Drains are removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery

Risks & Benefits

Risks include bleeding, which is uncommon, but may require additional surgical intervention to contain. Infections of the inner thighs may occur; these usually respond to oral antibiotics. Sometimes fluid accumulates after removing the drains. This is known as a seroma. This may require in office fluid removal using a needle. On rare occasions, a new drain may need to be placed. Other risks include areas of numbness in the scar area or surrounding sites, which is rarely permanent. Wide or thick scars can occur, depending on how a patient heals, and may require a revision three to six months after surgery.

Most patients recover very well after this procedure, and are happy with a significant contour improvement, despite having a scar.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need skin removed, or if liposuction is enough?

If you have flabby skin that sags and feels like a deflated balloon, you will probably benefit from a formal thigh lift. You may benefit from liposuction alone if you have tight skin with a lot of fat underneath. Your plastic surgeon will be able to advise you on your decision.