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Thigh lift

Thigh lift surgery, or Thighplasty, corrects loose skin and excess fat accumulated on the upper inner thighs.

For many people, the upper inner thighs can become a problem area because of weight gain or sudden weight loss, or simply from age-related changes in the body. As a result the upper inner thighs can look saggy and heavy with excess skin folds.

Thigh lift surgery will create a more refined contour to the thigh, making it firmer, smoother and thinner in appearance.

In most cases, patients will need surgery to correct their condition particularly if there is a predominance of loose excess skin (where an excision and a tightening procedure will be required), however, if there is predominantly excess fat, then liposuction on its own can be considered. In some minor cases, the use of VASER® Liposelection can avoid surgery alltogether since it has an enhanced effect on skin retraction after fat removal.

The length of a thigh lift scar will vary from patient to patient, depending on the extent of the problem that has to be corrected. In a mini-thigh lift, skin and fat are removed below the groin crease and the skin is lifted leaving a scar in the groin crease where it is relatively well concealed beneath clothing. In a standard thigh lift, the scar is longer and runs a variable distance vertically down the inner aspect of the thigh.

At a consultation, Mr Chana will thoroughly examine you and advise on the most suitable procedure for your condition.

Thigh lift surgery

Thigh lift surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic and takes approximately one and a half hours to two hours. An overnight stay in hospital is necessary.

Before surgery, Mr Chana will draw markings on your inner thighs which will determine the degree of fat removal and skin excision he has to perform. A mini-thigh lift, will involve removing loose skin and tightening it with an upwards pull leaving the scar in the groin crease. In a standard thigh lift, the loose skin is removed vertically and the surgery performed so that that the scar is located along the inner aspect of the thigh to be relatively hidden. A supportive garment is applied after the surgery.

The actual length of scarring will be discussed with you prior to surgery, as it varies from patient to patient and very often Mr Chana will perform some liposuction at the same time as the skin excision to better refine the results of his work. 


The recovery after thigh lift surgery

Usually there is only very minimal discomfort after thigh lift surgery which is easily relieved by mild painkillers which will Mr Chana will prescribe. Aspirin or aspirin-like medication (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory tablets) must not be taken.

After surgery, there will be some degree of swelling and bruising for up to 2 weeks. Gentle mobilisation is encouraged. A compression garment will need to be worn for 3-6 weeks depending on the extent of surgery. Occasionally there will be some puffiness of the lower legs and ankles but this is normal and will settle within 2 to 3 weeks. There may be some minor thickening of the tissues where the thigh lift has been carried out, but this will soften and become smooth over a few months.

The scars can often take between 12 to 18 months to fully mature.

The risks associated with thigh lift surgery

Serious complications following thigh lift surgery are rare. However as is the case with any surgical procedure, infection and bleeding are potential risks.

Some minor alteration in sensation in the skin can occur following thigh lift surgery, but this usually returns to normal over time. Rarely there may be a small fluid collection under the skin called a seroma (even 2 to 3 weeks post-surgery) which sometimes necessitates aspiration in the clinic. In rare situations, adverse or lumpy scars may occur; if they develop you may need further treatment. 

Delayed wound healing is a risk in smokers and therefore it is important to stop smoking as early as possible prior to surgery.

Mr Chana will provide you with a detailed information leaflet prior to surgery.


Is thigh lift surgery right for me?

Thigh lift surgery is appropriate if you are concerned about excess fat and skin on the inner thighs. But you will have to accept a scar if you choose to have surgery. However, for most individuals the advantages of a slimmer thigh with removal of loose skin far outweigh the presence of any scarring. Individuals who have lost a lot of weight are most suitable to thigh lift surgery, but the procedure can also benefit others who simply have fat excess and some loose skin.

How long is the scar from thigh lift surgery?

The length of the scar is variable. It depends on the degree of skin excess. In minor degrees of skin excess a mini-thigh lift may suffice, in which case the scar will be hidden in the groin crease. In a full medial thigh lift, the scar will run a variable distance down towards the knee.

Is the scar from a thigh lift visible?

The scar is along the inner aspect of the thigh and should therefore be relatively hidden. However, with shorter length clothing and swimwear it may be visible. The scarring takes 1 to 2 years to fully mature and in most cases, should become a pale white line.

I really don't want scarring so can I have liposuction alone?

If there is no excess skin folds and the skin has a good tone it may be possible to perform liposuction alone. However, one can only make this assessment after an examination at consultation. If you are able to avoid surgery, Mr Chana will use VASER® Liposelection, a technique that removes fat very effectively along with the advantage of providing better skin retraction compared to conventional liposuction.

Is thigh lift surgery painful?

Thigh lift surgery tends to cause minimal discomfort which is easily controlled with painkillers. The discomfort is short lived during the first few days after surgery.
Surgery time
2 hours
Hospital stay
1 night
Time off work
1 to2 weeks
Full recovery
6 weeks
Best results
3 to 6 months
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