Plastic Surgery Blog
A thigh lift is a body contouring procedure that addresses sagging or loose skin around (you guessed it) the thighs. If you have drooping skin and uneven texture around the thigh area after significant weight loss, or as a natural result of the aging process, you might have started researching the different options that are available to you to address your concerns.
As we start to move into days of warmer weather, hopefully breaking out our shorts and skirts again soon, we often hear from people who have questions about this procedure. Maybe like them, you’ve also found that you can do all the squats or lunges in the world but you’re still unable to change the contours of your thighs in the ways you hoped. Unfortunately, loose skin and irregular texture don’t respond to exercise or changes in diet.
And when you’ve worked hard to lose weight and feel awesome, sometimes you just want that excess skin to catch up with where the rest of you is at. Maybe you have questions about what else you can do. We’re here to help! For starters, you can check out our thigh lift guide if you’re looking for preliminary information and just starting out.
But if you’re starting to think about more specific concerns that aren’t covered there, we’ve put together answers to some of our patients’ top questions to share some more details.
Definitely. So because we are removing excess sagging skin, similar to other body contouring procedures like a tummy tuck, it will result in a longer scar than other procedures like liposuction, which doesn’t address loose skin. The type of incision you will require, the number and their placement will all be totally dependent on your body and your goals. But, that being said, typically your scar will be placed along your groin, extending down around your thigh.
Your scars will usually be placed in such a way that you’ll be able to conceal them under bathing suit hemlines and underwear. We’ll also give you lots of advice on ways to help them heal to become less noticeable over time—and they will fade. The added bonus of the groin incision placement is that the scar naturally hides in the crease of the thigh, helping it disappear.
If you have more significant amounts of loose skin along your upper legs, you may require a different kind of incision down the inside of the thigh that can occasionally show when your bare legs are crossed. Every case is different, and this is something you’ll need to discuss in person.
One important conversation that you will want to have with your surgeon is achieving the best contour possible and the length of scar that will be necessary to do so. Our doctors tend to recommend optimizing for the best contour we can achieve, since that will always be the most noticeable, while scarring fades, is easily concealed, and you likely spend most of your time wearing your everyday clothes as opposed to hanging out in the nude (though if that’s your lifestyle, we’re totally here for it too 😉).
In any case, this is all something you can discuss in greater detail during your free consultation, and you can explain what’s a higher priority for you: better contouring or smaller incisions. Our surgeons will also show you a broader range of thigh lift before and after photos so you can see how other patients’ scars have healed to get a better idea of what may be possible in your case.
This one is trickier to answer because it really changes on a case-by-case basis. It depends on your skin laxity, or how much loose skin you have, and your anatomy. The most important thing, though, is your safety. We want to operate in a way that doesn’t create excessive tightness as that can impede blood flow, cause lymphatic problems or create nerve compression and increase your risk of complications.
Some patients ask if tension around the groin incision can affect the labia, and that’s something we want to be careful about too (and yes, we’ve been asked this plenty of times before; definitely not a weird question if it’s on your list!). Typically an inner thigh lift won’t affect your genital area or create noticeable labial traction, but that’s another reason that we’re extra strategic about the amount of tension created by the thigh lift.
We absolutely want to create the safest surgical plan possible that will also address your concerns. This is also why your consultation will be helpful for you to get a good understanding of what will work best for your body.
Thigh lift is best at addressing loose skin in the upper thigh area, most often in the inner thigh area. Because of the distance from the upper thigh to the knee, the benefits to sagging skin around the knee are more minimal. That’s not to say that the knee area will not benefit at all; in some cases, skin laxity in that area can also be improved, but it’s not the primary area of refinement.
If sagging skin around your knees is a concern, our doctors will talk to you about the options that are available to you to address that as well.
Could be one, could be the other, could be both! If you have loose, excess skin and uneven texture in some areas, and stubborn deposits of unwanted fat that won’t go away even with changes to diet and exercise, then chances are a combination of both will help get the result you want. If you have more areas of wanted fat on your thighs and you want to refine it to help create a curvier, hourglass shape, then leg and thigh liposuction may help you with that.
If you are only concerned with loose skin, it could be that a thigh lift alone is all that you need to get the look you want.
A thigh lift, or a thigh lift with liposuction, might be able to give the look of separation between the thighs in some cases. But at the end of the day, we would ask you, is that the defining detail that will make you feel your best? We totally understand curiosities about trends and buzzwords. But what we really want is to give our thigh lift patients their confidence back and make them feel awesome every single day.
In our experience, the best way to do that is to listen to their concerns and talk about what gives them anxiety and what prevents them from feeling carefree and spontaneous when they want to go to the beach, or wear short shorts in the summer, or get intimate with a partner. When they tell us they want to feel more confident or sexy more often, it’s never a missing thigh gap that’s preventing that. They usually just don’t want to think about excess skin anymore—they want to feel like themselves. And what could be sexier or more confidence-boosting than that?