The thigh lift procedure is designed to remove excess skin from the inner thighs, smoothing and shaping the area for a tighter, fitter appearance. Men and women often struggle with sculpting the thigh region, as measures like dieting and exercise are usually ineffective in correcting redundant skin. Dr. David Bottger, our board-certified plastic surgeon, has extensive experience performing a thigh lift to create a beautiful, natural-looking contour. Whether performed alone or incorporated into a full body lift, thigh lift surgery can achieve a smoother appearance by addressing a combination of concerns, including loose skin, stretched musculature, and excess fat.
Who is a Candidate for a Thigh Lift?
When patients have good skin tone and simply struggle with excess fat, liposuction alone may be enough to enhance the medial thigh appearance. If, on the other hand, there is significant skin laxity or skin sagging present—as commonly occurs with massive weight loss or aging in general—liposuction by itself will not provide an adequate improvement to the area. In these cases, a thigh lift may be necessary to achieve your surgical goals. Among the different factors that can assess candidacy, those seeking a thigh lift should be:
- Patients in good health with realistic expectations
- Individuals who have skin excess due to massive weight loss (such as post-gastric bypass surgery patients) or other factors
- Patients with a loss of skin tone, or those who experience skin sagging as a result of aging
- Patients who are willing to accept the resulting surgical scars
If significant fat reduction is desired, a thigh lift plus liposuction may be the best approach to produce the best possible outcome. There are a number of body contouring procedures that can shape different areas of the body and your needs may be best fulfilled through a combination of treatments—such as a thigh lift performed in tandem with an arm lift. Dr. Bottger will listen to your cosmetic goals and suggest an optimal treatment plan based on your concerns.
How is Thigh Lift Surgery Performed?
A thigh lift may be performed one of two ways, depending on the severity of your concerns. If the degree of skin laxity experienced is mild to moderate, a transverse skin excision—which leaves the final scar within a crease of the groin—can be performed in the upper thigh area. When the skin laxity observed is excessive (often in massive weight loss or gastric bypass patients), a larger vertically-oriented skin excision will provide a better result, although a significantly longer scar along the medial thigh to the knee level should be expected. The thigh lift procedure is usually completed under general anesthesia and may require an overnight stay depending on the extent of the procedure.
What is Recovery From a Thigh Lift Like?
Immediately after surgery, a surgical wrap and/or compression garment will be placed to decrease swelling and help the thighs conform to their new shape. While you should get plenty of rest after your procedure, we encourage patients to practice light ambulation (e.g. walking around, standing, etc.) as soon as they feel up to it. This can help promote blood flow while preventing blood clotting and muscle fatigue. After approximately two weeks, you should be able to perform mild exercises and make a full return to non-strenuous work duties. Swelling will gradually subside as recovery progresses, a period which generally takes one month before the body is fully healed.
Will I Have Visible Scars After a Thigh Lift?
The shape and size of your scars from thigh lift surgery will vary depending on which technique was used during the procedure. The transverse skin excision thigh lift usually leaves a smaller and more discreet scar than the vertical skin excision approach, with the incision placed within the crease of the groin. The vertical skin excision, however, extends along the length of the inner thigh to the knee and is generally reserved for patients who have more substantial skin sagging. In either case, the prominence of post-surgical scars can be minimized by keeping your incisions clean and following Dr. Bottger’s instructions on optimal wound healing.
What are the Risks of Thigh Lift Surgery?
The risks and complications associated with thigh lift surgery include—but are not limited to—infection, bleeding (hematoma), numbness, unfavorable scarring, and skin loss. These risks exist with any type of surgery and, although possible, significant complications are uncommon. Unfavorable outcomes can best be avoided by selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your thigh lift, as board certification often demonstrates a surgeon’s ability to provide high standards of safety and care. Since this credential is only awarded after undergoing additional training in cosmetic procedures beyond the minimum required to practice, board-certified plastic surgeons typically have more experience performing thigh lift surgery while minimizing the risk of complications than those who are not accredited.
How Much Does a Thigh Lift Cost?
The national average cost of thigh lift surgery is approximately $4,900, as determined by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). This figure does not account for additional fees, however, and your personalized quote will include expenses for the surgical facility, anesthesia, post-operative garments, and other related costs. A member of our team will be happy to provide a cost estimate based on the unique details of your treatment plan after your consultation with Dr. Bottger. While health insurance generally doesn’t cover cosmetic procedures, our practice accepts plastic surgery financing plans from CareCredit®—a widely used and universally trusted healthcare lending company that can make the cost of your thigh lift much more manageable. Once approved, simply pay for your surgery in low monthly installments as part of whichever short- or long-term payment plan is most ideal for your budgetary concerns. Please contact our practice for more information about our accepted payment methods, or if you have questions about the cost of a thigh lift.
If you feel you are a good candidate for thigh lift surgery and would like more information on the procedure, please contact Dr. Bottger to set up an initial consultation. Dr. Bottger’s office is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and also serves the West Chester and Bryn Mawr regions.