Thigh Lift (Thighplasty)

This surgery is often requested following weight loss. However surgery is available for conditions that leaves wrinkles and folds of skin specifically at the inner thighs.

The anatomical features that contribute to this condition are usually just excess and loose hanging skin. There may also be some degree of excess fat.

In general the pinch test is a reasonable guide; if you can pinch up a lot of skin and fat along the groin crease, or if you can pinch up along the inner thigh on a line from the groin down to the knee, then you will potentially be a candidate for surgery.

Your surgeon will coordinate your features of your anatomy with your expectations and formulate a plan with you.

Surgery often involves some liposuction, incisions in the concealed areas, such as in the underwear lines and if necessary a long in vision down the inner aspect of the thigh.

The surgical procedure and results of the inner thigh lift depend on your anatomy, the specific area involved, the amount of excess skin, and the vectors of laxity. Collectively, these features all determine where the incisions need be made, how long the incisions will be, and how much tissue will be removed.

Once you and your surgeon have agreed on the precise details of the surgical plan, they will outline a likely recovery, including time frame for return to normal activities including work, management of young children and exercise.

Thigh lift is performed under general anaesthesia and therefore you won’t be able to eat or drink for six hours before the operation.

You should expect detailed instructions to be provided by your hospital on exactly what you should and should not do before surgery. The procedure usually takes around 2 hours and an overnight stay is usual.

On the day of surgery you will be seen by your surgeon and your anaesthetist pre-operatively. They will discuss with you the procedure and reaffirm the surgical plan. Your anaesthetist will speak to you about previous anaesthetics and provide a plan for minimising the discomfort that you will feel after your operation.

After your surgery is complete you will awake gently in the recovery ward and you will be seen by your surgeon and anaesthetist to make sure that you are comfortable post operatively.

Key to obtaining a great result is removing initial strain from the tissues. To this end support garments are often used.

As a general rule of thumb, however, following thigh lift:
▪ You should be able to go home on the day or the day after your surgery
▪ You should be able to return to light work at one to two weeks
▪ You should be able to drive at three weeks
▪ At what point you will be able to return to exercise will be determined by your surgeon.

You can expect some pain and swelling after surgery, but this is not severe or prolonged. The stitches are all usually all dissolvable.

Frequently asked questions

How can I help prepare for my surgery?

You should refrain from taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or vitamin and herbal supplements, as these can increase the chance of bleeding. Be sure to disclose everything you are currently taking, regardless of how menial. Stop smoking and all other nicotine products several weeks prior to your procedure. Your surgeon will discuss the recovery with you as well

Will the scars be visible?

If the scars remain in the upper thigh then they should be hidden within the underwear line. If, however, more extensive scarring is undertaken then the scar will often fall along the inner aspect of the leg. Fortunately this is the least visible part of the thigh.


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