What Is a Thigh Lift?

A thigh lift is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin in the thighs, creating a tighter, slimmer, more youthful and vivacious contour. The recovery time is about four to six weeks and the results are permanent if properly maintained. It is a very common procedure; more than 9,000 were performed throughout 2020. They are often used as part of a bigger aesthetic treatment plan since they excel at accentuating contours on the buttocks and hips.

Why Do We Need Thigh Lifts?

Some people find that they gain weight primarily in their thighs. After losing the excess weight, skin sagging (ptosis) can occur, creating an unwanted droopy appearance. The aging process can also cause this condition, although it typically happens at a much slower rate. While some skin-tightening procedures exist that are nonsurgical, nothing really comes close to the type of results you can achieve through thigh lift surgery.

Am I a Candidate for a Thigh Lift?

There are very few limitations placed on who can have thigh lift surgery. If you are free from problematic pre-existing conditions, would like to improve the look of your thighs and have a healthy outlook on your appearance and what a thigh lift can achieve, then you are likely a good candidate for this procedure. Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking or drug use can damage your candidacy.

How Should I Prepare for a Thigh Lift?

You will need to plan to take several weeks off from work, and you will also need someone you trust to accompany you on the day of the surgery since you will not be able to drive yourself home. We may order some additional testing, like lab work or a medical evaluation, if we think it is necessary.

You should always stop smoking as quickly as possible since nicotine and other tobacco products can harm the healing process and increase surgical risk. Avoid other anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin that can increase bleeding.

What Should I Expect from a Thigh Lift Procedure?

There are three primary steps for a thigh lift procedure: anesthesia, incisions, and wound closure.


Typically, thigh lifts are performed under local sedation and general anesthesia. This ensures that you are both comfortable and safe during the surgery. In some cases, preexisting conditions may make this process a higher risk for you, but those cases are few and far between. We will work with you to make sure you know exactly what to expect before your procedure day.


Two types of incisions can be used: inner thigh lift incisions and outer thigh lift incisions. The method you undergo will depend entirely on your unique anatomy and aesthetic goals.

Inner Thigh Lift Incisions. During this method, an incision is made in the natural fold that occurs between the thigh and the groin. It extends back toward the back of the thigh. This provides modest access to the surgeon, who will use those incisions to remove excess skin and tighten the thigh area.

Outer Thigh Lift Incisions. Rather than going inward toward the groin, an outer thigh lift incision extends from the groin fold to the front of the thighs. This provides more access for skin removal and is best suited for patients who need lots of correction.


Once all the excess skin has been removed, your surgeon will suture the remaining skin back together, pulling it taut. In some cases, surgical tape, skin adhesives, or drainage tubes will also be applied at this stage.

What Should I Expect During Thigh Lift Recovery?

The typical recovery time for a thigh lift is between four and six weeks. But this number can become longer or shorter depending on your body’s reaction to the surgery and your own healing process. By the six-week mark, most patients are able to return to their usual activities. You can help the healing process by taking short walks early on in your recovery to help stimulate blood flow.

If any changes to your current medications are needed, you and your surgeon will discuss those alterations early on in the process to make sure you are in the best condition possible for surgery. You will be sent home with post-operative instructions. It is essential that you follow those as closely as possible to ensure you are working toward the best recovery and results possible.

Recovery Station

One trick we share with our patients in setting up a recovery station the night before their procedure. You will be confined to bed rest for at least a few weeks, so making sure you have a comfortable space to recover can make a world of difference. Stock whatever area you will be in with all the essentials: books, magazines, tablets, chargers, remotes, snacks, medications, drinks, electronics — anything you need to make the time you spend in this area more relaxing.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Thigh Lift?

The effects of your thigh lift will be visible immediately after surgery. You will be able to see a much slimmer, tauter appearance as soon as you have a chance to see your thighs without the bandaging. It can take several months for the final results to fully develop, so it is vital to remain patient throughout the process.

Any scarring that does develop is usually hidden within natural folds throughout the body. But even scars that remain visible fade over time. Your results are permanent, but a few factors can change them.

One of those factors is weight fluctuation. If your weight increases, there is a chance the contours of your thighs will be affected. If you gain and then lose weight, you may once again experience laxity in your thigh tissue. Aging can also have impacts, but there is little you can do to prevent the aging process. However, these changes are typically much more subtle than the changes from weight shifts.

Can I Combine My Thigh Lift with Other Procedures?

Thigh lifts can often be combined with other procedures. Some of the most common are breast augmentations, arm lifts, body lifts, Brazilian Butt Lifts, liposuction, Mommy Makeovers and tummy tucks. These work together to create a more dramatic and defined body contour.

Premier Thigh Lift Treatment at South Shore Plastic Surgery

If you are ready to learn more about how a thigh lift can help you achieve the legs of your dreams, give our Voorhees, NJ office a call at (856) 784-2639. You can also fill out our online contact form to have a member of our staff give you a call at a time that works best for you. We are looking forward to guiding you through this entire aesthetic journey!