Thigh Lift Surgery

The thighs are arguably one of the toughest areas to target when it comes to weight loss. Patients often find that exercise alone won’t help them achieve the smooth, contoured appearance they’re looking for.

Last year, almost 10,000 people underwent thigh lift operations. Thigh lift procedures focus on reshaping the skin surrounding the thigh region and results are almost immediately visible. The procedure can also be combined with liposuction.

What is a Thigh Lift?

A thigh lift (also known as a thighplasty) is a cosmetic surgical procedure the looks to tighten folds of skin around the inner thigh. Your surgeon will manipulate the excess skin and pull upwards before removal to contour and smooth out the area. Larger surpluses of skin can be removed by extending the incision down the inner thigh.

Thigh lift procedures are most appropriate for those who lead healthy lifestyles but struggle to target sagging skin. The procedure is not necessarily appropriate for removing excess fat (although, there are procedures that can help with this).

Am I an Appropriate Candidate for a Thigh Lift?

Thigh lift procedures are appropriate for candidates who:

  • Have excess/sagging skin surrounding their inner and/or outer thigh
  • Lead healthy lifestyles and are not considered severely overweight
  • Do not have any serious, underlying medical conditions that may impair the healing and recovery process post-surgery
  • Are committed to pursuing a healthy lifestyle post-surgery and are able to maintain their results through these means
  • Are non-smokers

It’s also important that every patient has realistic goals and expectations regarding the procedure. Your consultant will be able to give you an idea of how your result during your consultation using markings of where skin will be removed from.

What Does a Thigh Lift Involve?

Thigh lift procedures are performed under intravenous sedation or general anesthetic (as advised by your consultant before your surgery). Your consultant will then begin making tiny incisions along the thigh (based on areas that are to be treated). Your incision areas will differ depending on the type of thigh lift you are undergoing. For example:

For inner thigh lift procedures, incisions may be made in the groin, extending down, and followed around to the back of your thigh. There are other incision techniques that extend from the groin to the knee, and others that adopt smaller incision methods. All of which can and will be discussed with your surgeon prior to your surgery.

Outer thigh lift procedures, on the other hand, sometimes require a different type of incision. For example, an incision starting from the groin to around the hip, to the back. Again, incision markings will be discussed during your consultation with your surgeon.

Once the incisions have been made, your surgeon will begin removing and reshaping the excess skin around your thigh. The incisions are then closed and left to heal.

How Long Does a Thigh Lift Take?

The procedure usually takes between two and three hours to complete and is often combined with liposuction to eliminate pockets of fat and help create more definition. Your surgeon will fully discuss the best treatment plan with you before-hand.

How Much is a Thigh Lift?

While every patient will be given a different price based on their individual needs, the average cost of a thigh lift procedure ranges between £1,500 - £3,500. However, this is simply a guide price and costs do vary depending on your individual requirements. The complete cost of your procedure will be discussed during your consultation with one of our specialists.

Choosing Your Surgeon

Choosing your surgeon is one of the most important steps during any cosmetic procedure. It is vital that you choose a surgeon who is fully accredited and on the specialist register of the General Medical Council. Undergoing a cosmetic procedure is an extremely personal decision and experience, which is why it’s so important you choose a surgeon that you feel comfortable with.

Additionally, because thigh lift procedures are classified as elective surgeries, it’s unlikely your insurance will cover the surgery. However, The McIndoe Centre is able to help with financing your treatment.

All consultants at The McIndoe Centre are fully accredited and are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council. A number of our consultants who specialise in plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery are also members of leading professional bodies such as BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons) or BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons).

What You Can Expect During Your Consultation

During your consultation at The McIndoe Centre, you are encouraged to ask as many questions as you like. We understand that electing to have surgery is a very personal decision and our friendly team will do everything in their power to ensure you are well taken care of.

During your consultation, you may want to raise and discuss the following:

  • Your expectations and results post-surgery
  • Whether you have any medical conditions or drug allergies (including anaesthetic)
  • Any previous surgeries you have had

During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss:

  • Your health status, including any conditions, allergies or risk factors that may compromise the surgery
  • Make markings and outlines of the surgical process, specifically areas where skin will be removed and reshaped
  • Recommend a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs
  • Take photos for ‘before and after’ purposes
  • Your expectations and the outcome of your thigh lift procedure.

Asking questions about your procedure is very important, as it’s for both our and your benefit that you understand every aspect of your surgery. It’s completely natural to feel slightly anxious about your surgery, but asking questions and speaking with your consultant will help alleviate any concerns you may have.

Your Thigh Lift Aftercare

Compression bandages will be applied to your thigh region post-surgery to help heal and protect the area. After surgery, your consultant will explain your aftercare process in detail. You will be told how to care for your thigh, what painkillers are appropriate, to take alongside and when to revisit your surgeon for a check-up. Any other specific instructions from your consultant will also be detailed after your surgery.

Tenderness is to be expected after surgery, this is completely normal and is simply part of your healing process. It’s also important to ensure you give your incisions time to heal and that you don’t subject your legs to any strenuous exercise.

What Are the Benefits of a Thigh Lift?

When performed by an accredited surgeon, the results of your thigh lift can be life-changing. The results will be apparent almost immediately after surgery, but swelling and bruising will mask your results for a few weeks soon after.

Following your thigh lift procedure, your skin should feel smoother and you will be able to notice an improvement in your skin’s appearance and feel. You may notice some very minor scarring initially, but your overall results will last a lifetime, providing you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Of course, as you age, your skin will naturally lose some of its firmness, but your results should remain noticeable.

While thigh lift procedures are known to produce good results, your expectations must be realistic. Sometimes patients may require two surgeries in order to achieve optimal results, but this will be discussed with your consultant during your consultation.

This article was written by The McIndoe Centre, in collaboration with Paul Banwell BSc MB BS FRCS (Eng) FRCS (Plast) Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. All information, advice and procedures were updated on 17th September 2019.

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