Plastic surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center use state-of-the-art techniques to complete thigh lift procedures. Our experts apply the best approach for your needs to reduce the appearance of the inner or outer thighs, helping you achieve a body that is firmer, more youthful-looking and more proportionate to your overall body image. Thigh lifting is also addressed by body lift procedures.
There are two types of thigh lift procedures, medial and standard:
- Medial thigh lift is a surgical procedure to reduce excess skin and fat on the upper portion of the inner thigh giving a firmer appearance. It is performed by removing a crescent of skin and fat from the upper portion of the inner thigh creating a horizontal scar.
- Standard thigh lift includes the removal of excess loose skin and fat to reshape, tone, and firm the upper leg; generally as a result of weight loss. The scar in this procedure is oriented both vertically and horizontally.
Why Choose Us
When considering a thigh lift, always look for a board-certified cosmetic surgeon with specialized training and significant experience. For the best results, choose a cosmetic surgeon who is affiliated with a major medical center, such as Cleveland Clinic.
Make sure to ask your cosmetic surgeon about his or her credentials, training and how many procedures he or she has performed.
How to Prepare
Am I candidate for thigh lift surgery?
Thigh lift surgery reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body. When performing the lift, a surgeon may remove either medial (inner) thigh skin or outer (lateral) thigh skin. These procedures are known as medial thigh lifts and lateral thigh lifts.
If fitness and weight loss efforts have not helped achieved your goals, a surgical thigh lift may be right for you.
Good candidates for thigh lift surgery include:
- Individuals whose weight is relatively stable
- Individuals with excess soft tissue along the inner or medial thigh region and/or the outer thigh
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what the surgery can accomplish
- Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and fitness.
The best way to determine if you are a candidate for thigh lift surgery is through a consultation with a plastic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center.
How do I prepare for thigh lift surgery?
Preparing for your thigh lift surgery at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center includes discussing a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle with your plastic surgeon, including:
- Why you want the procedure, your expectations and desired outcome
- Your medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Your use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
Your Cleveland Clinic plastic surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine and measure your body, including recording detailed measurements and taking photos for your medical record
- Discuss your surgical options
- Discuss likely expected outcomes of the surgery and risks or potential complications.
What to Expect
How is thigh lift surgery performed?
Thigh lift surgery at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center is generally performed as an outpatient procedure with the use of general anesthesia. The incision patterns your plastic surgeon will use varies on the area or areas to be treated, degree of correction and patient and surgeon preference.
One common technique used for the surgery places incisions in the groin that extend downward and wrap around the back of the thigh. The underlying tissue is tightened, and skin is reduced and redraped, resulting in more proportionate and smoother body contours.
What are the different types of thigh lift?
There are different types of thigh lifts that target certain areas of the thighs for specific results:
Medial Thigh Lift (Inner thigh lift)
targets the inner thigh. During an inner thigh lift, an incision is made at the area where the thigh and pubic area meet. A wedge of skin and fat is then removed and the skin is closed, leading to skin tightening, an improved leg contour and enhanced skin elasticity.
Lateral Thigh Lift (Outer thigh lift)
is designed to tighten skin on the front and outside of the leg. During a lateral thigh lift, an incision is made at the top of the leg where the lower edge of your underwear would be. A certain amount of skin is then removed before pulling the remaining skin up and attaching it to the same area. Through this technique, a lateral thigh lift serves to tighten skin along both the right and left side of the leg. This procedure is especially helpful to those who have excess skin after significant weight loss.
During your thigh lift surgery consultation at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center, your plastic surgeon will discuss your treatment options and the results you can expect from your surgery.
What results can I expect?
The results of thigh lift surgery are visible almost immediately, but it may take several weeks for your final results to fully develop. Over time, some visible scars will remain, but your results are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. Scars also improve with time with maximum improvement requiring one year. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your results should be relatively permanent. View our thigh lift before and after photos to see results from actual patients.
Follow-up with a plastic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center is the best way to ensure long-lasting results from the procedure.
What is involved in recovery?
When your surgery is complete, dressing or bandages may be applied to your incisions. A compression garment is often used to minimize swelling and support the new contour of your thighs as you heal.
One or more small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect. Deep sutures are used to close any incisions that dissolve within four months. If there are any sutures in the skin they will be removed one to two weeks after surgery. It is important for a patient to have someone helping them get home after the surgery and if possible, to help for a couple days afterward.
Most people are advised to take seven to 10 days off work for recovery time. During this period, patients must remain in either a reclining or standing position to help the healing process. Some bruising and swelling may occur after thigh lift surgery, which could last up to one month. The majority of patients recover well after a thigh lift, with most returning to all normal activities within four to six months.
Is thigh lift surgery safe?
All surgical procedures carry some risk.
Possible side effects or complications from thigh lift surgery include:
- Swelling at the incision site(s)
- Fluid accumulation in the legs
- Blood clots
- Changes in the sensation of the skin such as numbness and pain
- Poor wound healing.
Insurance & Financing
Insurance rarely covers the cost of elective cosmetic surgery and procedures.
Please call 216.444.4004 and ask to speak with one of our financial representatives who can explain payment options including CareCredit financing.