Tucson Thigh Lift Surgery Information, Benefits and Risks

Click here to see Before and After photos

Skip to:

What is a thigh lift?

A thigh lift is a surgical procedure that physically removes excess skin of the inner and/or outer thighs.

When is a thigh lift used?

A thigh lift is best for people who are young, healthy and within their normal weight range. This operation is good for people who have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin on their inner or outer thighs that needs to be removed.

What is involved at a consultation for a thigh lift?

When you come in for your initial consultation, you will meet with both Dr. Maloney and Lindsay, the clinical coordinator. Dr. Maloney will examine you to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. He will also discuss details of the operation, show you before and after photos and answer any questions you may have. Lindsay will then review surgical fees, financing options and answer additional questions. If you choose to have surgery, you will return for another consultation about two weeks prior to your operation. At this second appointment Dr. Maloney will review the surgical plan with you and go through consent forms, take pre-operative photographs and give you your prescriptions. Lindsay will go over all of your surgical instructions and give you a packet of information so when you leave you will have everything you need for surgery.

How do I prepare for a thigh lift?

After meeting with Dr. Maloney and choosing a surgical date for your thigh lift, you should plan for your care and recovery after the operation. You will need to arrange a ride to and from the surgery center the day of surgery and arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours. You should take 1-3 weeks off of work for this operation depending on the type of work you do (speak to Lindsay, Dr. Maloney’s Clinical Coordinator for additional information). If your employer requires paperwork for time off, please obtain it ahead of time and bring it to our office. If you smoke, you must quit a minimum of two weeks before surgery. We suggest 6-8 weeks, but two weeks is the minimum. Smokers heal slower and can have wound healing problems. If you take aspirin or other medication that causes bleeding, you should stop taking it three weeks before surgery because it causes increased bleeding and therefore more bruising. If you are taking any diet pills (prescription or over-the-counter) or Metformin (a common diabetes medication), you should stop one week prior to surgery to avoid anesthesia risks. All medications, herbs, vitamins and dietary supplements you take should be carefully reviewed with Dr. Maloney prior to surgery. If you are under the care of a physician for any health issues, we may require surgical clearance from your physician and/or cardiologist.

At your pre-operative consultation with Dr. Maloney you will be given a map to the surgery center and your prescriptions. Get these prescriptions filled before surgery so they are at home when you need them. You should find a few old towels to put on your bed, the couch and in your friend’s car on the way home from surgery. You may ooze fluid after surgery through your small incisions especially if you are having liposuction at the same time. This is normal. Pick up some bags of frozen peas or corn to use as icepacks after your procedure. You need to stay hydrated, so have plenty of water or sports drinks around the house. You should mix sports drinks and water 50/50. You should also start taking a stool softener as narcotic pain medication and anesthesia can make you constipated.

The morning of surgery you may not have anything to eat or drink after midnight, this includes water. Take a shower using an antimicrobial soap. Do not put any lotions, deodorant or make-up on the day of surgery. Do not wear any jewelry to the surgery center. You should wear comfortable clothes that are easy to get in and out of. Loose workout pants or sweat pants tend to work best. Bring your photo ID when you check-in to the surgery center. You will be taken back to the pre-operating area where Dr. Maloney will come and discuss the plan again, answer any additional questions you have and mark the surgical site. You will also meet the anesthesiologist and ask him/her any questions you may have.

How is a thigh lift performed?

The inner thigh lift takes about 2-3 hours and the outer thigh lift takes about two hours. The anesthesiologist will put you to sleep for this operation to ensure your safety and comfort. For the inner thigh lift, Dr. Maloney will make an incision in the crease of the leg in your groin area, as well as a vertical incision that extends from your groin to roughly half way down your inner thigh. This allows him to pull the skin in both the horizontal and vertical direction. For an outer thigh lift, an incision is made from roughly the hipbone to the back (an extension of the abdominoplasty incision). In each operation, the skin and extra tissue is removed and the incision is closed with both dissolvable and non-dissolving sutures. A compression garment will also be placed. You will wake up in the recovery room and be ready to go home in about an hour.

What should I expect after a thigh lift?

You will wear a compression garment over the surgical area to minimize swelling, bruising and most importantly to hold your dressings in place. You may ooze some fluid from the incisions, but this is normal. You should rest and eat a healthy diet that is high in protein to speed up recovery. You should also avoid alcohol and refrain from smoking. All surgeons recommend early and frequent ambulation after surgery to reduce the risk of blood clot formation in the legs and to speed up recovery. You may be stiff and sore when you first get up and walk around. The more active you are the better you will feel. You may be swollen after surgery. It is not uncommon with the inner thigh lift operation for you to have slow wound healing where the vertical incision meets the horizontal incision in the groin. You will need to wear the compression garment to hold some dressing in place in this area. Biking shorts (or Spanx) also work quite well. It is not uncommon for some of the sutures to break and the incision to open slightly. If this happens, just call our office and we will most likely need to put a few more sutures in the problem area. Again, it is not uncommon, so don’t panic and go to the emergency room. This is something we can easily handle in the office. It takes about 6-8 weeks to recover from this operation, so be patient during the recovery process. You may remove your dressings and shower 1-3 days after surgery depending on what our office tells you. You will also return to the office for your first post-operative exam 1-3 days after surgery. A low-grade fever is not uncommon after any operation. If you have any questions during the recovery phase, please do not hesitate to call our office any time, day or night.

What are the benefits of a thigh lift?

After the procedure the excess skin will be removed from the inner and outer thighs.

What are the risks of a thigh lift?

A thigh lift has both aesthetic and health risks, and it is the patient’s personal decision whether the benefits outweigh those risks. Common risks include scaring (these scars can be thicker scars), bleeding, poor or slow wound healing, infection, asymmetry, excessive firmness, need for additional surgery or changes in skin sensation. There are also more uncommon, complicated risks such as deep vein thrombosis. For a full list of risks, go to plasticsurgery.org.