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Thigh Liposuction - How to Lose Thigh Fat

Thigh liposuction is a hugely popular procedure to remove fat from the thighs. As well as getting rid of inner thigh fat, liposuction of the hips and thighs is also a great way of removing so-called ‘saddlebags’, localised fat pads covering the hip bone.

Tagged: Body & Breast

Author: Mr. Bryan Mayou, MB ChB FRCS

Date: 20th December 2021

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 17th January 2024

Thigh Liposuction - How to Lose Thigh Fat

Thigh liposuction is a hugely popular procedure to remove fat from the thighs.

As well as getting rid of inner thigh fat, Liposuction of the hips and thighs is also a great way of removing so-called ‘saddlebags’, localised fat pads covering the hip bone and outer thighs. 

In thigh fat removal, the surgeon will break up the troublesome fat cells before they are sucked out, leaving behind slimmer, more toned, thighs. Inner Thigh Lipo can also help to achieve the much-desired ‘thigh gap’ and reduce chafing. 

Liposuction cannot remove cellulite or stretch marks, but other treatments in combination with thigh fat Liposuction will help. 

What Does it Involve?

Thigh Liposuction can be carried out on the outer thigh, targeting so-called saddlebags, or the inner thigh, targeting excess fat and treating chafing. You may wish to have Liposuction on both the inner and outer thighs - depending on the extent of the surgery, you may need to have more than one procedure to achieve your desired results. 

Thigh Liposuction is carried out under a general anaesthetic. Here at the Cadogan Clinic, we use Total Intravenous Anaesthesia (TIVA). This means you will wake up quickly, ready to go home, and will not feel nauseous. 

Once you have been sedated, the consultant will then make a series of tiny incisions before inserting a fine tube called a cannula. The incisions are very small, and your surgeon will ensure they are in the most discreet places to mitigate scarring. The cannula is moved around to break up the fat cells, ready for removal. If your surgeon is using a technique called BodyJet liposuction, fluid will be passed down the cannula to help dislodge this fat without destroying it, allowing for fat transfer treatment alongside your thigh liposuction. High pressured suction is then used to suck out the unwanted fat cells. The treatment area is drained of any excess fluid and blood before being stitched and dressed. You will be able to leave the clinic with a friend or family member on the same day as your Thigh Liposuction. 

Once these fat cells are removed, they do not grow back, meaning your thighs will keep their new shape, as long as you maintain a healthy weight. 

After your Thigh Liposuction, you will be expected to wear a surgical garment for several weeks. The purpose of this compression garment is to reduce the swelling and help the body to adapt to its new slimline shape. If you are not overweight and in good physical health before your Liposuction, you can expect to see greater benefits post-procedure. 

It is important that you follow all the aftercare instructions issued by your surgeon in order to help aid the healing process. If you adhere to these instructions, you should expect a full recovery from your thigh liposuction in six weeks. You will be asked to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks and will need to sleep in a position that doesn’t disturb the treated areas for 2-3 weeks following your surgery.  

You should start to notice the early results from around six weeks, and can expect the final result anywhere between six and 12 months, post-surgery.

Thigh Liposuction, just like any other Liposuction, should not be viewed as an alternative to weight loss or as a treatment for obesity. 

What Are the Benefits?

Thigh Liposuction is a simple procedure, but it can produce life-changing results. The benefits of Thigh Liposuction include the following: 

  • Slimmer thighs
  • More toned thighs
  • Eliminate the appearance of ‘saddlebags’
  • Reduced chafing
  • Creating a thigh gap
  • Improve clothing fit
  • Wear tight trousers and skirts with confidence
  • Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Improved mental wellbeing by reducing stress, anxiety and unhappiness

Who is Suitable?

Cadogan Clinic considers individuals fit for Thigh Liposuction if they meet the following criteria. 

  • Are physically and psychologically fit and healthy 
  • Are a healthy weight and not obese
  • Are bothered by the appearance of fat thighs
  • Have inner thigh fat which cannot be removed by diet and exercise alone
  • Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved through thigh liposuction
  • Are over 18 years of age 

What Are Saddlebags?

Saddlebags are localised fat pads overlying the greater trochanters, the sharp angle of the femur (thigh bone) where it angles into the hip. These fat pads develop in puberty in response to increased oestrogen levels. The presence of these pads is normal. In some cultures, larger hips are recognised as a desirable sign of fertility, but this accumulation of fat on the hips is also known as the condition trochanteric lipodystrophy, and can cause emotional and physical discomfort. Fat over the hips is usually accompanied by deposits of fat in the buttocks, inner thighs and inner knees. 

Body shape is inherited and cannot be changed dramatically through diet or exercise. But with celebrities like Kim Kardashian flying the flag for fuller hips and buttocks, there has been increased interest in body sculpting procedures, such as Liposuction and Fat Transfer. 
The most common treatment is Saddlebags Liposuction through an incision hidden under the buttocks. There is a 10 percent skin retraction, which is usually enough to prevent sagging. Older people and those that need a considerable reduction may also benefit from skin excision. 

Patients with a hanging bottom, where the buttock folds over the lower buttock (inferior gluteal) fold, would benefit from a buttock reduction, removing the overhang and tightening the buttock skin. This procedure results in an extra scar, which is mostly hidden in the inferior gluteal fold. 

For those who are looking for a smaller reduction, or do not want to undergo Liposuction with general anaesthesia, here at the Cadogan Clinic we use Total IntraVenous Anaesthesia (TIVA), which helps patients to avoid the unpleasant nausea associated with the usual anaesthetic gases. 


What is a Thigh Gap?

The thigh gap is the triangular gap between the upper thighs of a slender woman standing with both feet together. The thigh gap has been a standard for measuring thinness in the modelling industry for some time. While some find a thigh gap attractive, others view it as a sign of anorexia and a physical trait of the unhealthy ‘size zero’ model. 

So what is the thigh gap and how is it formed? The femur (thigh bone) angles out from the knee towards the hip joint. It is this angle, made by the shape of the femur and the width of the pelvis, that provides the basis for the thigh gap. Overlying the bone are muscles and, in particular, the gracilis and adductor muscles, with an origin on the inner pelvic bone. These make up the side wall of the gap. Then comes the subcutaneous inner thigh fat pad and skin. The Cadogan Clinic’s expert surgeons can sculpt the fat and the skin, but not the muscle or bone. During your consultation, your surgeon will show you a range of Thigh Lipo before and after photos so you can see what results are possible for you. 

It is impossible to selectively use diet or exercise to target particular areas of fat. The gaunt, skeletal look seen on catwalk models is the result of extreme dieting which causes the body to lose muscle as well as fat. We do not advise undergoing such extreme dieting. Exercising and building muscle will not cause the thigh gap to disappear, but nor will it create one. 

At Cadogan Clinic, we can create a thigh gap in most people by removing fat surgically with Liposuction. However, it is important to remember that these results are limited by the underlying muscle and bone, which cannot be shaped by surgical procedures. 


What Treatments Can be Combined with this Form of Liposuction?

Thigh Liposuction can be combined with other treatments, including Liposuction on other parts of the body, such as the stomach and buttocks. Knee Liposuction and Leg Liposuction are popular treatments to take place alongside Thigh Liposuction. 

Thigh Liposuction is very often combined with Thigh Lift surgery. Thigh Lipo removes unwanted fat from the area, while a Thigh Lift tightens loose and sagging skin. 

Once fat has been removed from the thighs via Liposuction, it can be used in Fat Transfer. This surgical treatment sees the fat removed from one area of the body and introduced to another part of the body via injection. Fat transfer is often used by surgeons to introduce volume to parts of the body such as the lips and cheeks.

To further enhance the shape at the rear of your body, you may wish to consider a Brazilian Butt Lift, a surgical procedure to lift the buttocks, enhancing youthful curves. This is another procedure which employs fat transfer techniques. 

Thigh Liposuction can also be incorporated into Mummy Makeover surgery. This is a combination of surgeries involving the breast, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs designed to restore a woman’s body to its original contours and appearance prior to pregnancy and childbirth. 

Another treatment that you may wish to consider if you are planning to have thigh lipo is Cellulaze, a sophisticated laser treatment designed to treat cellulite.

This minimally-invasive treatment is commonly used to treat cellulite which has formed on the outer thighs, or ‘saddlebags’.

Book an appointment with our consultant to discuss which treatment options are available to you.

How Much Does Thigh Liposuction Cost?

Thigh liposuction costs upwards of £3,950 at the Cadogan Clinic. If you are having other areas of liposuction at the same time, then you can expect to pay more.

Two areas of liposuction cost £6,000 and three areas of liposuction cost £6,900.

The cost of thigh lipo includes:

  • Up to two 30 minute – 60-minute consultations with a leading specialist plastic surgeon at our award-winning premises in Chelsea
  • Your procedure carried out at London’s leading specialist cosmetic surgery centre of excellence
  • 24/7 on-call nurse assistance
  • A dedicated patient coordinator, as a personal point of contact through your journey with Cadogan
  • A pre-operative medical assessment to ensure you are fit for surgery
  • A comprehensive post-operative aftercare courtesy of our specialist cosmetic nurses.

All quoted costs online are guide prices only and subject to confirmation following your in-person consultation. 

Thigh Liposuction cost in the UK is not subject to VAT as it is a medical procedure. Thigh Liposuction is rarely available on the NHS for cosmetic purposes. 


Why Do We Get Fat Thighs?

There are many reasons why a person may get fat thighs. An unhealthy diet, high in sugar and calories can cause fat to form on any part of the body. This includes drinking alcohol, which is often calorific. A lack of exercise, or living a sedentary lifestyle, can also be responsible for the appearance of thigh fat. 

Genetics and gender can also play a huge role in the appearance of outer and inner thigh fat. Women are more prone to developing fat around their inner and outer thighs, due to an increase in oestrogen during puberty.  

Although oestrogen levels drop sharply with the onset of menopause, sadly this does not translate into losing thigh fat. Once you hit menopause, your metabolism slows with age, resulting in weight gain in all areas of the body. 

Although oestrogen levels drop sharply with the onset of menopause, sadly this does not translate into losing thigh fat. Once you hit menopause, your metabolism slows with age, resulting in weight gain in all areas of the body.

Some women find that they gain weight around the thighs during pregnancy. Shifting the pregnancy pounds can prove very difficult, so Thigh Liposuction is a popular treatment choice for women who have given birth. Thigh lipo is often used as part of the Cadogan Clinic’s Mummy Makeover.


What Else Can I Do to Reduce Fat Thighs?

Many of us struggle with how to get rid of thigh fat. The two biggest things you can do to lose fat from the thighs or any other area of the body are to maintain a healthy diet and exercise. 

A healthy diet consists of plenty of vegetables and fruit, foods that are high in fibre such as wholegrain and protein-packed lean meats and poultry. Foods and drinks which are packed with sugar, such as cakes, sweets and soda, should be avoided in order to bring fat levels down. If your alcohol intake is higher than the NHS-recommended 14 units a week then you should cut back to combat fat thighs.  

Weight loss pills and supplements are available over-the-counter, at health food shops and on prescription, but these are not intended as a stand-alone answer to weight loss. 

However, as thigh fat is often down to genes, sometimes there is very little you can do to get rid of thigh fat. Despite our very best efforts, some fat cannot be lost through diet and exercise alone. This is where thigh liposuction can help. This treatment is the best way of getting rid of stubborn fatty deposits from the outer and inner thighs in one quick and easy treatment. 

However, it is important, before undergoing any cosmetic surgery, that you have realistic expectations of the result. For example, although inner thigh fat removal can successfully create a thigh gap, the positioning of the underlying muscle and bone means that inner thigh liposuction won’t always produce this result.

Exercises to Reduce Thigh Fat

As well as upping your exercise levels to at least 150 minutes a week, you should also start doing regular targeted exercises to tone the thighs and reduce the likelihood of thigh fat. 

The best types of exercise to reduce thigh fat are: 

  • Cycling
    • Hopping on your bike is great cardio but also targets your thighs and lower legs, leaving them more toned.
  • Head to the beach
    • Walking on sand is a great resistance exercise to tone and slim down your  thighs. Regularly spending 20 minutes walking on the beach can have a noticeable impact on your legs.
  • Dancing
    • Dancers are known for being very strong, and in particular having toned legs. Either heading to a dance class in person, or finding an online class will help to target excess thigh fat.
  • Taking the stairs
    • Choosing the stairs over the lift may not always be the most appealing choice but it will definitely help to tone your thighs.
  • Resistance training
    • Resistance exercises such as lunges and reformer pilates help to strengthen and tone the muscles in the thigh area. 

Some easy exercises to do at home which will help to reduce excess thigh fat and tone the muscles include:

  • Burpees
  • Reverse planks
  • Jumping Jacks (Star Jumps)
  • Frog jumps
  • Leg circles 

How to Lose Thigh Fat?

Excess thigh fat on the inner and outer thighs is a common concern which impacts many people. If you are interested in addressing your thigh fat for leaner, slimmer thighs get in touch with our dedicated surgical patient advisors, who will be able to answer your questions and organise a consultation with one of our specialist surgeons.  

Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

Liposuction for the thighs is a popular procedure, often complemented by skin excision to produce the best results. This combination ensures not only the removal of excess fat but also the prevention of any potential loose skin post-surgery. Having introduced Lipouction to the UK, 40 years ago it is very rewarding to see it being used alongside other surgical techniques to produce the highest quality results
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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