Body Surgery

Thigh Lift

at Cadogan Clinic, London’s Leading Cosmetic Surgery Specialists. 

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Medically Reviewed 13 February 2024, by Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396) - founder of the Cadogan Clinic and one of the world's leading plastic surgeons

What is a Thigh Lift?

A thigh lift is a surgical procedure designed to lift and tighten loose folds of skin around the thigh area. It removes excess tissue and is suitable for patients who have loose skin in the thigh area due to ageing, genetics or dramatic weight loss.

Thigh lift surgery is often combined with other procedures such as liposuction on thighs or a buttock lift to enhance the overall effect. The final result is more sculpted, aesthetically pleasing thighs, which are firmer to the touch, with tightened, smooth overlying skin. London thigh lift surgery is regularly performed by our renowned surgeons at the Cadogan Clinic in Chelsea, where we strive to procure transformative results for our patients.


Thigh Lift
At a glance

Surgery Time

2 hours

Time off work

1 - 2 weeks

Hospital Stay

Day Case

Shower

After 1 week

Reasonable Mobility

After 1 day

Exercise

After 6 weeks

Bras & Garments

2 weeks

Sexual Activity

4 - 6 weeks

Sleeping on back

1 - 2 weeks

Full Recovery

6 - 8 weeks

Driving

2 weeks


Before and after Thigh Lift

Why do people have a thigh lift?

Why do people have it & Who is suittable

As we age, the skin around the thighs naturally loses its elasticity and begins to sag. Anyone who has experienced repeated periods of weight gain and weight loss, where the skin has been stretched multiple times, may find this effect has been more extreme causing the skin to hang very loosely around the thighs.

Stretched skin is unlikely to shrink back naturally and typically cannot be tightened with diet and exercise. Surgical intervention may be the only option to restore the position of the skin and remove any folds.

This sagging of the skin can cause people to become self-conscious of their body, preventing them from feeling confident in many clothes, particularly swimwear and sportswear. The loose skin may also cause uncomfortable chafing again, preventing certain clothing from being comfortable or easy to move in.

A thigh lift is a highly effective solution, allowing patients to feel more confident and comfortable in the clothes that they wear. Thigh lift before and after cases can therefore be transformative.

Who is suitable?

To assess your suitability for Thigh Lift surgery London, your dedicated patient advisor will organise a one to one consultation with the surgeon they have recommended for you. Your surgeon will examine the skin and tissue around your thigh area, listen to your concerns and your desired results. 

They will discuss your expectations of surgery and ensure you understand the results that are possible for you. They will also assess your general physical and mental health to make sure you are suitable for a general anaesthetic procedure, this may include your weight, and any medical and mental conditions you have. You must be over 18 to have a thigh lift.

 

You may be a good candidate for a thigh lift if the following are all true:

  • You are in good psychological and physical medical health
  • You are at your ideal body weight
  • You have a positive outlook and realistic expectations of what can be achieved via surgery
  • You are seeking to remove excess skin in your thighs 
  • You are seeking to remove excess fat deposits and cellulite in your thighs
  • You are seeking to improve the shape and contours of your thighs
  • You are looking for long lasting results 

Words from our clients:


The cost of a Thigh Lift

Cadogan Clinic has collaborated with Chrysalis Finance to offer a variety of payment choices for our patients including:
12 months 0% Interest-free - APR
24 - 60 months at 12.9% APR
Flexible Finance

Get in touch now to find out your thigh lift cost

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Included in this treatment

Up to two 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

Dedicated Patient Co-ordinator, as a personal point of contact through your journey with Cadogan

A pre-operative medical assessment to ensure you are fit for surgery

Comprehensive post-operative aftercare courtesy of our specialist cosmetic nurses


What is involved in a thigh lift?

Your surgeon will use two surgical techniques to carry out your thigh lift procedure and get the best results for you - thigh liposuction and skin excision.

Skin excision removes the loose skin hanging down around the thighs. Small incisions are made either on the inside or outside of the thigh, the buttock fold or groin before the excess skin is removed. The thigh area will then be reshaped to create the desired contours and the incisions will be sutured closed. Naturally, the excisions will be made in line with your desired results, so an inner thigh lift will have a slightly different focus to an outer or overall lift.

Your surgeon may also recommend using liposuction to remove any excess fat and enhance the final contours. The decision to perform liposuction depends on the balance of excess skin, excess fat and skin laxity along with the results you are hoping for. Your surgeon will detail the exact techniques they feel are best suited for you in your surgical plan.

The thigh lift procedure can treat a localised area or can be extended to include the whole thigh. It is performed under general anaesthetic and where possible leaves scars hidden under the buttock fold or groin. Your surgeon will explain where your scarring will be and what you can expect from your surgery, as cases of mini thigh lift before and after expectations will be different to a 'full' lift.

Your surgeon will also discuss with you in your consultation, how they will make sure your thighs are as symmetrical as possible. It is very normal that patients have a different amount of fat and tissue on each thigh pre-surgery, and your surgeon may use slightly different approaches on each thigh to ensure a final symmetrical result.

What are some of the main aesthetic considerations for your surgeon?

Surgical experience and careful planning are required to produce a symmetrical result. It is common to see patients who have had unequal amounts of skin and fat removed with unnaturally shaped thighs, of unequal size. There are even occasions where patients have required to have skin put back, using skin grafts. This is a key consideration at the outset.

A skilled surgeon can minimise thigh lift scars and place them expertly in locations where they are not visible to the eye. Thigh lift scars take some months to settle in, but your surgeon will try and confine the thigh lift scars to the buttock fold or groin. We will also provide you with full scar management advice at your subsequent check-up appointments post-surgery so you can continue to manage your healing at home.


Thigh Lift Surgeons

We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.


What to expect

Below you will find some key information to help you prepare for surgery and make necessary arrangements to ensure you have the support you need and that everything runs smoothly on the day.

You will have up to two consultations with your specialist surgeon at our clinic in Chelsea, London to discuss your surgery and the results you are hoping for. Your surgeon will use this time to understand your concerns and explain what is possible for you. We recommend writing down your questions in preparation for your consultation. This will allow you to get the most from your consultation and ensure you can use the time with your surgeon effectively.

Your consultation will also involve a general health and wellness check to ensure you are fit and well for a general anaesthetic procedure including your height, weight and blood pressure.

After your consultation, your surgeon will send their surgical plan through to your patient advisor. Your advisor will contact you to discuss the procedure your surgeon has suggested for you, explain pricing and offer available surgery dates to you. You will then have a two week cooling off period to allow you to reflect on your surgical plan and decide whether you would like to proceed with your Thigh Lift.

If you choose to proceed with your thigh lift surgery or thigh liposuction, you will be asked to prepare in the following way:

  • You will be asked to complete your medical and psychological questionnaires, which will be included with your confirmation pack. These will be reviewed by your surgeon and anaesthetist so they can confirm you are suitable for your procedure, and no final amendments need to be made to your surgical plan.
  • If you smoke or vape, you will need to stop for six weeks before surgery can take place. This is to ensure you heal fully and comfortably.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can also impact the healing and recovery process. You will be asked to limit your alcohol consumption in the weeks running up to your procedure, and to drink no alcohol for 48 hours before your surgery.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin, and any herbal supplements can increase the risk of bleeding, and you will be asked to avoid taking these for 7 days before your procedure.
  • A family member or friend who can either drive you or accompany you in a taxi and stay with you for the first night will need to collect you after your procedure.
  • You mustn’t eat any solid food or consume any juice or milk (including tea or coffee) in the 6 hours before you arrive at the clinic. You can have sips of clear liquids (water, or black tea and coffee) up to 2 hours before you arrive at the clinic. You cannot eat or drink anything in the final 2 hours before your arrival time.

You will be asked to arrive at the clinic an hour before your surgery time on the day of your procedure. You will speak with your surgeon, anaesthetist and the nurses and prepare for surgery by changing into a surgical gown and your surgeon making any markings they need.

Once you have entered the theatre, and made yourself comfortable, your anaesthetist will administer your general anaesthetic to put you to sleep. All procedures at Cadogan Clinic are done using TIVA (Total Intravenous Anaesthesia) which patients find is easier to recover from, and there are fewer instances of sickness when you wake up.

Your surgeon will then carry out your thigh lift. You will wake up from the anaesthetic and a nurse will check your vital health signs in our recovery ward. You will be taken into our ambulatory ward where your food will be ready for you. When you are ready, you will get changed back into your clothes and the nurses will ask your chaperone to come and collect you and you will be discharged. Your surgeon and anaesthetist will have prescribed any pain medication you may need to assist in your recovery.

It is normal to experience some pain, swelling and bruising in the days and weeks following your surgery. You will be mobile within a day and able to shower normally in three days.

Depending on the methods your surgeon has used, they may ask you to wear a garment covering your thighs, for up to 8 weeks after your surgery. This will help to reduce any swelling and speed up your overall recovery as well as protecting your results.

You will have two check-up appointments following your thigh Llift. One week after your procedure you will come into Cadogan Clinic to meet with our nurses. They will assess your incisions and make sure you are healing well. You will be given advice on how to look after and change your dressings and how to continue to care for yourself post-surgery, including managing any thigh lift scars.

Six weeks after your surgery, you will meet with your surgeon. They will discuss your recovery and results and make sure you are happy. Your full results may not be completely apparent at this stage so your surgeon will be able to explain what you can expect in the following weeks.

The Patient Journey. A breakdown of what you can expect on your journey with us

We are deeply invested in ensuring that every step of your surgical journey with us is as informative and reassuring to you as it can be. This article outlines what you can expect at each stage of the journey

The Patient Journey

Frequently Asked Questions

A Thigh Lift is a surgical procedure designed to remove a surplus of loose leg skin and eliminate fat deposits in the thigh region and restore a proportionate contour and firmer thigh.

The choice of procedure depends on the exact condition (excess loose skin or excess skin and excess fat deposits) but will involve skin excision, or a combination of skin excision and liposuction.

The procedure is carried out as a day case procedure under general anaesthesia and takes 2 hours.

There is typically bruising for up to 3 weeks with end results at about 3 months. Scars are insignificant and managed by our Scar Management programme.

Typically, the thigh lift treatment begins with the patient being put under general anaesthesia. The incision location and technique used will be determined by the specific concerns being treated as well as the amount of skin and fat to be removed. Although the incision site can be anywhere, it is usually made in the groin or inner thigh area to hide the scar. After making the incision, the surgeon will trim away any extra skin and fat before reshaping the remaining tissue and skin to give the area a more toned and contoured appearance.

The surgery could also involve both the excision – cutting away – of extra skin and liposuction to remove fat. Liposuction is a procedure that removes surplus body fat by using a cannula (a tiny tube) and a suction device. Your surgeon will create small incisions in the skin and then suction away the fat with a cannula. This aids in shaping and contouring the thighs.

The incision site is then sutured closed and bandaged after the procedure. Although recovery times can differ, most patients can anticipate regaining full health in a few weeks.

 

Thigh Lift surgery should take two hours.

You may be suitable for a Thigh Lift if you have:

  • Loose sagging skin in/around your upper legs
  • Inelastic, lax thigh skin
  • Excess fat deposits in your thighs
  • Unshapely, untoned leg contours
  • Disproportionate thighs relative to rest of figure

Thigh Lift surgery is straightforward, safe surgery although you should be aware of all the risks and complications before going ahead with the surgery.

Pain levels will vary depending on the individual, but most patients experience some discomfort and soreness in the days following surgery. The type of thigh lift treatment used could also affect how painful the procedure is, with more intrusive procedures typically causing more discomfort. 

In order to help you cope with any discomfort, your surgeon can offer you painkillers. They'll also provide you with post-operative advice that you need to follow in order to reduce the possibility of complications like bleeding and infection.

 

Recovery time for this procedure will depend on the individual patient but is fairly minimal.

We usually advise that you take around two weeks off work following surgery as there will be bruising and swelling which may take around 10 days to subside. We also recommend you do not resume exercise for 4 – 6 weeks.

In the following few weeks, as you heal, smoother skin on the thigh and scars will start to heal.

Our expertise in scarring techniques along with our highly-experienced surgeons ensure a great result, and whilst a thigh lift surgery is not an especially painful procedure, you may experience discomfort due to the tight sensation of the skin. Effective pain relief can be provided by your aftercare team should you required it.

If you have undergone Liposuction, you will feel a little bruised and stiff for a few days but there is no restriction on movement. Any dressings can be removed in a couple of days or when they come loose, and stitches removed in a week.

Yоu may соntіnuе tо experience ѕоmе mіld, реrіоdіс dіѕсоmfоrt and ѕwеllіng durіng thіѕ tіmе, but ѕuсh fееlіngѕ аrе nоrmаl. Sеvеrе pain, bleeding or swelling should bе reported tо your surgeon.

You will receive more detailed advice from your surgeon ahead of surgery.

It is important to understand that the results are not permanent. Weight increase or loss, ageing, and skin flexibility are a few examples of factors that may have an impact on how long your results last.

Maintaining a constant weight, engaging in regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet are the keys to preserving the effects of a thigh lift for longer. This is because weight gain or loss might cause the skin to stretch and droop and reverse the effects of the surgery.

Regular exercise and a nutritious diet of fewer calories are both necessary to maintain a steady weight. It can also help you to increase muscle mass, which can aid in keeping the shape and tone of the thighs.  

It's also important to note that as we age, our skin's elasticity may decline and collagen may be lost, which could lead to sagging skin or reverse the results of the procedure. 

 

The main benefit of a thigh lift is that it improves the appearance of the thighs. Excess skin and fat will be removed during the treatment, resulting in a more toned and contoured look. Patients might feel more confident and find themselves with higher self-esteem as a result of being able to engage in activities and wear clothing that they may have avoided before the procedure. It can also help improve mobility, making it easier to take part in physical activities, as the previous loose skin on the thighs may have made it difficult to move and exercise.

A thigh lift can also be combined with other treatments, such as liposuction and tummy tucks, to produce a more comprehensive reshaping result.

One of our highly trained, elite plastic surgeons will perform your Thigh Lift.

All our thigh lift and liposuction specialists have been hand-picked by Mr Bryan Mayou, our founder, and the pioneer of liposuction in the UK.

Your consultation is designed to be the perfect opportunity to ask all the pressing questions that you have to your consultant, ahead of making a decision on surgery. It is vital that you are fully informed before making your final decision, and the consultation is, therefore, a key part of the education and decision-making process.

Some good examples of questions to ask include:

  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • Do you think my goals are realistic given my existing anatomy?
  • Will I require a single surgery or multiple surgeries?
  • Can I see some before & after pictures of Thigh Lift procedures you have done previously?
  • How long will my recovery take?
  • Is it true that Cadogan offers 24/7 on-call nursing service?
  • What can I expect in terms of bruising, swelling and scarring?
  • What are my options if I am unhappy with my results?

No special preparation is required although it is generally advisable to do the following before any surgery

  • Stop smoking. Smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking before surgery and during recovery.
  • Avoid certain medications. You'll likely need to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding.
  • Arrange for help during recovery. Make plans for someone to drive you home after you leave the hospital and stay with you for at least the first night of your recovery at home.

You should start to see results in the days following surgery. These will fully start to appear from around the six-week mark and improvements will be ongoing for the first 12 or so months.

Your results will be long lasting and permanent so long as you maintain your body weight following surgery.

The ageing process will however continue from your new post-procedure point, and skin laxity will gradually increase over time. The ageing process will start from a far better point, however, so it should be many years before this becomes noticeable again.

Aside from liposuction, it's also possible to combine a thigh lift surgery with a buttock lift or even a knee lift. On the front of the knee, there are generally two bulges, just below the kneecap on the front on either side on which the fat can be removed if that is something you're concerned about for your overall look. Thigh lift surgery is performed as a day case, meaning you will be able to return home after the surgery. You can expect to have reasonable mobility back after a few days, and a return to your full daily activities after 6-8 weeks.

A thigh lift can help with Cellulite but a thighplasty alone will not guarantee the removal of cellulite.

At the Cadogan Clinic we offer Cellulaze cellulite treatment – a laser liposuction treatment – to specifically target cellulite.

Yes, a thigh lift is likely to leave a scar. The location and length of the scar are dependent upon where the incision is placed and the extent to which skin is removed. Your surgeon will try to hide this in the natural creases and folds of your thigh region.

These scars will heal over time and can heal faster with the use of over the counter treatments. You should expect most scars to be well hidden with particular underwear or clothing.

The scars from a thigh lift are hidden in the groin area and can sometimes extend along the inner thigh. The position and the size of the scars after a thigh lift will depend on the location and amount of excess skin that needs to be removed during the procedure. The surgical technique recommended will depend on the degree of skin laxity and anatomy of your skin.

You can view thigh lift before and after images when you come in to meet with your surgeon.

At your consultation, your consultant will share examples with you of thigh lift results they have personally achieved with patients in the past.

A micro thigh lift is a less invasive alternative to a standard thigh lift that patients with mild to moderate skin sagging on the thighs may choose. The operation is frequently carried out on patients with a small amount of extra skin and fat on the inner thigh since it is intended to target this particular area rather than the entire thigh.

With a micro thigh lift a shorter incision and less tissue removal are usually required than with a traditional one. A mini thigh lift usually requires less time to recover too, although the results might not be as dramatic.

A mini thigh lift is not an appropriate option for people who have a lot of excess skin and fat on their thighs. For those patients, a conventional thigh lift can be a preferable choice. Additionally, it's important to remember that even if the process is less invasive, it is still a surgical operation with risks and problems. As a result, it's best to check with a licensed surgeon who has experience with this procedure before making a decision.

 

Depending on the type of surgery that was done and the healing process of each patient, the recovery time following a thigh lift can vary. Most patients can expect to see the full effects of their surgery in 6 weeks with the right attention and care.

You should anticipate some pain, swelling, and bruising in the area of the thigh right after surgery. Your surgeon may recommend medication to help you manage your pain. Compression clothing may also be advised by your surgeon in order to reduce swelling and aid in the healing process.

It’s also important to refrain from heavy lifting and strenuous exercise during the first week after treatment in order to avoid overstressing the thighs stretching the skin and slowing down the healing process. Though it may be recommended to take part in light workouts as prescribed by your surgeon to enhance blood circulation, which can speed up recovery.

We recommend all patients follow their surgeon's post-operative instructions, maintain a nutritious diet, and drink plenty of fluids to promote healing and reduce complications. Smoking should also be avoided as it can hinder the healing process. 

Patients are often recommended to be at or close to their goal weight before having a thigh lift because it is not a weight-loss operation. The technique can, however, help to reshape and contour the thighs, creating the illusion of weight loss. A thigh lift can also improve self-confidence and ease concerns about sagging or loose skin.


A state of the art, award winning clinic.

Founded in 2004 by world renowned plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, we now work with over 100 leading consultants and successfully treat over 20,000 patients each year. We have been winning industry awards since inception.

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All of our treatments take place at our beautiful boutique premises in Chelsea. We have six consulting rooms and five operating rooms, as well as a dedicated pre and post-operative suite, and a full team of specialist nursing staff.

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We were founded in 2004 by world renown plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, best known for his pioneering work in the area of liposuction, lasers and microvascular surgery. We continue to collaborate with pioneers in our field.

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The Risks of a Thigh Lift

Although Thigh Lift surgery can create transformational and positive results, there are risks and complications which can arise with any surgical procedure. Your surgeon will discuss these complications with you and measure your personal risk level. They may ask you to make certain adjustments to your lifestyle in preparation for your surgery to reduce your risk level.

 

  • Hematoma - This is the build up of blood beneath the skin and will require treatment from your surgeon
  • Seroma - This is the formation of a lump under the skin caused by buildup of fluid around the incision sites. This will require treatment from your surgeon.
  • Poor wound healing - Healing complications or infection can affect the incision sites
  • Asymmetry - Occasionally, one thigh may appear a different size or shape to the other
  • Excessive bleeding 
  • Allergic reaction to general anesthetic
  • Infection at the surgical site
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a vein)

If your surgery results in a less than optimal outcome, or a complication, a revision surgery may be required. The need for a follow up surgery may be beyond the surgeon’s control. Cadogan Clinic’s consultant surgeons are highly qualified professionals who have performed Thigh Lift numerous times.




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