As we age, the skin of our thighs loses its elasticity and begins to sag. This is especially true for those who have experienced repeated periods of weight gain and loss in which the skin has been stretched multiple times.

Stretched skin is unlikely to shrink naturally and typically cannot be tightened with diet and exercise, instead requiring surgical intervention to deliver a pleasing solution.

Thigh lift surgery reduces the amount of excess skin on the thighs. The procedures can be limited to a single localised area of the thigh or can be extended to include the whole area. It is performed under general anaesthetic and leaves scars hidden as far as possible under the buttock fold or groin. Your consultant may suggest that you combine the thigh lift procedure with liposuction to remove surplus fat over a wider area and to free up the skin to allow it to be lifted more easily.

A thigh lift is a surgical operation which lifts and tightens the loose or sagging folds of skin typically experienced around the inner thigh area.  It is designed to remove excess tissue to leave a firmer, smoother contour.  It is often a procedure that is suitable for patients who have experienced drastic or sudden weight loss where the tissue has been stretched and hangs down from the inner thighs (outer thighs and buttocks can be treated with a body lift).  Whilst liposuction alone eliminates unwanted fat, the thigh lift removes the skin and tightens the thigh area also.

On examination during your initial consultation your expert surgeon will assess your suitability for this procedure.  Generally, patients that are a healthy weight (within a few pounds of their ideal weight) are the most suitable candidates. This operation is intended to remove loose skin following weight loss and which will not improve through diet and exercise.

This operation is carried out under a general anaesthetic and involves removing excess skin along the inner thighs and then suturing the incision site back together. This treatment is very often combined with liposuction to achieve optimal contours and often to reduce the size of the outer thigh or (saddle-bag) area.  Due to the large area covered and the length of wound, the procedure can be time-consuming and can take up to two hours to complete.  The incision is stitched with dissolvable stitches and surgical tapes are applied as well as bandages which are placed around the thighs to increase compression.

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

Any risks associated with a thigh lift procedure are similar to those of other surgical procedure which requires a general anaesthetic.  Other potential risks include bleeding and infection which are not, in fact, that common, however, your surgeon will explain the thigh lift procedure and possible risks in much detail during your consultation.

As everyone heals differently it is difficult to predict how your scars will eventually look. They will initially appear quite red and raised but as time goes on, if you observe the expert aftercare advice and guidance of our dedicated wound care team your scars should fade and heal to a naturally smooth finish.  Scars typically take a whole year to heal and fully mature. Our dedicated aftercare team can also help to minimise the appearance of your scar(s) with ancillary treatment options to follow your surgery and enhance your result if you wish.

It is advised that you undertake all your usual household duties and any other physical activities prior to your admission to hospital as you will not be able to perform these for a good few days (up to 2 weeks) after your procedure.  You will also be advised to stop smoking,  drinking or taking certain medications such as aspirin prior to surgery due to the effects they have on healing.

Thigh lift treatment costs depend on the treatment plan decided on by you and your surgeon according to your requirements, however typical costs start from £6,800 also applies to certain medications but your surgeon will discuss this with you in your consultation.

What to expect

Free Consultation with a Patient Advisor

We offer a free, no-obligation 30-60 minute consultation with one of our Patient Advisors. They will work with you to understand your objectives and the results you want to achieve, talk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have. If you decide that you would like to proceed to the next step and see a surgeon, your Patient Advisor will be happy to arrange this for you. At this point, you will be required to pay a consultation fee. . 

Surgical Consultation

The next step is for you to meet your chosen surgeon at the Cadogan Clinic. Your surgeon will use this time to make a comprehensive medical assessment of you, your condition, and your expectations before making a recommendation and personalised treatment plan for you. You will then discuss the outcomes you can expect to see and ask any questions.

The Procedure

On the day of your procedure you will be welcomed at the Cadogan Clinic by your Patient Advisor and dedicated nursing staff. Following a brief medical check, you will meet with both your surgeon and anaesthetist to run through the details of your procedure one final time and answer any last questions you may have.

Recovery

After the procedure, you will recover in the capable hands of our aftercare team. As we are a day-case facility you can expect your recovery to be complete within 2 to 3 hours. If your surgeon is happy with your results, you will be able to be discharged from the Clinic the very same day. In some cases patients may wish to stay locally in our exclusive partner hotel the day before or after your procedure in order to be close to their surgeon. Talk to us about these options if this is for you.

After Care & Support

Our care and support continues in the days and weeks following your procedure with our complimentary aftercare programme. This comprised of a series of appointments made with your surgeon and nursing team to monitor your progress and recovery. They will also introduce you to several scar minimization techniques and bespoke products to aid your progress. Our team are also on call to answer any questions you have around your surgery at any time you are concerned.

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Mr. William Van Niekerk
Mr. William Van Niekerk

Plastic Surgeon

A plastic, reconstructive, aesthetic and burn surgeon specialising in all areas of cosmetic surgery, non-surgical aesthetics and complex microsurgery

Mr. Garrick Georgeu
Mr. Garrick Georgeu

Plastic Surgeon

Plastic and Aesthetic surgeon with an Aesthetic Surgical degree, specialising in all types of breast surgery, facial surgery, and body contouring.