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Thigh Lift

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St. Luke’s thighplasty surgeons are among the Lehigh Valley’s most skilled and experienced. Our providers are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, having completed extensive training that leads to a rigorous certification process. And due to our large network of over 12 hospital sites, we have access to the latest technology.  These resources allow us to perform minimally invasive procedures with results you can be proud of. 

What is a thigh lift?

A thigh lift—also referred to as a thigh reduction surgery or leg lift surgery—removes excess skin and fat from the thigh area. During this procedure, your surgeon will make incision patterns based on the treated area and other individualized factors. Then they’ll cut out excess fat cells and skin before closing the wound with sutures.

Thighplasty can improve body proportions by altering the size and shape of your thighs. Additionally, leg lift surgery can be performed along with liposuction to remove large amounts of fat. This combination of procedures can be helpful after significant weight loss or pregnancy.

If you want to learn more about thigh lift surgery—or schedule a consultation with a thigh lift surgeon in the Lehigh Valley—then contact St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.


A thigh lift—or thigh reduction surgery—candidates include adults with the following characteristics:

  • Relatively stable weight
  • Excess of soft tissue along the inner or outer thigh region
  • Thigh chafing
  • Large amounts of cellulite
  • Realistic expectations

Thigh reduction surgery isn’t a substitute for weight loss, so you should be at a healthy weight before your procedure. However, the liposuction portion of a thigh lift can help create the thigh shape you want.

Schedule a consultation with a St. Luke’s thigh lift surgeon in the Lehigh Valley to determine if a thigh reduction surgery is right for you.

Getting a thigh lift can positively impact your wellbeing and self-confidence. The following list includes some of the most commonly reported benefits: 

  • Reduced excess skin from weight loss, pregnancy, or aging
  • Reduced stretch marks
  • Defined thigh gap
  • Lessened the likelihood of skin infections (due to skin folds)
  • Softened skin

A thigh lift can give you a more toned physique and help you feel comfortable with your body.

As with all cosmetic procedures, a thigh lift has risks. Some of them include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Wound healing problems
  • Swelling
  • Seroma (buildup of blood without blood cells, unique to the upper thighs)
  • Blood clots
  • Fluid buildup
  • Infection

Your surgeon will review a complete list of risks before getting your consent.

Before the procedure

In the time leading up to your thigh lift at St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, you can take steps to make your procedure as safe as possible. These include discussing the following topics at your surgical consultation:

  • Goals and expectations
  • Surgical options
  • Results
  • Recovery

As part of your consultation, your surgeon will also do a complete evaluation—which may include the following items:

  • Ordering lab work
  • Taking “before” photos for comparison
  • Assessing medical conditions, allergies, and medical limitations
  • Reviewing medications, supplements, alcohol, tobacco, or drug use 

A week before the procedure, you can prepare at home in the following ways:

  • Filling outstanding prescriptions
  • Purchasing any medical supplies as needed
  • Coordinating transportation and meals as needed
  • Staying hydrated

You should arrive early on the day of your procedure to avoid travel delays.

During the procedure

Your surgeon will work with you to determine the best type of procedure to achieve your desired results. Thigh lift surgery lasts two to three hours, and you’ll typically return home the same day. A thigh lift can contour your thighs by removing excess skin and fat.

Medial thigh lift (inner thigh lift)

With a medial thigh lift, your surgeon will remove excess skin by making an incision where your thigh and pubic area meet. Then they will remove skin and fat before closing the incision. An inner thigh lift targets the back and inside of your leg, leaving a horizontal scar.

Lateral thigh lift (outer thigh lift)

With a lateral thigh lift, your surgeon will remove excess skin by making an incision at the top of your leg where your bikini line is. Then they will remove skin and fat before closing the incision. This procedure targets the front and outside of your leg, leaving a vertical and horizontal scar. An outer thigh lift is ideal if you’ve experienced significant weight loss.

After the procedure

The results of a thigh lift are visible almost immediately–though it may take several months to see full results. There will be visible scars, but they should fade over time. While your skin may lose firmness with age, these results are typically long-lasting. However, it’s essential to maintain a stable weight—especially if your goal is a thigh gap via an inner thigh lift; weight gain can cause fat to shift.

Your St. Luke’s thigh lift surgeon will customize your procedure based on your desired treatment results. The typical recovery milestones include the following: 

  • One day after surgery: Your incisions will be covered, and you’ll have a compression garment to minimize swelling. You may feel mild to moderate pain—which can be treated with prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. You’ll also have small drainage tubes for excess blood and fluid.
  • Two to three days after surgery: Your swelling and bruising will be at their worst, so you should continue wearing your compression garment. Because your incisions are still healing, you should keep your activity at a minimum.
  • One to two weeks after surgery: You’ll have your drains and stitches removed. However, you should still wear your compression garment and keep movement to a minimum for several weeks. You may still have swelling and bruising, but it should start to decrease.
  • Two to four weeks after surgery: You can add movement into your daily routine to help prevent blood clots from forming. You’ll start to notice your improved thigh contours.
  • One to two months after surgery: Your swelling should be almost gone, and your incisions should be healed—although your scars will be visible. You may return to most daily activities.
  • Six months after surgery: Your swelling should be gone entirely, and you’ll see your final results.