Thigh Lift (Inner Thighplasty)
Inner thigh lifts, or inner thighplasty, are becoming increasingly popular plastic surgery procedures for patients with excess inner thigh skin and fat. This surgical procedure is performed with multiple scar patterns to tighten and shape the inner thigh, allowing patients to feel more comfortable in shorts, swimsuits and form-fitting clothing. Dr. Trussler has significant experience with inner thighplasty surgery and the first step in contouring the thighs is discussing your goals of the procedure during a consultation.
What Are My Thigh Lift Options?
There different types of inner thigh lift procedures which are designed to address each patients’ different degree and location of excess inner thigh skin and fat. Thigh lifts are ideal for healthy, non-smoking male and female patients who have a significant amount of excess, hanging skin in the upper inner thigh area. Patients should be at a stable weight and have a comfortable diet and exercise routine prior to considering any body contouring procedure. Patients who present for inner thighplasty surgery are typically frustrated because no matter how many squats or lunges they do, the excess skin just won’t go away. The solution is to remove the excess skin and contour the thigh with liposuction. Dr. Trussler offers multiple techniques for inner thigh lifts (inner thighplasty):
Mini-Inner Thighplasty utilizes a horizontal incision in the groin crease to remove sagging skin in the very upper inner thigh. This technique can be combined with liposuction to contour the entire inner thigh, but is recommended to the patient with only limited upper inner thigh excess skin.
Short Scar Inner Thighplasty
Short Scar Inner Thighplasty utilizes an “L” shaped scar close to the groin crease to help shorten the scar length on the inner thigh. It is utilized for moderate excess inner thigh skin and can be combined with liposuction.
Full Vertical Inner Thighplasty
Full Vertical Inner Thighplasty utilizes a linear scar at the in-seam to remove excess skin along the entire inner thigh. This procedure tightens and shapes the entire thigh from knee to groin.
Inner thigh lifts can help tighten and contour the thigh. Patients should be healthy, non-smoking and at a stable weight prior to considering this procedure. The extent, location and condition of the excess thigh skin all factor into the decision of scar pattern for an inner thighplasty. Liposuction is used to help shape, define, and contour the thigh. Most patients with a significant amount of excess thigh skin are amenable to the longer inner thighplasty scar. This scar is the most difficult factor to accept when approaching any body contouring procedure. Dr. Trussler will give his honest opinion on the right scar pattern for your individual inner thigh contouring procedure and with time and active scar care, these scars will fade.
Many patients do inquire about other body contouring procedures at the time of consultation. Inner thighplasty is commonly performed in conjunction with chest, breast, abdominal, and/or outer thigh contouring procedures.
Realistic expectations are important when considering inner thighplasty surgery. Dr. Trussler will listen to your goals and factor into the extent and location of excess thigh skin to help come up with an inner thigh contouring procedure that is right for you. No matter what incision type of inner thighplasty is performed there will be a scar. Scar quality and how the scar heals depends on what is done before, during and after thighplasty surgery. Choosing the right incision type for your inner thigh and Dr. Trussler’s surgical experience do help with scarring, but good nutrition, smoking cessation, avoidance of sun, limiting activity, and active scar care all help to improve the healing process. Dr. Trussler will provide detailed instructions for your inner thighplasty procedure.
Inner thighplasty surgery usually takes two to three hours to complete and is done under general anesthesia in the operating room. The areas of skin excision and the incision placement are typically marked during the pre-operative appointment. The procedure is commonly started with liposuction of the thigh to help thin the fatty deposits of the thigh and help release the excess skin. Varying lengths of incisions are used to remove the inner thigh skin depending on the type of thighplasty performed.
Mini-Inner Thighplasty utilizes an incision in the upper inner thigh and places the scar in the groin crease.
Short Scar Inner Thighplasty
Short Scar Inner Thighplasty utilizes an incision in the groin and extends it onto the upper inner thigh leaving an “L” shaped scar with a soft arc to help limit the scar burden on the thigh.
Full Vertical Inner Thighplasty
Full Vertical Inner Thighplasty utilizes an incision on the “in-seam” aspect of the inner thigh to remove skin from the groin to the knee which leaves a linear scar along the inner thigh. Ideally this scar is not visible with the legs in a standing or sitting position.
All inner thigh lift incisions are closed with two to three layers of absorbable sutures. Drain tubes may be used in all inner thighplasty procedures. Compression garments are used to help limit bruising and swelling after the procedure. Most patients can go home the same day after this procedure.
After Care & Recovery
After any type of inner thigh lift procedure, patients will likely experience mild soreness and swelling for a few days. The incisions are typically dressed with surgical glue, and compressive foam and compression garments are used to help limit swelling and bruising in the area. Surgical drains are commonly used in this procedure and will typically be removed within the first week.
The thighs will be supported in a soft compression garment for about three weeks or until healed. Any stitches will be removed after one or two weeks. Most patients will be able to return to work within a week, although exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for about a three weeks. Dr. Trussler will provide you with specific instructions for your individual recovery.
The results of an inner thigh lift are visible immediately after surgery and will continue to improve as swelling subsides and scars fade. The inner thigh shape will evolve over a three month period especially in the cases of significant skin and fat removal. Scar treatment will be initiated at the 3-week visit and may be continued for 3 to 6 months after the operation, or until the scar softens and fade.
- Hatef, DA, Trussler, AP, Kenkel, JM. Procedural Risk for Venous Thromboembolism in Abdominal Contouring Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010 Jan;125(1):352-362.