Inner Thigh Lift (Thighplasty)

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Inner thigh lift (thighplasty) is a body contouring procedure designed to address loose and sagging skin of the inner thighs. Loose and sagging inner thigh skin classically follows significant weight loss but can be due to general effects of ageing. The option of liposuction alone is limited with this condition. Liposuction will remove fat, rendering the remaining skin even looser. Liposuction alone is very common and effective in patients who have bulgy, full inner thighs with relatively tight skin but in the case of sagging loose skin, a thigh lift will be required to achieve the desired result.


As skin appearance becomes looser, some degree of skin reduction will be necessary in addition to liposuction. In these cases, a combination of liposuction with skin excision of the upper thigh and sometimes extending down to the knee is the most appropriate option. For patients who have undergone massive weight loss, an extended inner thigh lift procedure may be required. This will involve liposuction combined with excision or skin from the groin down to the knee. How is the surgery performed?

Modern inner thigh lifting (thighplasty) practiced by Dr Drielsma involves a combination of radical liposuction with skin only excision and tightening. This approach preserves the underlying arteries, viens, nerves and lymphatic tissues and reduces wound healing concerns that have classically been associated with this surgery.  Inner thigh lifting (thighplasty) is a procedure with predictable healing and low complications.

Inner thigh lifting (thighplasty) takes some 3 hours to perform. It is done under general anaesthetic with a one night hospital stay. There are no stitches to be removed as skin closure is achieved with dissolving sutures.

Usually 2 to 3 weeks will be required off work. Gentle exercises can be commenced after 3-4 weeks, however, vigorous exercise should be avoided for 6-8 weeks. It may take 2-3 months before returning to completely normal activity.

Are there any risks?

As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of complication. Surgery and anaesthesia are safe and it is unlikely you will experience any difficulty. However, there are areas of potential problems you need to understand before proceeding with your surgery.  You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following instructions before and after surgery.


Bleeding can be problematical in about 2% of cases.  It is possible in cases bleeding that return to the operating theatre will be necessary and sometimes blood transfusion is required.


If infection occurs it will usually become evident within one week of surgery and may delay the healing process or result in the development of scar tissue. This may require treatment with antibiotics. In the event of infection, the ultimate result of the surgery may be adversely affected.


The surgery is done under a general anaesthetic and the anaesthetist will be discussing the possible discomforts following anaesthesia. Any questions you have regarding your anaesthetic would be best answered by the anaesthetist at the time of surgery.


All surgery carries risks and every incision leaves a scar. Scars do however fade over a one to two year period and become much less noticeable. The scars of inner thigh lifting are never invisible but are placed in positions that minimise visibility. The nature of this scar will be explained in full to you before surgery.

The scars will often look red and thickened at about three months after surgery as they heal but this is normal and will settle over the following 3-6 months.  It takes 12-18 months before the scars mature completely, flatten out and lighten in colour.


Some change in sensation for up to six months is common as bruised nerves are recovering. Some minor residual permanent alteration in sensation may occur.

Fluid Collection

A seroma is a collection of fluid under the skin and fat. If this occurs it may take a few weeks to absorb. Wearing the pressure garment will help reduce this risk.


Lymphoedema is swelling of the leg due to damage to lymph channels from the groin.  Using modern techniques as described above which preserve lymphatic tissue, the chance of this problem, once common, is now rare.

Important points to remember before proceeding with surgery:

  • There can be no absolute guarantee with any surgery.  In the hands of any experienced surgeon, a secondary operation to correct a minor irregularity may be needed.
  • Should there be any questions regarding inner thigh lift (thighplasty), be sure they are answered in advance by Dr Drielsma.  Well meaning friends are not a good source of information. Find out everything before the operation – a well informed patient is a happy one.
  • It is important that you make the decision to proceed with surgery for yourself, not anyone else.

The next step when considering cosmetic surgery is a consultation with Dr Drielsma.  You will be shown before and after photos, your suitability for surgery will be assessed and the procedure will be explained fully to you in detail.

The above information should not be regarded as a substitute for information and advice provided by Dr Drielsma during consultation.

**Results may vary for individual to individual