Thigh and Buttock Lift - Thighplasty


A thigh and buttock lift (thighplasty) is used to remove excess tissue and fat following substantial weight loss. After weight reduction surgery or diet and exercise, skin in the thigh and buttock area may have lost elasticity and may not be able to conform to the new smaller body shape. Instead, skin folds, sagging skin, and irregularities in the skin surface may appear. A thigh and buttock lift improves the contour of the body and creates firmer appearing skin.

During your initial consultation, your cosmetic surgeon will perform a general health evaluation and examine your excess body tissue. Measurements will be recorded to help customize your procedure. It is common for “before” photos to be taken for your medical records. You should tell your doctor about your concerns and expectations. Thigh and buttock lift procedures are very individualized, and there are a variety of incision patterns that may be used depending upon the location and amount of loose or excess skin or fat. For example, the thighs may be lifted from the front, back, and/or sides. An individualized plan will be developed for you.


A thigh and buttock lift may be performed on an outpatient basis with twilight or general anesthesia. You should have someone drive you home and stay with you for at least the first night. For more extensive procedures, an inpatient stay may be required.

Your surgeon will use a pre-determined incision pattern. If at all possible, incisions are made in the natural skin folds or where clothing may conceal them. However, for more extensive procedures, the length and location of incisions will vary. For example, a procedure that lifts the entire thigh and buttocks (circumferential lower-body lift) uses extensive incisions in the buttock crease, groin, and hip. Whereas some inner thigh lifts require only short incisions.

After the incision is made, excess fat and tissue is removed surgically. Liposuction may be used to enhance the results by removing localized areas of fatty deposits. At the end of the procedure, temporary drainage tubes may be inserted to remove excess fluid and promote healing. The incisions are closed with sutures and gently wrapped with bandages.

You will receive medication for post procedure pain and specific instructions for wound care. You will wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling while you heal. Your doctor will gradually increase your activity level. It may take about a month for swelling to improve and bruising to fade. Most people can return to strenuous activities in about one to three months.

The results of your procedure are immediately visible. Your buttocks and thighs will appear firmer and toned. You can help maintain your rejuvenated new look by maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit

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