Tight and tapered thighs

Thigh Lift

The skin, fatty tissue and connective tissue of the thighs and buttocks change in women with the onset of adulthood. Depending on the incidence of light, dimples can be seen on the surface of the skin: a first sign of cellulitis (cellulite), also called orange peel skin. Weight gain in a woman’s body is usually accompanied by an increase in the circumference of the thighs and hips. The desire for rejuvenated, toned thighs arises.

On the inner thighs, the skin is thin and inelastic and, unlike the outer thigh, does not have good connective tissue anchorage. Sagging or drooping skin on the thighs can dampen the joy of a major weight loss and the desired slim legs. Even more, hanging skin flaps can be psychologically stressful. Affected people are severely limited in their choice of clothing and wish to have their firm skin back.

The skin flaps on the thighs interfere with personal hygiene, leisure activities, and sexual life [1]. As early as 1957, a surgical technique for tightening the thighs, the thigh lift, was described [2]. Since then, the surgical procedure has been constantly improved. Technical advancements include, for example, a suturing technique by the Brazilian plastic surgeon Pitanguy and the combination with liposuction [3] [4]. Thigh lifts have been shown to improve quality of life in patients after severe weight loss [5]. In 2019, it was estimated that over 93,000 thigh lifts were performed worldwide [6].

Thigh lift facts

OP duration 3h
Anesthesia General anesthesia / Twilight sleep / Fast recovery surgery
Clinic stay Outpatient
Costs To the price calculator
Aftercare 6 weeks
Thread traction Self dissolving threads
Socially acceptable after 5 days
Supplements or alternatives Needling

How is a thigh lift performed?

  • The operation can be performed under general anesthesia or twilight sleep in combination with local anesthesia.
  • A suture pull is not necessary, as self-dissolving sutures are used.
  • The surgical procedure lasts 2 to 3 hours, depending on the findings.

How much does a thigh lift cost?

You can easily find out the costs of a thigh lift with our interactive and free price calculator.

Thigh lift by the health insurance company

The costs of a thigh lift are usually not covered by health insurance. We have more information available for you on our Health Insurance Benefits page.

Financing a thigh lift

You do not want to wait until you have laboriously saved up the money for a thigh lift? We would be happy to inform you in detail about existing financing options for your cosmetic surgery for skin tightening for beautiful, firm legs in a personal consultation. You can also find out more about this topic in advance on our website. Simply visit our page Financing options under the menu item Costs.

Thigh lift abroad?

More and more patients in Germany are looking for less expensive options for leg lift surgery, e.g. in Istanbul, Prague or Budapest. It is not uncommon to come across dubious offers and neglect important criteria with regard to possible complications and optimal aftercare. Foreign practices lure unsuspecting patients via social media, among other channels, by highlighting low prices. The unrealistic advertising promises and exaggerated discounts offered are punishable under German law.

In Germany, it is a legal requirement that a specialist informs the patient. In the aforementioned treatments abroad, it is not uncommon for a semi-skilled assistant to provide education via video consultation. In addition, possible complications are discussed very inadequately.

An indicator of unseriousness is that the surgeons’ qualifications and experience are usually not mentioned on the websites. Facilities where there have been clustered complications or even deaths can be renamed to cover tracks [7].

However, in some cases complications occur after the return, so that the follow-up treatment in Germany can be expensive and lengthy. Among the most common complications of patients returning from abroad are wound healing disorders, inflammation, bruising and an unsatisfactory result. The surgeon who treated you abroad is then often no longer traceable. This prevents you from obtaining important documents about the original treatment, such as the surgery report, the discharge letter or the implant ID card. Most patients have not dealt with these problems and the resulting follow-up costs before treatment because they have been lured by the low price.

What is the detailed procedure for a thigh lift?

Knowledge of the treatment procedure reduces nervousness at the surgery appointment. We remind you beforehand to bring your compression pants and medication. You should not have eaten or drunk anything in the last six to eight hours before the start of surgery. Before the operation, your aesthetic plastic surgeon will welcome you to the clinic or practice. To carry out the surgical plan discussed, your doctor will make marks on the skin of the thighs. Following this, the anesthesiologist will ensure that common questions, as well as any individual questions you may have about the anesthesia procedure, have been answered. Routinely, the entire surgical team checks that everything is prepared for your safety. While you sleep peacefully, the entire surgical team works intently to implement your treatment plan. After the surgical procedure we will make sure that you will not lack anything. After a short time you can already drink or eat something. Your aesthetic surgeon will discuss all the details of this cosmetic plastic surgery procedure with you and offer you appointments to check the healing process. You will be given a detailed report with the recommended behavioral measures and your doctor’s personal phone number.

How does a thigh lift work?

The thigh lift plastic surgery procedure involves the removal of excess skin from the inner thighs. The additional suction of excess fatty tissue reduces the circumferential dimensions and helps to create smaller and finer scars that are barely visible. Various surgical methods have been developed with the aim of an inconspicuous scar and an optimal tightening effect. Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages. The techniques are divided according to the course of the incision. Incision refers to the course of the surgical skin incision. It determines where and how much excess tissue as well as skin is removed. This determines where the subsequent scar will be located. The key to an optimal result lies in the selection of the surgical method individually indicated for you.

Horizontal cut:

This technique is sometimes referred to as a small or mini thigh lift. The incision runs from the groin to the buttock crease. A similar technique is used on the buttocks to tighten the so-called banana fold under the buttocks: the lower buttock lift. Mini thigh lift is suitable for correction of excess tissue in the inner thigh region close to the body. The decisive advantage of this technique is that the scar is hardly visible in the crotch [8]. Liposuction and a special suturing technique help to achieve a harmonious transition from the thighs to the intimate area [9].

Vertical cut:

In this method, the sagging skin is removed along the inner side of the thighs. The operation is suitable for the removal of severely sagging skin on the entire thigh. This technique is therefore mainly used in cases of major weight loss, such as after tube stomach surgery. Mistakenly, the technique, which was described as early as 1957, is also referred to as the Aly thigh lift [10] [11] [12].

Horizontal and vertical cut:

The combination of a horizontal and a vertical tightening allows for maximum tightening. One way to achieve this is the so-called T-cut technique. The T-cut technique combines the mini thigh lift with the vertical lift method. At the point where the scars meet on the inner thigh, the skin is very thin. Therefore, wound healing problems may occasionally occur at this site [13]. To avoid this, we prefer the gentler L-cut technique. The excess skin is removed in an L-shape on the inside of the thighs. The L incision technique allows for very effective tightening and is considered safer than the T incision technique [14].

1. skin branches of the femoral nerve (rami cutanei anteriores of the femoral nerve) 2. skin end branch of the femoral nerve (saphenous nerve) 3. side branch of the great rose vein (saphenous vein accessoria) 4 . great rose vein (saphenous vein magna) 5. lymph nodes of the groin 6. lymphatic vessels of the leg

During a thigh lift, subcutaneous fat tissue is equally reduced and sagging skin is removed. Unattractive pads that interfere with walking can be eliminated. Gentle liposuction (SAFE-Lipo, vibratory liposuction) preserves the lymphatic vessels. Special sutures are used to keep the skin mantle taut. These sutures prevent the skin and scar from sinking. Fixation of the connective tissue layer on the pubic bone prevents the transfer of tension to the wound or vagina.

Region der überschüssigen Haut, welche bei einer Mini-Oberschenkelstraffung entfernt wird. Die waagrechte Oberschenkelstraffung hinterlässt eine besonders unscheinbare und kurze Narbe in der Leiste. Die Wirkung Mini-Oberschenkelstraffung kann mit einer Fettabsaugung verstärkt werden.
Region der überschüssigen Haut, welche bei einer L-förmigen Oberschenkelstraffung entfernt wird. Die L-förmige Oberschenkelstraffung ermöglicht einer wirksame Straffung der Haut bis oberhalb des Knies. Durch eine schonende Fettabsaugung (SAFE-Lipo, Vibrationsliposuktion) werden die Lymphgefäße erhalten. Mit speziellen Nähten wird der Hautmantel straff gehalten. Diese Nähte beugen einem Absinken der Haut und der Narbe vor. Die Fixierung der Bindegewebesschicht am Schambein verhindert die Übertragung von Spannung auf die Wunde oder die Scheide.

Thigh lift without surgery

Even though there are individual positive empirical values for non-invasive or minimally invasive methods, the benefits of laser, radio frequency, ultrasound and thread lifting for thigh lifting have not yet been scientifically proven. There is also no scientific evidence for the effect of cellulite creams, extensive exercise in the form of specific, supposedly effective exercises for the thighs, compression stockings or alternating showers (Kneipp applications). Cosmetic products, beauty devices, wellness services and medical devices are not required by law to demonstrate an effect. Advertising and advertising claims are also hardly regulated. The more immoderate the claims for a quick result in the digital media, the greater the curiosity of consumers often is. Unfortunately, disproving a false statement is often more difficult than proving a true statement.

What can I expect during a thigh lift consultation?

During the consultation, you will receive comprehensive information on the various treatment options for your case. For optimal planning and preparation, we need information about your health and lifestyle in advance. In order to advise you on the best treatment for your individual needs, your specialist will examine your legs. We take the time to answer all your questions comprehensively. Each person has slightly different desires and expectations. Only if you openly communicate your goals to us can we advise you on the possibilities and chances of success of the various treatment methods. We are also happy to show you before/after pictures so that you can get an impression of the respective treatment results. At the end of the meeting you will receive comprehensive information and a personal offer. To answer any further questions that may arise after the initial consultation, we are always happy to offer our patients another consultation appointment.

How can you prepare for a thigh lift?

  • The lift should be performed when the desired weight has been reached.
  • Keep nicotine and alcohol consumption to a minimum!
  • If necessary, take hormone-containing medication (the pill) temporarily.
  • Blood thinning medications should be avoided ten days prior to surgery after consultation with your attending physician.
  • Vitamin supplements (A, E) and dietary supplements (omega-3 fatty acids, St. John’s wort supplements, etc.) should be discontinued four weeks prior to surgery.
  • Avoid air travel, both for business and pleasure, for the first three to four weeks after surgery.

Aftercare of thigh lift

For a perfect result, optimal aftercare is also required. This ensures that the healing process proceeds safely and quickly and that the desired good results become apparent at an early stage. Please note the following recommendations:

  • Monitoring of the healing process in the first fourteen days ensures that an undesirable course is detected and averted in good time.
  • From the third postoperative day, the wound is largely closed. Showering ensures that the skin is freed from germs. Do not allow the wound to soak. Use a skin-friendly washing lotion and a clean towel after showering.
  • Wearing a compression bodice for the first six weeks will help the swelling go down and heal.
  • From the third week, you can support scar healing with massage and silicone patches.
  • In order not to disturb the healing process, you should avoid sports, swimming, heavy work and sunbathing during the first four weeks.

Before and after thigh lift pictures

Patients usually want to view before-and-after photos in advance of cosmetic surgery, and this is also the case with a thigh lift. Publication of such images on the website is not permitted. However, you have the option to view corresponding images during the preliminary consultation. These can give you an idea of what result you can expect. You can find more information about this on our information page about before-and-after images in the Service menu area.

Testimonials thigh lift

How do I find a good, experienced specialist, i.e. suitable aesthetic surgery specialist for my thigh lift? Patients deal with this frequently asked question when they desire this aesthetic procedure. The usual way is to research the appropriate doctors in one’s region in conjunction with patient experiences and reviews that can be found online. This is done primarily by looking at Google reviews and physician ratings on Jameda or similar sites. On the testimonials page we have bundled this information about our practice and doctors. In addition to the ratings and testimonials, you will also find excerpts from interviews with our patients in a video.

What are the risks of a thigh lift?

Liposuction and simultaneous thigh lift is a safe procedure [15]. Complications occur less frequently in nonsmokers and in individuals with a body mass index of 25 [16]. Smoking cessation and weight loss through a moderate and healthy diet should be considered, if appropriate, so that your treatments can take place under the best possible circumstances.

Combination of a thigh lift with a breast lift or butt lift?

After severe weight loss, hanging skin usually remains on several parts of the body. The combination with other cosmetic surgeries, such as a tightening on several body regions (buttocks, abdomen, legs, arms) at the same time saves time and money. Since every intervention is associated with opportunities, but also with risks, we put your safety first. The risks of surgery are affected by your health and the extent of the surgery. To simplify, a surgery duration of one hour carries fewer risks than a surgery duration of eight hours. We therefore aim to limit the duration to six hours. Since many other factors affect the risk, there is no generally applicable limit. Whether it is possible to tighten multiple areas of the body in the six-hour time frame depends on the areas of the body that are affected. If there is a lot of excess fatty tissue and skin, it may be advisable to have the leg, buttocks and breast tightened on two separate dates for your safety.


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The author

Unsere Fachärzte für Plastische Chirurgie Saarbrücken
Dr. med. Stéphane Stahl

“We provide you with extensive expert knowledge so that we can work with you to select the best possible treatment path.”

Dr. med. Stéphane steel is the former director of the Clinic for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery / Hand Surgery at the Lüdenscheid Clinic. Dr. Stahl studied medicine at the Universities of Freiburg and Berlin. In 2011 he passed the European and 2012 the German specialist examination for plastic and aesthetic surgery. Further specialist qualifications and additional qualifications followed (including quality management, medical didactics, physical therapy, emergency medicine, laser protection officers, hand surgery) as well as prizes and awards. In 2015 he completed his habilitation in plastic and aesthetic surgery in Tübingen. He is an experienced microsurgeon, a sought-after expert and a regular speaker at specialist congresses. After a multi-stage selection process, Stéphane Stahl became a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), one of the world’s largest and most influential specialist societies for aesthetic surgery. His authorship includes numerous articles in respected peer review journals and standard surgical textbooks.


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