Body Lift Surgery


A thigh lift is a surgery designed to re-lift a sagging thigh skin following massive weight loss. This procedure is typically done in patients that have lost a significant amount of weight from either bariatric procedures or pregnancy. These patients may also be candidates for “lifting” procedures on the buttocks or possible abdominoplasties. When some or all of these procedures are performed together they may sometimes then be called a body lift.

Body Lift Cosmetic Procedure Photos

Click the thumbnails below to see the before and after photos in sequence. Please note that all photos are actual patients of Dr. Parson.

Body Lift / Post Weight Loss
Body Lift / Post Weight Loss
Body Lift / Post Weight Loss

Dr. Parson will be able to determine whether you are a candidate for a thigh lift procedure after your consultation. Some patients may also be candidates for a buttock lift and an abdominoplasty. Dr. Parson will be able to give you a very honest opinion about which procedure is more suited to your body and your overall goals. Unlike liposuction, which involves small incisions placed in inconspicuous areas, thigh lift plastic surgery requires lengthy incisions. Fortunately, these incisions can be located in the inner thigh and groin crease. Dr. Parson is sometimes able to confine the entire incision to the groin which is the type of scar that can generally be hidden by swim suits and underwear.

Body Lift Pre-Operative Visit

It is important that plastic surgery patients take certain measures in the pre-operative period to decrease chances for potential complications. All of your medications will be reviewed prior to this period. Any medications that may cause surgical complications will be discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to operation. Any infections that arise prior to operation, however seemingly trivial, should be reported to our office. Even an otherwise innocent infection can result in a surgical wound infection, and must be treated prior to thigh lift surgery.

Appropriate prescription medications will be written well prior to your procedure. This will allow you to have your medication when you return home from the operation.

Pre-operative photographs are taken at this appointment. These photos will be recorded in the TouchMD system so that you will also have access to them from home. These photos will serve as a marker for you to see the improvement from your thigh lift surgery afterwards. You will be asked to sign a surgical consent. The consent explains the potential risks of the procedure in detail. Some of these risks have been explained here, but more discussion will occur at the consultation.

You will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from the surgery center. It is mandatory to have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery for your comfort and safety. If you don’t have help available Dr. Parson’s office will be able to assist you.

The Day of Body Lift Surgery

Thigh lift surgery is performed with a general anesthetic. Our board-certified anesthesiologist feels that this method of anesthesia provides the greatest degree of patient satisfaction for this procedure. The surgery usually takes 2 to 3 hours. Dr. Parson will utilize one of several techniques depending on the amount of thigh droopiness. Liposuction is typically performed at the same time to improve the overall appearance of the area. Drains will be placed at the completion of the surgery and can usually be removed by 14-21 days. All incisions will be then closed with dissolvable sutures.

The Post-Operative Body Lift Period

When Dr. Parson is finished with your surgery he will place you in a special compressive dressing with gauze. Your thighs may initially be swollen, and bruised. This should quickly resolve over the following 7-10 days. Pain should not be severe, and is usually well controlled with the pain medication that is prescribed. Dr. Parson also commonly uses an On-Q pain pump to deliver local pain medicine to the area for the first 48 hours. This can help to substantially reduce overall pain and speeds the recovery process.

After 2 to 3 days, Dr. Parson or his nurse will remove your dressings, and the incisions are checked to ensure that there are no problems or complications. Once the dressings are removed you will then be able to shower. Dr. Parson will provide you with additional dressings and instruct you to stay in them 24/7 over then 4 to 6 weeks. This helps with pain and swelling and provides support to the gluteal area. Sensation will gradually return over the next 6 to 8 weeks. It normally takes approximately 12 weeks for all of the initial swelling to subside, and it takes 1 to 2 years for the scars to mature and fade. Dr. Parson will ask that post-operative photos be taken at some point in time when adequate healing has occurred so that results can be compared to pre-operative photos.

Risks of Thigh Lift Plastic Surgery

Complications of thigh lift surgery are uncommon. When complications do occur they can include: bleeding, infection, seroma or a reaction to the anesthetic or sedative medications. You may experience temporary or even permanent numbness in areas. Differences that were present in thigh size prior to surgery may not be able to be completely correctable following surgery. Permanent scarring will be present following the procedure. Dr. Parson will attempt to minimize these scars as much as possible, however, part of the final scar appearance will be dependent on how each patient individually heals. When poor healing is present there may be areas of scars that remain more prominent when compared to other areas. These types of scars may require further treatment.

Dr. Parson will discuss your particular scarring potential in more detail at the time of your consultation. When thigh lift surgery is performed with a buttock lift or an abdominoplasty procedure, additional risks might be possible (please see buttock lift and abdominoplasty sections).

Schedule Your Thigh Lift / Body Lift Consultation Today

Dr. Shaun Parson is a renowned plastic surgeon in Arizona, providing a range of body contouring, face and breast surgeries. If you have been considering a thigh lift and would like to schedule your consultation call 480-282-8386 today. During your appointment you can learn about the other aesthetic procedures available, including breast augmentation, eyelid lift and facelift surgery.