Thigh Lift

Smoother Legs

Sometimes exercise simply cannot produce the desired results. Many men and women who feel uncomfortable with the excess skin on their legs elect to undergo a thigh lift. In much the same way that a Facelift will stretch the skin to eliminate wrinkles and produce a more youthful look, a thigh lift stretches the skin to eliminate lax skin and improve the overall proportions of the lower body. Thigh lifts are not performed to remove excess fat, necessarily, but rather in cases where the skin exhibits poor elasticity after weight loss or liposuction.

If you’re considering a thigh lift because you’re unhappy with persistent wrinkles or lax skin, contact Dr. Polsen, a plastic surgeon in the Clear Lake Houston Area with experience in this procedure. Or, you can call his Clear Lake office at (281) 538-6600.


  • A thigh lift reduces wrinkles and excess skin around the thigh
  • Leads to a more youthful look and more defined tone in the leg
  • Recovery: 2-3 weeks for light activity, but up to 8 weeks for full recovery

Generally those who seek out a thigh lift have persistent excess tissue or fat along the inner or outer (or sometimes medial) thigh area. This is a significant surgery, so candidates should be in generally good health and of a healthy and stable weight.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Thigh Lift?

Candidates who are interested in a thigh lift will most often have an excess amount of soft tissues along the inner thigh, the outer thigh, or both. For some, this tissue develops naturally as an artifact of aging. For others, excess tissue along the thighs is a result of significant changes in weight or lifestyle over time.

Generally, good candidates for thigh lift procedures will:

  • Have a significant amount of loose tissue along the inner thigh, outer thigh, or both
  • Be generally healthy enough for surgery
  • Maintain a relatively stable weight, despite previously having lost or gained weight (many thigh lift patients recently went through a weightloss journey)
  • Not engage in the use of tobacco products
  • Develop and maintain realistic goals and expectations about what a thigh lift procedure can accomplish

Patients who are looking to remove excess fat around the thighs may get best results with a liposuction procedure. In certain cases, that liposuction may then necessitate a thigh lift in order to achieve the desired final result.

If you have questions about your candidacy for a thigh lift procedure–and if you want to know more about what a thigh lift could potentially do for you–contact our offices to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Polsen. During this consultation, you’ll be able to ask all the thigh lift questions you might have!

The Procedure

There are generally two common methods surgeons follow in performing a thigh lift. Sometimes, the incision is made in the groin area, and others, the incision starts in the groin area and extends along the hip to the back of the thigh. These areas are selected to help obscure scars under swimsuits or other clothes. The operation is almost always performed under general anesthesia. After the incisions are made, Dr. Polsen will remove any excess skin, tighten the remaining tissue, and ensure that good structure remains for the final desired look.

Often times, a thigh lift is part of a lower body lift or performed after a successful tummy tuck to produce an overall youthful look. Each Clear Lake Houston Area thigh lift candidate will have unique needs to address with Dr. Polsen before surgery to ensure personalized treatment and excellent results.

The Thigh Lift in More Detail

A Thigh Lift is designed to eliminate excess soft tissue from around the thighs. The approach taken by Dr. Polsen will depend largely on the location of the excess tissue, the amount of tissue that is to removed, and the patient’s desired final results. In most cases, a thigh lift procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

There are two basic incision approaches to a thigh lift, depending on the location and extent of excess soft tissue present.

  • Inner Thigh Lift Incision: For patients who have a significant amount of excess skin along the inner thigh, an incision will be made starting in the groin crease, then extending down along the back of the thigh. Other techniques for an inner thigh lift include placing an incision along the inseam of the upper leg. Which technique is best for you will depend on the placement and amount of excess soft tissue you wish to remove.
  • Outer Thigh Lift Incision: For patients who instead have a significant amount of excess soft tissue along the outer thigh, a different incision type is typically used. An incision for an outer thigh lift will often begin at the groin crease and then extent around the hip and into the back. This gives surgeons a significant amount of leeway when correcting excess soft tissue in the outer thigh.

Patients who have a significant amount of excess soft tissue around both the inner and outer thigh might see Dr. Polsen recommend some combination of the two techniques. The incision placement will generally speaking be designed to provide maximum benefit in your particular case.


A thigh lift can be a significant and challenging procedure. All patients will be given individualized recovery and care instructions and will be required to check in with Dr. Polsen throughout the recovery process. Your recovery time will vary depending on the nature of your procedure and your body. Everyone is going to heal at a slightly different rate.

However, recovery from thigh lift can generally be broken down into two primary phases:

  • 2-3 Weeks: During the first two to three weeks of recovery, your mobility will be limited. Most patients are required to ensure they do not have to work during the first two weeks or so. Patients should remember to move slowly and avoid sudden or rigorous leg movement of any kind during this period. Patients may be required to wear special clothing or bandages in order to limit swelling.
  • 4-12 weeks: In the second phase of your recovery, you’ll slowly be allowed to incorporate more normal activities into your daily life. However, it’s important that you follow Dr. Polsen’s recovery instructions carefully and avoid overdoing it. Many patients will attempt to return to work during this period (depending on the nature of the work). Once the twelve weeks of recovery are completed, most patients are able to return to their normal activities once Dr. Polsen has given his approval.

It’s important to ask questions about your recovery during the consultation process, so you can be as prepared as possible for your procedure. Dr. Polsen will provide answers to all of those recovery questions (as well as any other questions) during that consultation.

Thigh Lift Results

Results from thigh lift procedures tend to be quite transformative, changing patient’s appearance and also changing their lives. Excess skin around the legs keep patients feeling self-conscious–even after a significant weight loss victory. Once the procedure is complete, patients will have smoother, more youthful and fit looking legs.

This means that patients won’t have to worry about covering up their legs anymore. In the often blistering Houston heat, that can be a life-changing difference. Procedures such as thigh lifts can help patients feel as though they have finally completed their weight loss journeys, marking a turning point in one’s life.

After your healing is complete, you will likely notice that your thigh is markedly smoother and more slender looking. If you have questions about how you can accomplish this with your thighs, contact us to schedule an in-depth consultation with Dr. Charles Polsen at our Houston area offices.