Thigh Lipectomy (Thigh Lift) Sydney

Massive weight loss often results in very loose and excessive skin folds along the upper inner thigh. This can cause significant concerns with hygiene, chafing and clothing issues. In these circumstances, surgery can be performed to tighten the skin and improve the form along the inner thigh. Excess skin and fatty tissue is removed, leaving a scar hidden along the fold where the thigh and the groin meet, and often down the inner aspect of the thigh to the level of the knee.


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Dr Eddy Dona has been a specialist plastic surgeon since 2007, and is a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. From your first clinic visit, and throughout your surgical journey, Dr Dona and his team will be there to make it as smooth as possible.
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Learn More About Thigh Lipectomy (Thigh Lift) Surgery


Who is the ideal candidate for Thigh Lift Surgery?

The ideal candidate for Thigh Lift surgery is someone that has undergone significant weight loss. When weight is lost, you will experience a reduction in fat. However, skin has a limited amount of ability to contract around the smaller thigh. Therefore, the skin starts to loosen and hang from the body, and the thighs is a common area of concern.

Also, with the passage of time skin loses its elasticity and naturally becomes loose. Lifestyle and genetic factors all play a significant role.

Your consultation with Dr Dona

Dr Dona and our team understand that your first consultation can be a little nerve-racking. Rest assured this is normal and our team will ensure you feel welcome and are looked after throughout the process. During your consultation with Dr Dona in Sydney, you will both discuss and create a tailored surgical plan to suit your unique requirements.


Preparation for Thigh Lift Surgery

Prior to your surgery, you will see Dr Dona to revisit your surgical plan and to discuss any additional questions that may have come to mind after your consultation. In addition to meeting with Dr Dona again prior to your surgery, our friendly team, which includes our senior nurses, are always available to answer any question you may have.


A number of options are available to address and reconstruct your inner thighs. Dr Dona will advise you on which option will optimally address your concerns.

Thigh Lift – Limited Incision

A Limited incision thigh lift involves making the surgical incisions where the inner, upper thigh joins the groin. This type of thigh lift surgery is considered only if there is a small amount of excess skin located near the upper inner thigh. The scar will be located along your groin crease only.

Full Thigh Lift

A thigh lift is best suited for most patients that have lost a significant amount of weight where they have excess skin extending down their inner thighs. During a traditional thigh lift procedure, incisions are made along the groin crease, and also extending down from the upper inner groin towards the inner knee for a variable distance depending on the degree of excess skin. The excess skin and fatty tissue is removed, and your skin is then tailored and closed using several layers of internal stitches. The end result is a reconstructed inner thigh from groin down to knees.


Where Is A Thigh Lift Performed?

A Thigh Lift is performed in a private hospital under general anaesthetic.

How Many Hours Does A Thigh Lift Surgery Take?

A Thigh Lift can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.

How Much Pain Can I Expect After A Thigh Lift?

It is important to know that everyone has a different experience after surgery from moderate pain to significant discomfort. You may experience pain localized to the incisions but also nerve pain (shooting pains and burning). You will be given pain medication during your hospital stay and for home.

How Many Days Do I Need To Be In Hospital After A Thigh Lift?

Most patients will spend at least two days in hospital and will be medically fit to return home at this stage, although some may benefit from another day or two in hospital.

What Happens After A Thigh Lift Whilst In Hospital?

You will wake up from surgery in a hospital bed on your back with the head of the bed elevated.

One plastic tube, or drain, is usually placed adjacent to your wounds – one in each thigh.

Whilst in hospital you will also have a catheter in your bladder, so you don’t have to worry about getting up and trying to go to the toilet.

You have at least one drip in place to give you intravenous fluids and pain control medication and antibiotics.

All your wounds are covered using waterproof dressings. The wounds are stitched using several layers of internal dissolving sutures.  You may have some visible sutures – these will be removed at your 1-week post-op appointment.

You will experience different sensations and feelings in your thighs, legs, groin and buttock regions – this includes numbness, pins and needles, shooting pains, tightness or burning sensations – most of these will gradually resolve over the first six weeks.

The nurse or physiotherapist will help you out of bed the day after surgery.

Usually at your second day post-op we will remove all your drains, drips, and catheter.

After everything has been removed, you will be able to have a shower with assistance.

When you leave the hospital, you will be given pain medications and antibiotics – please take them as prescribed.

Will I Need Help At Home After Surgery?

You should have someone with you at home for at least the first week for general day-to-day care.

Can I Walk Around When I Get Home After Surgery?

When you get home, we encourage you to be up and mobile, however, do not expect too much of yourself. Your thighs and groin region will feel tight and uncomfortable.

How Much Swelling Can I Expect After Surgery?

You are placed in a compressive leg/thigh garment immediately after surgery to help control the swelling. This needs to be worn for at least 6 weeks. You can expect your legs to be very swollen initialy and most of this will be gone in the first few weeks. The amount of swelling can differ slightly from one side to the other. Some people may benefit from wearing compressoin tights for many months after surgery to control residual swelling.

When Can I Go For A Swim After Surgery?

You cannot have baths or swim until at least four weeks after surgery.

How Do I Sleep After Surgery?

You will wake up from your surgery on your back with the head of the bed slightly elevated. Pillows can be used to provide some gentle hip flexion and minimize movement of your legs. You will be sleeping on your back for a minimum of two weeks After this initial time, there is no recommended sleeping position as you can sleep in whatever position you are comfortable in.

What Happens At My First Clinic Appointment?

Leave your dressings intact until your first post-operative appointment. Generally speaking, your first appointment will be scheduled no later than the day following your hospital discharge. Within your first post-operative appointment, one of our friendly and caring post-operative nurses will inspect your wounds and administer light therapy treatment, aimed at optimizing your recovery. Our post-operative nurses will continue to see you, at least three times per week for the following few weeks, and of course, will be available to answer any questions in-between your in-clinic appointments.

Going To The Toilet After A Thigh Lift (Bloating And Constipation)

It is very common after surgery to experience bloating and constipation. This is because you have just had surgery and therefore you will be less mobile. In addition, you will be administered strong pain medication which causes slowing of the bowels. You will be encouraged to consume plenty of fluids, maintain a high-fiber diet, along with some gentle laxatives (such as Movicol), to help restore your normal bowel habits.

You will be given Movicol whilst in hospital and are encouraged to continue with the above measures at home until your normal bowel habits return.

Reducing The Risk Of Blood Clots (DVT’s) 

Every hospital patient, especially surgical patients, are at increased risk of developing blood clots in their legs. Therefore, we undertake a number of measures to reduce the risk of these.

You will also have special massage devices on both legs which promote blood flow and is designed to minimize the chance of any clots developing in your leg veins.

Whilst in hospital you are encouraged to do foot exercise such as tapping your feet or wriggling your toes. This is designed to activate your calf muscles and encourage blood flow and is another vital measure to help reduce the risk of blood clots.

In addition to this, all patients are given an injection once per day of a blood thinner (clexane). This also serves the same purpose of helping to minimize blood clot issues.

You will be required to give yourself an injection of clexane once per day for the first three weeks after you leave the hospital to further reduce the risk of blood clots.

Mobilising regularly and remaining well hydrated at all times is also recommended.

When Can I Start Driving Again After A Thigh Lift?

You should not consider driving for the first two weeks after surgery. After this time, you should only drive if you feel safe doing so.

When Can I Go Back To Work?

You will be able to return to a light office or desk work environment at 3 weeks post-op. Light hospitality work may be possible at 4 weeks. Any employment that involves heavy lifting or straining must be avoided for 6 weeks.

When Can I Return To Doing My Normal Activities And Training After A Thigh Lift?

At 6 weeks post-surgery you can gradually return to normal training and physical activities. Consider the first 6 weeks after surgery as RECOVERY, and after 6 weeks consider all activities as REHABILITATION. Undertake any physical activities that you wish to do and be guided by your comfort and strength which will slowly improve.

When Can I Start Having Sex After A Thigh Lift? 

You should avoid any activities that increase your heart rate and blood pressure during the first couple of weeks as this can increase the risk of swelling or bleeding problems.

You also need to avoid activities and movements that places a great deal of strain on your inner thigh and groin wounds. This means no thigh abduction – or opening your legs – as this risk’s significant potential wound complications.

Also, your wounds or adjacent surgical area should not be firmly handled or vigorously manipulated for the first six weeks.

Given that your wounds are immediately adjacent to your vaginal, then these above concerns means that sexual intercourse should not be considered for six weeks.

After this period, then you can as you wish and just be guided by your comfort levels.

When Can I Expect My Final Surgical Results After A Thigh Lift?

It will take at least six months before you are able to do all the things you could before surgery. At this stage, we will assess your final surgical results. However, the scars will take at least 12-24 months before they have fully matured.



Thigh Lift Surgery Potential Complications

More information on general potential complications can be found on our site. LEARN MORE 

Whenever someone is having an anaesthetic, no matter what it’s for, then things can potentially go wrong. That is why no surgery should be considered “minor”. Of course, whilst the chances of the following potential problems occurring are extremely small, you still need to know about then:

  • Anaesthetic issues – which can affect heart, lungs or cause strokes
  • Allergic reactions – This can be very mild to life threatening.
  • Clots
    • Superficial vein clots, which is a complication of the cannula or drip that’s placed in your vein
    • Deep vein clots – these can potentially spread to the lung and be life threatening. We do several things during surgery and after surgery whilst you’re in hospital to minimise the risk of you developing these.
  • Wound problems – such as infection and breakdown
  • Bleeding – early or late
  • Death – whilst the chances of this is exceeding rare, any of the previous issues can result in this devastating complication.

All these potential problems are standard for any operation, although some operations and some patients have an increased risk of developing them.

Other specific potential complications may include:

Asymmetry– Differences between the right and left thighs or unevenness of the skin.

Swelling– Swelling of the legs and feet after thigh lift surgery is normal. This can be quite dramatic in the beginning, and we are required to wear compression stocking for several months after surgery. However, in some cases, the swelling may take many months to resolve. Rarely can someone develop chronic swelling (oedema) of the legs/feet.

Loss of Sensation– You may experience a loss of sensation around the scars on the upper inner thigh or even in the leg, which typically subsides over several months. However, this may be permanent.

Genital Disturbance – with thigh lift surgery the groin incisions and tension are immediately adjacent to the vagina (scrotum in males). With tension, gravity, and scar tightening, it is possible for the surgery to cause movement of the vaginal lips (labia majora) downwards with the potential for creating a distorted and even gaping vagina.

Scars – May appear to be worse during the first six months of healing. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for thigh lift scars to become quite thick and dark – keloid scar formation is not uncommon. Very occasionally, a scar revision surgery is required.

Circulation– Circulation may be poor in some areas of the skin around the surgical area. This may lead to a loss of skin and a wound that needs to be dressed until healed.

Seromas– A seroma is where fluid builds up under the wound. If this occurs, it may need to be drained with a needle. It is not uncommon to develop seromas after thigh lift surgery.


Will Medicare or Health Insurance cover Thigh Lift Surgery costs?

In patients experiencing significant amounts of excess skin, Thigh Lift surgery may be partially covered by Medicare and your health insurance. Dr Eddy Dona will advise whether this applies to you during your initial consultation.

Learn more about our procedures or schedule a one-on-one consultation at our Sydney clinic

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