Thigh lift

>> See the before / after photos

The thigh lift is intended for patients whose thighs are sagging with a significant excess of cutaneous fat, usually following significant variations in weight.


The aim of the operation is to tighten the skin and refine the contour of the thighs by removing excess skin and fat.


Excess skin is usually removed from the inguinal area located on the upper inner thigh.


Excess fat is removed in two ways:


  • Fat is removed from under the skin in one block;
  • The fatty excess is removed by liposuction even outside the area of skin resection.
Operating diagram of a thigh lift
Operating diagram of a thigh lift
Thigh lift with inguinal scar and posterior body lift performed by Dr Louis Benelli, plastic surgeon
Thigh lift with inguinal scar and posterior body lift performed by Dr Louis Benelli, plastic surgeon

Thigh lift with an inguinal scar and posterior body lift

When this sagging is really significant, it is a source of discomfort in daily life (irritations, rubbing on the inner thighs, perspiration, mycosis or eczema, difficulty wearing certain clothes, difficulty walking, postural discomfort...), and it also causes a feeling of failure in dieting efforts. This is because the excess skin persists despite weight loss and makes all efforts seem to be in vain, thereby discouraging patients. This means they are exposed to the risk of the yo-yo phenomenon of gaining weight after having lost it.


Conversely, the operation can be motivating because dieting efforts are rewarded by an overall slimmer figure.


This new sense of harmony is a balancing factor and boosts self-confidence, whether naked or clothed.


There are different types of thigh lift depending on the seriousness of the anatomical problems.

A simple excess of fat can be treated by liposuction.

Significant sagging of the upper thigh can be treated by a thigh lift with an inguinal scar and combined liposuction to refine the whole thigh, while the skin is tightened over the inguinal scar.

Significant skin sagging that extends over the entire thigh will require a larger scar, extending from the inguinal fold to the inner surface of the thigh and going as low as the amount of excess skin requires, sometimes down to the knee.

Each person arrives with a request for correction of a particular defect that is particularly troublesome to them. The objective of the operation will be to correct this defect as a priority by assessing whether it may be appropriate to correct other associated defects to have a well-balanced, natural result that meets expectations.


So, depending on the insights gained during the first consultation, the operation could possibly be combined with another intervention, notably liposuction, abdominoplasty, an arm lift, breast lift, breast augmentation using prosthetics or by lipofilling (injecting your own fatty tissue collected during abdominoplasty), or a pubis lift.


This can be done during the same operation or at another time, depending on the associated operation.


During the first consultation, it is essential that you openly express what bothers you and what you would like to improve. Do not be afraid to ask any questions, including expressing your fears and expectations. Everyone has a different body shape, psychology and expectations. These are not the same and there is no standard to apply.


After you have explained your motivations, I will examine you and offer one or more solutions, taking into account your expectations, your anatomy, respecting your identity and the natural aspect of your appearance.


At the first consultation, I will evaluate the best technique to use, the location and extent of the scars and the locations to treat by liposuction and, if necessary, by lipofilling.


In order for you to visualise the desired result, I will show you photos of surgical results from cases similar to yours to help you understand the objective of the intervention.


It is essential that you and I have a good understanding when deciding to operate and to determine the technique to use from among those I can offer.


I will then give you all the information on the techniques proposed along with the information sheets from the Société Française de Chirurgie Plastique Reconstructrice et Esthétique (French Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery) as well as a detailed estimate of the costs for the options chosen. You will then be able to move your project forward and get ready for a second consultation when you will be able to ask any additional questions to help you make a decision and prepare for the operation.

Before the procedure

A blood test will be carried out.

For general anaesthesia, a consultation with the anaesthetist is necessary in the weeks before the operation and at least 48 hours before.
Pubic hair removal and hair removal on the thighs is necessary a few days before the operation.

You will be prescribed a lipopanty to wear, specifically for post-operative support. You must bring it on the day of the operation and it will be put in place at the end of the operation.


No medications containing aspirin or anti-inflammatories can be taken within 10 days of the procedure.


For general anaesthetic, you will have to fast strictly for 6 hours before the operation (do not eat anything, chew gum, eat sweets or smoke).


Tobacco consumption should be stopped or reduced as much as possible during the month before and month after the procedure. Tobacco can cause scarring problems.

The procedure

Hospitalisation and the duration of the procedure:

Your stay in hospital will generally be 2 days.


The duration of the operation is about 1 to 3 hours.

Type of anaesthesia:

In most cases, the operation is performed under general anaesthesia.


Before you go to the operating theatre, in your room, I will go over the precise goals with you as we agreed during the consultations. You can then always make recommendations and ask any questions. I will then draw the lines and marks on your skin to guide the operation and the lines of the incisions.


The incision is made in the inguinal fold from the pubic area to the buttock fold, positioned so it is hidden by a bathing suit.


The tissues under the skin resection area are repositioned up over the inguinal scar. These tissues are set deep within the groin to avoid any skin tension on the inguinal skin that would cause the scar to drop, which means it would then no longer be in the inguinal fold but on the inner thigh and therefore visible outside the bikini line.


In cases where the excess skin and fat are spread widely towards the bottom of the thigh, in addition to the inguinal scar, a vertical scar is added. To make this as discrete as possible, it is located on the posterior area of the inner thigh. The length of the scar will depend on the excess skin to be removed and may sometimes extend to the knee.

Thigh lift operating diagram
Thigh lift operating diagram

To finalise the reshaping of the figure, liposuction is used to remove any residual fatty excesses, especially on the anterior thigh and saddlebags.


The stitches are placed within the skin’s thickness (inverted and intradermal stitches) and are, therefore, invisible. These stitches are absorbable so they do not need to be removed. Staples are sometimes used to complete the internal stitch, if necessary.


At the end of the operation, a compression bandage is applied to the scar and you will wear a lipopanty for specific post-operative support.

After the operation

During the night and the days following the operation, there may be a painful sensation of tension in the area that was operated on, such as aches and pains, which may impede your mobility.


These pains are moderate in a resting position and may require analgesics that are given by a drip during your stay in hospital or are taken as tablets at home. These post-operative pains will diminish and disappear within a few days following the operation. 

You can walk the day after the operation.

Swelling (oedema) and bruising are generally moderate and it takes about ten days for these to disappear almost completely.

As the stitches used are absorbable, they do not need to be removed. Placed internally in the skin’s thickness (intradermal stitch), they are invisible. Any staples are removed within a week of the operation to avoid leaving a mark.

You will need to have 3 weeks off work in the majority of the cases.


  •  A lipopanty should be worn day and night for 3 to 4 weeks.


  • Because the scars are located in a humid area of the body, after showering, you should dry them with a hair dryer and clean them with antiseptic. If necessary, treat them with ointment in the weeks and months following the operation to improve the quality of healing.

You should attend a follow-up consultation about a week after the procedure, then after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.


  • You can resume sporting activities as soon as the painful discomfort has subsided.


  • Avoid prolonged standing still.


  • The recommended rest position is lying on your back or side with your legs bent.


  • Exposure to the sun: No exposure for as long as there are traces of bruising, even when slight. Then, exposure is allowed using a sunscreen with a maximum sun protection factor.

The result

The result is a slimmer and more refined figure, which is immediately visible despite post-operative oedema. This will continue to improve in the weeks and months following the operation.

In the long term, tissue sagging is permanently corrected and the majority of patients do not need another operation. 

The excess fat removed cannot return because the fat cells do not multiply. If you gain any weight, this will be harmonious over the whole body.

In addition to an aesthetic improvement, this operation has a beneficial effect on personal well-being and weight control, making it easier to carry out physical activity, especially if the excess skin and fat hindered walking and running.

Risks and complications

Read the information from the French Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery

Price range

The cost of the operation will depend on the procedure to be carried out, the duration of the operation, the type of anaesthetic and any hospital charges.


If the reason for the operation is purely aesthetic, you cannot get reimbursement through a Social Security claim. On the other hand, if the amount of excess cutaneous fat is large enough to cause functional problems when walking, it may be covered by Social Security and, if necessary, by your mutual insurance company after prior agreement has been accepted by the Medical Adviser of the Primary Health Insurance Fund. The same applies if the operation is for reconstruction after an accident or an illness.


A detailed estimate is given to you during the first consultation according to the options chosen. You then have a minimum legal period of 15 days to consider your options and take your project forward.


The first consultation costs €50. The follow-up consultations before and after the operation are free.

The photographs on this page are to illustrate and complete the information given on the operations. They are merely for information purposes so you can see the goals, results and scars from the operation.


The likelihood of scarring and each patient’s individual anatomy are different. For this reason, therefore, the photographs on this site do not commit Dr. Benelli to providing all patients with a similar result.


The information given on a site is not sufficient in itself and a medical consultation is essential to get the right information for each individual case. For this, you will need to consult a surgeon qualified in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

Thigh lift by Doctor Louis Benelli plastic surgeon in Paris