Thigh Lift Surgery

A thigh lift combines fat removal, removal of excess skin, and skin tightening to create a slimmer, smoother, sleeker thigh. Aging skin that is losing its firmness and elasticity can benefit greatly from this procedure. A thigh lift is often combined with other procedures such as abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. Skin and excess fat can be removed from both inner and outer thighs to create a shapelier, more contoured look.

If you would like this area to be sculpted so that you will feel more confident showing off your legs, contact Dr. Gerstle for more information today by requesting a consultation or call our office at (859) 279-2111.

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Thigh Lift

Thigh Lift Safety

Thigh lift is a major surgery, but it is generally a safe one. Patients should be non-smokers in good overall health for best results. It is important to follow all of Dr. Gerstle’s instructions prior to the surgery including stopping any medications—including some supplements and NSAID pain relievers and other anti-inflammatory drugs—that thin blood well in advance of the surgery to prevent complications. Reactions to anesthesia are rare but can be serious.

Infection is an unlikely but serious risk of any surgery. Call us immediately (or 911) if you experience symptoms such as fever, chills, or numbness as you are recovering. Deep vein thrombosis or heart and lung complications are other rare but possible complications.

The Thigh Lift Procedure

Your surgery will take place at our office-based outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia.

Dr. Gerstle will place drains that will collect excess fluids post op, and you will go home with bandages. These will be removed in our office after several days.

Thigh Lift Post Op

We will send you home on the day of the surgery with instructions, prescription pain medication, and a compression garment that should be worn at all times. This garment will be vital in maintaining the shape established during the surgery and should be worn for at least several weeks afterwards.

Do not put any pressure on your hips or thighs to start with. This means avoiding sitting, driving, and strenuous activity completely in the beginning. You should be cleared to drive short distances after about a week. You will want to resume light walking as soon as possible, however, to avoid having your muscles get stiff. It’s a delicate balance in the first few weeks between protecting your wounds and allowing some movement into the area.

Keep your legs elevated for as many hours of the day as possible in the week following the surgery. You will likely experience swelling in different areas including the ankles for a week or so, after which time it will begin to subside.

We will schedule a follow-up appointment in our office the day following the surgery. Dr. Gerstle is always available via email or on his personal cell phone should you have any questions or concerns.

Thigh Lift Benefits

  • Balancing out the thigh and midsection ratio
  • Clothes fit better
  • More clothing options
  • Increased self-confidence
  • More youthful, shapely contour
  • Decrease in cellulite and uneven skin
  • Eliminates chafing

The New You—Working With Dr. Gerstle

Dr. Gerstle and our office staff will be happy to welcome you for a discussion about your options for thigh lift surgery. After taking a thorough medical history, you will review your plastic surgery goals with Dr. Gerstle, discussing your thighs and overall body and reviewing our before and after thigh lift photos to get a sense of what is possible. Then, Dr. Gerstle will show you a mockup of what your new thighs will look like using our Mirror Imaging technology, which will digitally alter photos of your own thighs to get a look into the future.

Thigh Lift FAQ

Will the results of the surgery be immediate?

You will notice a difference immediately following the surgery, but it will take time for any bruising and swelling to fully subside. You can expect to see the full results of the procedure within six months. Make sure to follow all of our post op instructions and wear your compression garment for an optimal outcome.

Will I experience pain following thigh lift surgery?

Yes, the incisions and procedure will cause some pain and swelling. You can recover safely at home, and most of the pain will be well managed by prescription pain medication in the first week.

Can I sit after thigh lift surgery?

Try to plan to lie down with your legs elevated following the surgery for as much time as possible to reduce swelling and avoid disturbing the incisions. If you have a desk job, try to work from home in a reclined position if at all possible while you allow the bruising to heal and the swelling to subside.

Will I have scars?

Yes, the surgery will leave some scarring. Dr. Gerstle is experienced with hiding scars as far as is possible for any given procedure. Your scars may continue to fade gradually for up to two years after the surgery.

Can a thigh lift address severe excess skin after massive weight loss?

Yes, the excess skin that occurs after weight loss can be removed effectively to improve the look of skin and the contour of the leg. Scarring will result, but Dr. Gerstle will hide it as well as possible.

How does a thigh lift differ from liposuction?

Liposuction, of course, is for fat removal. A thigh lift on its own will remove some fat, but it is mainly for tightening and smoothing skin. The two procedures can be combined if you have both excess fat and skin.

Does a thigh lift affect cellulite?

It will improve the look of cellulite when excess tissue and skin is removed, but cellulite may recur in the future.

Can I “fix” my thighs with diet and exercise?

Some bodies are more responsive to diet and exercise than others. However, you cannot firm flabby, sagging skin without surgical intervention.

Are the results of a thigh lift permanent?

Yes, as long as you maintain a healthy, stable weight, the results of a thigh lift should last indefinitely.

When should I start walking?

Begin very gentle walking in the first few days to avoid blood clots and excess stiffness. In about two weeks, begin a routine of mindful walking several times per day, but avoid disrupting your scars.

When can I return to my normal activities following a thigh lift?

Try to take at least three to four weeks off from work if at all possible after your surgery. Take at least a week before you begin driving again. It will take several weeks for bruising and swelling to settle down, and you may continue to have minor swelling for up to several months. As you heal, you can begin to resume some activities, but it will take at least six weeks before you are ready to begin exercising again. Within six months, you should be completely back to your regular routine.

How long should I wear the thigh compression garment?

For best results, continue to wear your compression garment for at least a month following the surgery. Otherwise, excess swelling may result and you may not heal in the desired shape.

When can I get my thighs wet?

Plan to wait 24 hours before taking a shower. Don’t submerge yourself in a bath, hot tub, or swimming pool until your incisions have healed sufficiently.

What activities should I avoid after thigh lift surgery?

Stretching, running, squatting, and any vigorous exercise should be avoided for six to eight weeks, and you should start out gently. Be sure to follow Dr. Gerstle’s instructions about resuming exercise. Heating pads, saunas, massage, hot baths, smoking, and alcohol can all interfere with your healing process and/or disturb incisions.

Do I need to avoid the sun following thigh lift surgery?

Yes, it’s important to keep the incisions protected from the sun. Otherwise, discoloration of the scars or surrounding skin can result.

Thigh Lift Financing

Cherry is a payment plan designed for your health, beauty, and wellness needs and procedures and allows you to make convenient monthly payments.

Thigh Lift

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed for your health and wellness needs that can be used by your entire family. Use it to pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by medical insurance. Special financing options are available that you may not be able to get with other cards.

Pay for health and wellness care at over 200,000 enrolled providers across the nation. Once you’ve applied, you can use it again and again at any location that accepts CareCredit. For more information and to apply, please visit


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