Thigh Lift: All you Need to Know About Scars

I know I need a Thigh Lift surgery but I am really concerned about the appearance of the scars.  What do I need to know?????

  • Discuss where the surgical scars are located and how they differ among the different types of Thigh Lift surgeries
  • Discuss ways that we manage scars after surgery.  

Hands down, a full Thigh Lift surgery is one of the more transformative surgeries that we offer in our office.  It takes your loose, sagging and fat filled thighs and powerfully transforms them with around a 2 hour surgery.  If your thighs ripple and sway when they move, it will make them tight and toned.  If your thighs bulge out of your clothing and are hard to hide, it can make them noticeably smaller.  Even if you have crepe and aged appearing skin, this surgery removes most of the damaged skin and makes the residual skin look much more youthful. Honestly, these results are just amazing.  But as with most things in life, anything this good comes with a cost: in the case of arm lift surgery, the cost is often a visible scar.  

So what do you do if you know that you are a great candidate for a full Thigh Lift surgery but the idea of having scars that are visible makes you extremely concerned?  This concern is real and understandable.  First and foremost, with a full Thigh Lift, the scar will fade and in most cases, the scar will be hard to perceive by 12 months after surgery.  Therefore, if timed correctly, you would only have one cycle through the warm seasons to keep your thighs covered if you are concerned about the appearance of the scars immediately after surgery.  Secondly, the placement of the scars with a full thigh lift surgery are discrete and not visible when standing and looking at yourself facing forward.  In actuality, these scars are only clearly visible when your knee is bent and your hips are rotated away from your body. 

To make you feel more comfortable with your decision,  lets go though the things you should know about Thigh Lift surgery scars starting first with the location of the scars:

  • Scar placement depends on the shape and size of your thighs and in most cases, it is one of three types.  If fat is your primary problem and you don’t have much loose skin, then you are likely a candidate for liposuction alone.  The 2-3 very small scars (¼ inch) with this procedure will be placed in less visible areas and they are rarely visible long term after the surgery.  For those you that have fat and loose skin only near the upper 3rd of the inner thigh, you  may be a candidate for a medial Thigh Lift. The scar with this surgery is placed in or near the hair bearing area of your groin and is carried around to the back of your leg where your leg meets your butt.   This scar is also much less visible due to its location.  For those of you who have visible loose skin along the full length of your thighs, you are likely a candidate for a full Thigh Lift surgery.  This places a linear scar from your groin to your knee, following the inner axis of your leg.  To better understand this placement, slightly bend your knee while standing and rotate your hip out and away from your body.  If you also flex your thigh muscles, you can feel a groove in the inner thigh, where the muscles on the front are separated from the muscles on the back.  It is along this groove where the scar will be roughly located. Include diagram 

Many of you are also concerned with the length of the scars.   Here is a description of the scar lengths depending on the type of surgery:

  • The length of the scars can vary and will depend on the contour of your thighs.  For those of you who only have excess fat and minimal loose skin, the treatment will often be liposuction alone.  In these cases, the scars will be extremely small, barely visible and hidden.  If visible loose skin is present, the scar will be placed either near your hair bearing part of the groin and carried around to your butt (medial Thigh Lift) or along the axis of your inner thigh, extending from your groin to your knee (full Thigh Lift).  For scars placed in the groin,  these are usually 8 to 10 inches in length.  From there, the scar length increases dramatically, especially for those with a lot of loose skin.  The scar for a Full Thigh lift will be the length of your upper thigh which is usually greater than 16 inches. In severe cases of loose skin, as with massive weight loss patients, the scar can be extended down past your knees, onto your calf and up to your waist.  The length of these scars will always vary depending on your anatomy and your clinical exam. 

If a full Thigh Lift is your only option, what options do you have after surgery to ensure the scar heals the best:

  • When the surgery is successful, you should expect that the scars will slowly fade, especially between six to twelve months after surgery.  After one year, the scars will be light, not obvious and difficult to visualize without a bright light.  If scars are slow to fade or are more visible, many treatments and therapies exist to help them along. In our office, we have a comprehensive approach to treating these scars after surgery. This often includes silicone gels and strips, LED light treatment, IPL and laser therapies, deep needling, radio frequency treatments and steroid injections.  By mixing these treatments and therapies, we can ensure that you have the best possible healing of your scars after surgery.  Avoiding things that make scarring worse, like smoking and sun exposure, is also really important to having the best outcome.