Woman reading an article about scars from thigh lifts

Thigh Lifts: What Your Thigh Lift Scars Could Look Like And What It All Costs


Thigh lifts (also called inner thigh lift surgery) are among the most popular body contouring surgeries. The firming and shaping that a thigh lift provides can make a huge positive impact on overall body esthetics. But, scars from thigh lift surgery deserve a lot of consideration because they are relatively long and can be exposed when wearing dresses, shorts, and swimwear. Here we’ll delve into all the ins-and-outs that can help you determine how your own thigh lift scars could turn out and also investigate the impact of thigh lift surgery on your pocketbook.

How Thigh Lifts Are Done:

Thigh lift surgery involves the surgical removal of large segments of loose skin underlying fat from various areas of the thigh. After the loose and sagging skin is removed, closure of the wounds causes a tightening effect reshaping the thigh into a tighter, firmer and rejuvenated form. Liposuction can also be used as part of thigh lifts to supplement the overall results.

Thigh Lift Scars:

How scars from thigh lift surgery turn out and look depends on which thigh lift surgery technique is used and how the thigh lift scars healed. Technique choice is important with respect to inner thigh lift scars because it determines where on the thigh the scars will be located. But, when it comes to overall scar results, just as important as scar placement is the quality with which scars from thigh lift surgery heal. If you’re considering a thigh lift and want to know more about scars from the procedure, this is the right article for you. Here, we’ll review all the relevant factors that determine how scars from thigh lift surgery are likely to turn out and what yours could look like.

Where Are Scars From Thigh Lifts Placed?

Scars from thigh lift surgery can follow three patterns on the legs depending on which technique is used. Thigh lift techniques are based on where on the thigh loose skin is surgically removed from. The three categories of inner thigh lift technique are:

  • groin inner thigh lift (also known as crescent)
  • vertical inner thigh lift
  • combined groin and vertical inner thigh lift (also known as an extended medial thigh lift)

Thigh Lift Scars: Groin Approach

This inner thigh lift is done using an incision that extend transversely across the inner groin crease. This thigh lift scar ends up in the crease between the upper inner thigh and lower pelvic area When done this way, the procedure is also referred to as a crescent thigh lift or mini thigh lift. This thigh lift technique is generally used for patients with small to moderate amounts of redundant skin that is distributed mostly over the upper third of the inner thigh.

Image showing location of scar for groin approach to thigh lifts
Typical location of thigh lift scars with groin approach

Thigh Lift Scars: Vertical Approach

Inner thigh lift scars from this technique are located on the inner thigh and extend vertically from the upper/inner groin area all the way down to the inner knee. This type of thigh lift is used for patients as with moderate to large amounts of loose skin all the way down the length of the inner thigh. It’s used in these cases because the long incision allows the surgeon to remove excess skin and fat from the entire length of the inner thigh area.

Image showing location of scar for vertical approach to thigh lifts
Typical location of thigh lift scars with vertical approach

Thigh Lift Scars: Combined Approach

Scars from thigh lift surgery can also combine the groin and vertical incision techniques. This approach is suitable for patients whose have quite a bit of skin redundancy both on the inner thigh area and the front of the thigh. Making incisions both in the groin crease and down the length of the inner thigh give the surgeon the flexibility to “clean” up the loose, sagging skin more completely. But of course, combining two types of incisions means more scars from this variation of inner thigh surgery. The two scars can be combined in one of two patterns depending on the distribution of the redundant tissue on the thigh and also surgeon preference:

Liposuction In Thigh Lifts

Liposuction makes use of thin cannulas (hollow tubes) to suction away unwanted fatty deposits. It is frequently used during thigh lift procedures to improve the overall results. Liposuction provides a means for the surgeon to remove fat from areas of the thigh that are distant from the skin incisions. Thigh lifts can’t usually be done by liposuction alone because of the need to remove loos and redundant skin, which liposuction can’t accomplish on its own.


How Will Your Scars From Thigh Lift Surgery Heal?

Scar length and location are important contributors to thigh lift surgery scar outcomes. The other key factor that determines how scars from thigh lift surgery will look is scar quality. A scar in tucked nicely into the groin crease that is thick, red, and raised may ultimately prove more of a problem than a thigh lift scar that runs all the way down the thigh but with minimal visibility. Anticipating how scars from thigh lift surgery will look is a complex endeavour because of the large number of factors and variables that contribute to any person’s scarring. These contributing factors can be categorized into:

  • surgeon selection
  • personal healing tendencies
  • impact of skin tightening on thigh lift scars
  • after-care.

Surgeon Selection & Thigh Lifts

If you’re thinking about thigh lift surgery choosing a board-certified surgeon is a must. Most thigh lifts are performed by plastic surgeons that specialize in cosmetic surgery. Some general surgery specialists also do thigh lifts as well. Board-certified surgeons have years of training and experience making them experts in determining which thigh lift surgery technique will work best for a particular patient. Cosmetic surgeons also pay special attention to careful tissue handling and understand skin closure methods that will help to optimize scars from thigh lifts. Use resources such as online reviews and word of mouth referrals. Also, it’s important to ensure that your chosen surgeon performs a lot of thigh lifts in his or her practice.

Personal Healing Tendencies And Thigh Lifts

Surgeon can’t fully control scarring results from thigh lift surgery. All scars, including thigh lift scars, are determined by an incompletely understood mix of factors including skin tone, ethnicity, and a long list of others that are not directly related to the surgeon’s skills or expertise. Scars from thigh lift surgery can fall into four main categories:

Type Of ScarWhat They Look LikeExample
normal/maturefine, flat and blend well “good scars” Normal breast implant scar that is fine and flat
hypertrophicraised, red and thicker type of scar
keloidconsidered the worst scars extensively raised, thick, discolored; grow far outside the area of the injury to the skin Keloid skin scar that is very raised thick red and raised
widespreadflat, pale, wide, and stretched scars A wide flat stretched skin scar

The Impact Of Skin Tightening On Thigh Lift Scars

The primary goal of thigh lifts is tightening, reshaping, and rejuvenation. A well-established fact in the field of scarring and healing is that any wound that is stitched closed tightly is more prone to both thick hypertrophic scarring as well as widespread scars. A balance between increased tightening of the thigh with the potential for excessive tightening to degrade scarring is an important aspect of planning thigh lift surgery. Extreme tightening can also lead to wound healing complications such as wound opening before healing is complete.


After-Care Affects Scars From Thigh Lifts

Thigh lifts use long incisions, and are stitched tightly both of which can predispose the procedure to wound healing problems. Making things more complicated is that movements of the hip and knee can put strain on the incision lines and possible cause incisions to open. Anything that delays wound healing, such as infection or incisions opening before healed can adversely affect thigh lift scars. Cosmetic surgeons that perform thigh lifts will have their own after-care instructions, but some suggestions that apply across the board include:

  • DO NOT SMOKE for at least 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after thigh lift surgery
    • cigarettes and nicotine can severely impact wound scars from thigh lifts
  • refrain from strenuous work and exercise for at least 6 weeks after surgery
    • thigh lifts can be prone to wound opening before healing is complete
  • wear compression garments as instructed by your surgeons
    • pressure helps to avoid complications like fluid collections, bleeding and stitched opening
  • prepare a scar care regimen with the approval of your doctor including:
    • a good quality sunscreen (for a year after arm lift surgery)
    • silicone strips for scars

How Much Does A Thigh Lift Cost?

HealthCare Bluebook indicates a price range for thigh lift surgery in the USA from around $4000 to $12,000 at the top end. The average price is about $4800. The sorts of factors that can play into the the cost that surgeons charge for thigh lifts are:

  • geographic location of the surgeon
  • surgeon demand, popularity, and reputation
  • which thigh lift technique will be used (more extensive procedures cost more)
  • anesthesia fees
  • additional costs: bandages, scar products, taxes, etc.


Thigh lifts are a popular cosmetic procedure that can do wonders to the upper leg area. Loose skin and fatty deposits are removed creating a firmer, more youthful thigh. But, scars from thigh lift surgery need to be considered carefully because they can be exposed in many types of standard dresses and shorts, especially if a vertical thigh lift scar is created. Thigh lift scars vary depending on technique used, surgeon selection, a complication-free healing process, and healing tendencies unique to the individual.

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