Thigh Lift

A thigh lift is an operation that is designed to improve the contour of a woman’s upper legs. For most patients, thigh lifts can restore a more pleasing contour between a patient’s buttocks and legs. For many patients, the contour concerns may be as simple as addressing isolated areas of extra skin or fat. Here, the minimally invasive Smartlipo or Cellulaze laser technology may be enough. However, for those patients who require a greater excess of skin and/or fat removed, then a more involved lifting operation may be needed. So whether your problem is with saddlebags that just don’t seem to go away or loose skin of the thighs, after a thorough consultation with Dr. Mancoll, he will be able to advise you of the best options for your desired look.

Ideal Candidate

You may be a good candidate for a thigh lift procedure if you are in good emotional and physical health. Ideal candidates should be close to their ideal body weight and not smoke. Additionally, patients need to be realistic with their recovery and the amount of time needed.


Smartlipo/Cellulaze Treatment of the Thighs

If the areas of concern are small and isolated, the minimally invasive Smartlipo laser technology may be enough. Frequently, this can be done with oral sedation and numbing medicine. This procedure involves a series of small incisions through which a laser probe can be used to break up areas of fat and then tighten the skin. This is then followed with a less traumatic liposuction probe to remove the fat that has been loosened and melted by the laser. This technique can cause bruising and swelling and has a minimal recovery time. (See Smartlipo section for more details.) For other patients, the puckering and dimpling, otherwise known as cellulite, is what bothers them the most. These patients are excellent candidates to treat their cellulite with a minimally invasive procedure called Cellulaze. (Refer to Cellulaze section.)

Outer Thigh Lift

This procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis, usually with deep sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure may take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours depending on multiple factors, including the amount of fat and skin to be removed and any other procedures that are done at the same time. To achieve the maximum results, it can be done in conjunction with liposculpting of the lower back, hips, and/or buttock.

During the surgery, an incision is made at the upper part of the buttocks or hip area. The incision is placed where it can be hidden within the bikini line.

Inner Thigh Lift

One of the toughest areas of the entire body to maintain a youthful look is the inner thigh area. The quality of this skin is typically thinner here. There is a tendency to deposit fat in this area, even in very thin women, and the effects of gravity tend to leave this part of a women’s body a frequent place for requests for improvement. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and can take between 2 and 3 hours to complete. The incision usually is placed within the natural crease between the thigh and pelvic area.


The total cost of a thigh lift is determined by various factors, including:

  • Surgical time
  • Facility fees
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Surgical fees
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Post-surgery garments

Because a thigh lift is considered a cosmetic procedure, it is not usually covered by insurance. Even for those patients who have lost a great deal of weight, it is very unusual for insurance to approve this procedure. Feel free to contact the surgical coordinator for pricing and to request more information about this or other cosmetic procedures. 

Potential Risks and Complications

As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with thigh lift surgery, such as scars, infection, bleeding, asymmetries, postoperative discomfort, and adverse reaction to anesthesia. Although significant complications are uncommon, patients should understand that any surgery, performed for any reason, has risks and should not be taken lightly.

Dr. Mancoll prides himself on his ability to communicate with his patients and tailors each discussion to the patient’s individual needs. Dr. Mancoll and his staff will spend time helping you understand your procedure. You should feel free to ask questions at any time, and if you don’t understand the information, we will be more than happy to go over it again.


After surgery, bandages and a specialized compression garment are applied to the lower body. Although pain and swelling may be present, these symptoms can be alleviated by prescribed medication. Patients can usually return to work within 5 to 7 days, depending on the type of procedure they have and the type of work they do. Strenuous activity and exercise should be avoided for the first 4 to 6 weeks following surgery.


We welcome you to schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. John S. Mancoll by calling Mancoll Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery at

(757) 305-9185 or filling out our online contact form.

Dr. Mancoll has been voted by his peers as one of Coastal Virginia’s Top Plastic Surgeons 3 years in a row. He is devoted to helping each individual patient achieve the best results possible.