Thigh Lift: Tightening up the Toned

You desperately want to wear shorts. You’ve lost the extra pounds that have hounded you for years. You’ve even been working out faithfully, toning up the loose, flabby muscle, yet your thighs are still heavy, making you feel like your body is out of proportion. When you hit this point, a thigh lift may be the only way you’ll get the look you’re hoping for.

What is a thigh lift?

A thigh lift redefines the shape of the thigh. Dr. Tolson removes excess soft tissue, shapes the underlying muscle, and removes excess skin. A thigh lift should not be confused with fat removal, although some fatty deposits may be removed at the same time. If getting rid of fatty deposits is what you need, then simple liposuction is the necessary procedure. A thigh lift is about tightening and sculpting to get the contour you desire.

Who should consider a thigh lift?

A thigh lift is not for everybody. It is designed for people who have excess soft tissue on the inner or outer thighs or both. Individuals who are committed to a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a stable, healthy weight are excellent candidates for a thigh lift. Those who have tried diet and exercise already and their thighs just will not tone up may find that a thigh lift is the solution. Someone who has lost a substantial amount of weight but is now paying the price with flabby thighs and clothes that just do not fit right should consider a thigh lift. Even the individual who has always maintained a stable weight and been in shape but feels her thighs are out of proportion with the rest of her figure should see if a thigh lift can solve the issue. For the thigh lift to be effective, though, the individual must be committed to maintaining a healthy diet and exercising.

What goes into a thigh lift?


If you are considering a thigh lift, the first thing you need to do is schedule a consultation with Dr. Tolson. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and is a member of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, meaning he has the experience and training necessary to ensure you receive the look you want. Be sure to ask to see before and after photos of previous patients.

Plan to spend a long period of time at your initial consultation discussing

  • Your medical history.
  • Any previous cosmetic surgeries and their outcomes.
  • Your goals for having a thigh lift.
  • Your current medications.
  • Any allergies to medications.

Dr. Tolson also evaluates your overall health, examines and measures your body, takes photographs for your chart and for use in computer imaging, and discusses your different treatment options.


Once the initial consultation is complete, your thigh lift gets scheduled. Before your procedure, you need to

  • Stop smoking at least six weeks in advance.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatories, and any herbs that thin the blood at least four weeks in advance.
  • Maintain a stable, healthy weight for the length of time Dr. Tolson has set.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and stay with you the first night.


Dr. Tolson performs all of his procedures in his state-of-the-art, AAAASF-certified operating room in Cumming, Georgia. Thigh lifts generally are performed using general anesthesia, but he may choose to use a local anesthesia combined with intravenous sedation if he believes that is better. Dr. Tolson will perform one of the four types of thigh lifts.

  • Minimal thigh lift – With the minimal thigh lift, the incision is made around the groin and focuses on only the upper one-third of the thigh. Scarring is minimal and can be easily hidden with clothing.
  • Inner thigh lift – More substantial than a minimal thigh lift, the incision for the inner thigh lift begins at the groin and extends to the knee, following the “inseam” of the leg. Any excess tissue and skin can be easily removed, and this incision can be easily combined with liposuction.
  • Medial thigh lift – The medial thigh lift, much like the minimal thigh lift, focuses on the upper thigh, but it is more extensive. The incision begins at the groin and wraps around the buttocks, sometimes to the thigh. The incision may also go down the inner leg, like the inner thigh lift, allowing the doctor greater access for removing tissue and resculpting the shape.
  • Lateral thigh lift – The lateral thigh lift addresses both inner and outer thigh issues. The incision begins at the front bottom edge of a pair of underwear and then extends to the hip or the buttocks, whichever the doctor deems necessary. He can resculpt the contour of your buttocks and outer thigh.

Deep sutures are used to help support the new contour that has been created. To close the skin, Dr. Tolson uses sutures, adhesive tape, or clips. He may use only one of the above lifts or a combination of lifts depending on what is being accomplished with the procedure. He individualizes each procedure to ensure you get the look you desire and that is appropriate for your shape.

If a general anesthesia has been used, then an overnight stay at the facility is required so that your progress can be monitored. If a local and intravenous sedation has been used, you may go home after you have been observed in the recovery room and Dr. Tolson is certain that you are recovering well from the surgery.


Before you are released, Dr. Tolson or a member of his staff goes over how to care for your bandages and any drains that have been inserted. To ensure optimum recovery, you need to wear your compression garment for at least one month. You will have swelling and bruising at the surgery site. This should subside within three to five weeks. Light activity is fine for the first two weeks as long your movements do not pull at the sutures. You may resume driving and walking for exercise after two or three weeks when these activities no longer cause pain. You should not do any jogging or heavy lifting for at least six to eight weeks, allowing your body time to fully recover.


You should see immediate improvement to your figure, but the final look will not manifest itself for several months. Most patients see an improvement to the skin quality and feel as well. As you continue to age, your thighs will age with you. Some of the firmness dissipates with age, but overall, your results should last a lifetime as long as you maintain a stable weight and remain active.

Say, “Goodbye, flabby thighs,” and, “Hello, skinny jeans!” You don’t have to resign yourself to hiding your legs behind billowy clothing. A thigh lift can give you legs you won’t be ashamed to show off.

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    Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

    Dr. Michael Tolson is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Put Dr. Tolson’s years of cosmetic plastic surgery experience to work for you.

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