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Thigh Reduction Surgery Explained

You may have heard of thigh reduction surgery and assumed it to be the same as or similar to liposuction. Both surgeries aim to achieve a more toned appearance of the thighs, however they are very different. Thigh reduction surgery removes excess skin and fat of the inner thigh which may have resulted from significant weight loss following bariatric surgery, or through diet and exercise. Liposuction removes fat in specific areas to address contour irregularities and create a more aesthetic body shape.

In this article we explain thigh reduction surgery and what to expect before, during and after the surgery.


Thigh Reduction Surgery – What To Expect

Before Surgery

The most important step is to have a consultation with your surgeon. This is your chance to discuss your concerns and your expectations and to ask any questions that you may have. Most importantly, the consultation is to facilitate understanding of the potential risks of thigh reduction surgery. Your surgeon will ascertain your expectations and identify potential limitations to achieving those expectations such as the extent of skin excess, skin quality and adiposity (fat).

Thigh reduction surgery is best considered when your weight is consistent with a body mass index in the normal range and has been stable for at least 3 months. In appropriate patients, liposuction can be used as an adjunct to the thigh reduction procedure. Your Surgeon will discuss this with you during the consultation.

Before consenting to any surgery, it is important that your surgeon is made aware of previous surgery and history of scarring along with significant medical history. These issues are important as they have the potential to affect the surgery, anaesthesia, potential complications and recovery.


During Surgery

The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic administered by Specialist Anaesthetists in an accredited hospital. The incisions are placed on the inner aspect of the thigh extending from the groin to the knee. The Surgeon will discuss the extent and length of the incisions (and therefore scars) prior to surgery and that a wedge of skin and fat tissue will be removed to optimise the contour of the inner thighs.

At the completion of surgery a waterproof dressing is applied which is suited to showering and a compression garment applied to minimise soft tissue swelling.


After Surgery

Following monitoring in the recovery room patients are discharged to the care of a responsible adult for 24 hours. At the time of discharge, appropriate pain medication and antibiotics will be dispensed and it is important that these be taken to minimise discomfort and potential wound complications. It is important that access to medical attention is available by telephone if necessary.

In order to minimise post-operative swelling elevation of the feet is encouraged with pillows for 7 days and prolonged periods of standing should be avoided. In general, swelling and bruising increase over the first three to five days and improve between five to ten days. In some instances, it may take several months for the soft tissue swelling to subside completely. During this period the sensation of the thigh and leg skin may be affected but will generally return to normal over a few months.

Wound healing will generally take approximately 3 weeks to achieve. During this period lower limb movement should be minimised to optimise healing and you should avoid driving for 2 weeks. Physical activity such as walking for exercise can commence three weeks after surgery, progressing to running at six weeks and normal exercise including swimming at eight weeks. It is important to avoid lower limb trauma from being knocked or hit accidentally for six weeks after surgery. Return to work can be anticipated after two to three weeks.

The final result of thigh reduction surgery may not appreciated for many months as the inner thigh scar can be unpredictable and will be visible for up to 18 months after surgery.


Next Step

If you are considering thigh reduction surgery and have questions you would like to ask or if you would like to book a confidential consultation at a cost of $140, click below or call (03) 9088 5000 for the Melbourne practice or (07) 3180 3400 for the Brisbane practice. The Cosmetic Surgery Co-ordinators of NorthEast Plastic Surgery will organise a consultation with Mr Tansley or Dr Seneviratne who are highly qualified and experienced surgeons. They will assess your individual requirements and discuss your expectations in regard to the surgery.



NorthEast Plastic Surgery has been designed to offer a bespoke and unrivalled cosmetic plastic surgical service of superlative standard and quality. Dr Seneviratne and Mr Tansley share their Australian and British plastic and cosmetic surgery experience in these educational articles.

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