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Thigh lift or cruroplasty

What is a thigh lift?

The thigh lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure that tightens and tucks the skin on the inner side of the thighs and removes part of the excess and / or damaged skin. The skin on the inner thighs is rapidly degraded by natural aging or by weight changes. This deterioration is often experienced very badly by the patient and the demand for cosmetic repair is high. Sometimes the increase in thigh volume can become embarrassing when walking due to friction and the fact that the thighs touch each other.

The thigh lift removes excess skin from the inner side of upper part of the thigh.

In the event of significant fatty deposits localized in the thighs, the thigh lift is very often associated with liposuction at the same time.

The intervention therefore aims to reduce the fatty infiltration of the inner side of the thigh by liposuction, but also to remove excess skin and securely suspend the remaining skin in order to tighten it effectively.

This procedure is also called a cruroplasty or dermolipectomy of the inner side of the thigh.

Doctor Vincent Masson will listen to you and advise you in order to meet your expectations regarding a thigh lift or cruroplasty.


Surgical technique: lifting of the inner side of the thigh

Excess skin is removed on demand. A deep fixation is made to the aponeurotic ligament, located at the top of the inner side of the thigh in order to effectively maintain the correction of sagging, to prevent the scar from descending back down and to ensure the maintenance of a normal and harmonious anatomy.

The scar is thus hidden in a natural fold and will therefore be discreet.

Liposuction is associated in most cases to reduce fatty infiltration.

This allows a better leveling of the thigh and preserves the nerves and lymphatic vessels of the thigh.

The different types of scars created by the inner thigh lift

As with any surgery, the thigh lift leaves permanent scars.

There are 3 types of scars:

  • The most common is the pure horizontal scar
    It is used when excess skin length is predominant. The thigh lift scar starts at the crease of the groin. It then extends into the groove between the perineum and the top of the inner side of the thigh, and continues behind until the gluteal fold where it ends.
    The scar is completely hidden in the underwear area.
  • The pure vertical scar
    Used when excess skin width is predominant. The thigh lift scar is located along the inside of the thigh. It is more or less long and therefore more or less visible depending on the amount of excess skin.
  • More rarely: the L- or T-shaped thigh lift scar (reserved for massive post-bariatric weight loss with significant excess skin and fat)
    In rarer cases, where the vertical cutaneous excess is very important, the scar is an L or T shape.
    It is combined with the horizontal scar described above, a vertical scar, located on the inner face of each thigh.
    Like all scars, those of the thigh lift are permanent and indelible. Their appearance may be red and visible for several months but it is important to remember that they are unpredictable and their final appearance should not be judged before a year has passed. The scars must absolutely be protected from the sun for a year.

Before the thigh lift procedure

The motivations and requests of the patient will have been analyzed with the surgeon after a careful clinical examination. During the consultation, the most appropriate type of intervention will be defined along with the choice of incision and whether to associate liposuction or not.

A usual pre-operative assessment is carried out in accordance with the directives.

The anesthetist has to be seen in consultation at the latest 48 hours before the operation.

Stopping smoking is strongly recommended at least one month before and for one month after the operation (tobacco can cause delayed healing or even skin necrosis).

No medication containing aspirin should be taken within 10 days of the operation.

A skin preparation such as antiseptic soap is usually prescribed the day before and on the morning of the operation.

It is essential to be operated on an empty stomach (do not eat or drink anything) 6 hours before the procedure takes place.

Surgical intervention: lifting of the inner side of the thigh

The procedure is most often performed under general anesthesia during which you will sleep completely.

The intervention lasts between 1:30 and 3 hours depending on the surgical technique used. Hospitalization lasts from 24 to 48 hours.

The postoperative period after the thigh lift:

Discharge may take place as a general rule the day after or two days after the intervention.

A drainage system is usually put in place to reduce the risk of hematoma.

It is retained for 1 to 2 days.

The dressing is removed the day after the thigh lift. It is replaced by the compression garment which you bought before the operation and which is to be worn night and day for 4 to 6 weeks.

The sutures are absorbable, as most are today.

A first shower is authorized the day after the operation.

In the postoperative period there will be bruising and swelling and a decrease in or disappearance of the sensitivity of the inner thighs may appear. This will lessen within 10 to 20 days of the operation.

The pains are generally bearable with the correct treatment and consist mainly of aches, twinges and throbbing.

The scar is often pink during the first 3 months and then generally fades after the 3rd month, and this continues gradually for 1 to 3 years.

It should not be exposed to the sun or UV for 3 months without effective protection.

The period of sick leave required is 1 to 3 weeks depending on the nature on the profession.

Sporting activities can be resumed gradually from the 6th post-operative week.

The thigh lift and health insurance support

The thigh lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure that tightens the skin on the inner side of the thighs and removes part of the excess and / or damaged skin. This damage does not justify treatment by the social security system, with the exception of the consequences of restorative surgery after weight loss for morbid obesity following bariatric surgery. A prior health insurance agreement procedure is essential beforehand.

Otherwise, the thigh lift is a cosmetic surgery intervention which is not supported either by the social security system or by a mutual, complementary health insurance scheme.

If the thigh lift operation is not covered by social security, you will need to plan a period of approximately 7 days to 15 days of professional unavailability after the intervention because no work stoppage can be prescribed.

The results

The final aesthetic result of the thigh lift operation can be seen at 6 months.

You must wait at least 12 months to judge the final appearance of the scars.

Several follow-up consultations are carried out approximately 7 days, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after the thigh lift.

Possible complications of the thigh lift

By choosing a competent and qualified plastic surgeon, trained in this type of intervention, you limit these risks as much as possible but do not eliminate them completely. Real complications are rare after a cruroplasty performed according to the rules. They mainly concern patients who are overweight, diabetic or who smoke. Despite their rarity, however, you must be informed of all the possible complications by your surgeon during your consultations together.

  • Bleeding, hematoma: quite rare but may justify evacuation so as to not risk secondarily altering the aesthetic quality of the result.
  • Thromboembolic events: quite rare but justify preventive measures (anti-thrombosis stockings, early rising, anticoagulant treatment).
  • A localized infection favored by the proximity of natural orifices, this may require surgical drainage.
  • Relatively frequent lymphatic effusion which can appear a few weeks after the operation and can lead to repeated punctures and / or a re-intervention for drainage.
  • The scars can be large or hypertrophic (raised, in relief) and unpredictable. They can sometimes require a surgical touch-up when they are large and / or corticosteroid injections when they are hypertrophic.
  • Delayed healing and scarring
  • Skin necrosis which prolongs the healing time by several weeks. This is clearly favored by smoking, as well as obesity. The importance of the necrosis can be very variable.
  • Alteration of the sensitivity of the upper part of the inner side of the thigh: type of numbness, insensitivity, or “bizarre” sensations, these changes are frequent and usually disappear, at least partially, over time (several months or years as the case may be).
  • Subjectivity: the thigh lift is motivated by aesthetic reasons and the results can only be assessed subjectively. It is therefore important to recognize that the results obtained may not correspond exactly to the expected results.

Any complications or imperfections could possibly be corrected by a surgical touch-up which in general is much simpler than the initial operation, both from the technical point of view and the recovery period, but not before the 6th post-operative month.

In summary

Before the procedure for lifting the inner side of the thigh

  • Compulsory medical visits: 2 consultations with your plastic surgeon and 1 consultation with your anesthesiologist no later than 48 hours before the operation.
  • Signature on the quote and the informed consent form
  • Medical photographs: medical photographs are produced systematically
  • Reflection period: 15-day minimum reflection period between the first consultation with the cosmetic surgeon and the cruroplasty procedure.
  • Mandatory information: imperfection of the results and possible complications
  • Pre-operative recommendations: stopping smoking is recommended one month before and for one month after the intervention to optimize healing, no medication containing aspirin should be taken 10 days before the operation, anti-inflammatory drugs should be stopped, the operation needs to be performed on an empty stomach so do not eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours before.

Surgical intervention: lifting of the inner side of the thigh

  • Type of anesthesia for cruroplasty: General anesthesia or spinal anesthesia
  • Duration of intervention for cruroplasty: 1h30 to 3h
  • Hospitalization procedure for cruroplasty: 24-hour to 48-hour hospitalization period.

Postoperative and results for lifting the inner thigh

  • Special care to be taken after the cruroplasty: wearing a compression garment night and day for 6 weeks, rigorous pre- and post-operative hygiene until complete healing, rest, and anticoagulant for 15 days.
  • Suture withdrawals: no threads are removed, they are absorbable.
  • Social exclusion period after the cruroplasty: 7 to 10 days
  • Resumption of physical activities after the cruroplasty: 6 weeks
  • Resumption of professional activities: 7 to 21 days depending on the professional context
  • Result assessment after the cruroplasty: about 6 months, with regular check-ups with your surgeon
  • Deadline for the final result after the cruroplasty: approximately 12 months, which is the time necessary for the scars to heal and reduce.

Thigh lift prices and fees

Prices start at 4,500 euros if covered by health insurance and 6,000 euros without coverage.


Dr Vincent Masson is a plastic surgeon with a post-graduate diploma in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery and a gold medal in surgery from the Paris Hospitals. He is a former senior registrar and attaché at the Hôpital Saint Louis.

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