Thigh Reduction Options

Thigh Lift Options: Skin Tightening vs Surgery

Last weekend Leigh and I went to one of our favorite workout spots in Houston. We exchanged grimaces and a couple smiles as our minor muscles burned with the nuanced moves in the Define Body barre class.

I'm slightly masochistic. So obviously I thought it was amazing.

A day later we felt. the.burn. I could barely sit down without my quads screaming. Since the tops of my thighs felt like they went through a boot camp, I was pretty proud of the day’s workout and happy with the shape of my thighs.

But what happens after losing a lot of weight? Like a massive amount? Skin won’t necessarily snap back to show off the new shape. (Which seems like a cruel trick of nature.) Skin might just hang off of the thighs because it’s lost its elasticity after weight fluctuations or during aging in general because our collagen breaks down as we get older.

As a resident blogger for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, I was curious about the state of our thighs and put on my research cap, setting out to find options for getting upper legs into a svelte silhouette:

Laser Skin Tightening

Not too long ago, I interviewed Dr. Grant Stevens about laser skin tightening for Smart Beauty Guide. The good news is that laser skin tightening works! He noted that they've seen the most significant results for eyelids, neck/jowls, abdomen, arms, and knees. The not-so-great news is that older candidates and those with significant amounts of loose skin won't respond as well to laser treatments.

Surgery: A Thigh Lift

So for those who need more assistance to remove excessive skin, there are two ways to go about this procedure, and a surgeon will choose which approach based on the patient's needs.

  • One option is an inner thigh lift, which involves incisions made in the inner thigh, starting at the groin. Liposuction is usually involved.
  • The second, an outer thigh lift, is usually more invasive. It starts from the outer thigh and might also include some recontouring.

There will be scaring around the incision points, but some may see it as a worthwhile tradeoff for getting shapely thighs and getting rid of loose, flabby skin around the upper leg.


  • These procedures are best for patients who are committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a moderate weight. You don't want to go through the work of losing weight, having massive surgery and then expanding and stretching out the skin again.
  • Stay in the shade and break out the SPF! Sun exposure contributes to decreased elasticity over time.

Most of us love the feeling of getting in shape, especially when we drop a couple sizes and can wear clothes that were previously off limits. But if after shedding that weight, loose skin that still hangs around will be a bummer. Don't worry, 'cause we have options.


This post is presented to the Girl Around Town audience in partnership with
Smart Beauty Guide and The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.


Posted on October 11, 2015 .