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J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2019 Oct-Dec;12(4):231-236. doi: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_115_18.

Outcome, Complications, and Body Mass Index Correlation of Horizontal and Combined Horizontal and Vertical Thigh Lift: A 16-year Single-center Experience.

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Department of Plastic and Aesthetic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, AGAPLESION Markus Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.
Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.



Thigh lift is a procedure used within the aesthetic as well as the post-bariatric field of surgery as it focuses on reducing excess lipodermal tissue within the medial thigh area. Depending on the specific area of excess tissue, common thigh lifting procedures include horizontal (H) and combined horizontal and vertical (HV) tissue reduction.

Aims and Objectives:

The aim of this study was the analysis of outcome of H and HV thigh lift procedures, including evaluation of comorbidities and complications.

Subjects and Methods:

Over a 16-year period, all thigh lift procedures performed at our department were assessed for comorbidities and outcome through our hospital documentation system.


A total of 151 thigh lifts have been performed over 16 years. Of which, 124 were performed using the HV technique and 27 thigh lifts were performed using H tissue excision only. Of all the patients, 9 of 10 were female, the overall average age was 43 years. Approximately 48% of the HV group of patients had previously undergone bariatric surgery, the mean body mass index (BMI) was 29.3 kg/m2 for this group. Around 19% of the H patient population had previously undergone bariatric surgery. This group had a mean BMI of 25.1kg/m2. Wound-associated problems occurred in 48%, for these patients, surgical revision was necessary for 12%. Remaining excess tissue was an issue for 20% of all patients, for this reason, 14% needed revision surgery. Age was found to be a significant cofactor for wound-associated complications (P = 0.02) and nicotine abuse for scar-related problems (P = 0.032).


The rate of overall complication for thigh lifts is high, although surgical revision rate is low. Remaining excess tissue and wound-associated problems are most common, possibly reflecting a too restrictive and radical surgical approach, respectively. Increasing BMI increases the risk for development of complications.


Body-contouring surgery; massive weight loss; medial thigh lift; thighplasty

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