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How Long Is Recovery From Thigh Liposuction?

As much as we might wish it to be true, not all of us are born with the ideal body shape, and the things we do to slim our shapes are not always as effective as we want them to be. One particularly tough area to reduce unwanted fat is the thighs. For many of us, it doesn’t matter how many squats and lunges we do, that stubborn fat just doesn’t leave. At Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery In Portage, MI we’re happy to give our patients a helping hand with procedures such as thigh liposuction.

Recovery from this procedure can take between 7 and 14 days. Your recovery time generally depends on the exact area treated and the amount of fat removed. Patients who have significant liposuction on both the inner and outer thighs can expect a 2 week recovery period. Patients who have only a small amount of fat removed from any part of the thigh can expect a 7 to 10-day recovery.

What Is Recovery Like?

Recovery from this procedure is uneventful overall. In the first few days following the treatment, you can expect some soreness in your thighs. You may experience temporary side effects such as bruising, but this will fade within 3 to 5 days after treatment. During your recovery period, you are encouraged to continue light activity, such as walking for 15 to 30 minutes.

When Are You Fully Recovered?

You are fully recovered from this treatment within 2 to 3 weeks following the procedure. Your recovery is determined by the appearance of your thighs as well as our determination from your follow-up appointment. You will be able to enjoy the results of this treatment within a month of the procedure. You are free to return to your normal daily activities after your recovery period, including sunbathing and normal intense exercise.

Thigh Liposuction 101

What is thigh liposuction? Simply put, this is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes the excess fat from your inner and outer thighs. As a cosmetic surgery, this procedure is usually the last step of a weight loss journey as it helps remove the fat that otherwise has not disappeared from lifestyle changes. This procedure can help bridge the gap between what you are able to accomplish on your own and what your ideal appearance goals are.

How Is This Procedure Performed?

All liposuction procedures involve the same steps. From start to finish, a liposuction procedure for the thighs resembles any other standard liposuction treatment. Here are the basic steps involved in all liposuction surgeries:

Step One: Anesthesia

Because this is a surgical procedure, we will use general anesthesia to sedate patients for the duration of the procedure. The use of general anesthesia is monitored by a certified anesthesiologist, which is why this procedure will be performed at a hospital. As an important note, the use of general anesthesia will prevent you from driving yourself home after the procedure. Please be sure to arrange for transportation home after your surgery.

Step Two: Incisions

The first formal step of this surgery is a series of small incisions, usually shorter than 1 inch, which are placed at specific areas of the thighs. We mark the incision sites with a marker to help us plan out the surgery. The incisions will be just large enough for the surgical device to be used. Incisions may be on the inner thighs, the outer thighs, or the tops of thighs near the knees.

Step Three: Liposuction

Liposuction is a common surgical procedure that removes the fat from your body with a suction device. Liposuction is a cosmetic treatment that can remove both small and significant amounts of unwanted fat from the body. For this procedure, we typically target the liposuction in areas of the thigh that have the most fat, such as the flanks of the thighs and the top-most inner thighs.

Step Four: Closing

After the liposuction portion of this procedure is completed, we will close the incisions. Incisions are closed with a variety of methods, such as sutures or surgical glue. We will also bandage the incisions for your immediate recovery time.

What Does This Procedure Treat?

This procedure treats both the inner and outer thighs. The most common area treated by this type of liposuction is the inner thigh, where fat deposits tend to accumulate quickly and are difficult to remove. However, it is also common to use this procedure on the outer thighs, particularly the back of thighs near the buttocks and the side of the thighs.

What Can You Expect Before and After Procedure?

There are a few things you can expect before and during this procedure. We want each of our patients to enjoy a safe and effective treatment, which is why we are keen to provide patients with all the information they need to prepare for treatment and recovery. Here are three main things you can expect as part of your treatment:


You will need to attend a consultation appointment which will help us determine if this treatment is right for you. At your consultation we will need to gather some information about you to inform our decision, such as your general medical history, your current medical issues, any medications or supplements you are taking, any drug allergies you may have, and any cosmetic treatments or procedures you have had in the past. We will discuss your aesthetic goals and your expectations for treatment.

Your consultation will also include an examination of your thighs and particularly the elasticity of your skin and the amount of fat on your thighs. Some patients benefit from alternative treatments if liposuction is either too extreme a treatment for a particular case or the amount of fat can be managed by non-invasive treatments.

Pre-Treatment Instructions

As this is a surgical treatment, there are certain things you need to do to prepare for surgery. Before your procedure, we will give you a list of pre-treatment instructions to follow for at least 1 week before treatment. These instructions help minimize unwanted side effects from the treatment. Some pre-treatment instructions may include:

  • Do not drink alcohol or use tobacco products
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications
  • Adjust herbal supplements
  • Do not eat spicy foods
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Sleep at least 8 hours before surgery
  • Wash with an antibacterial soap on the day of surgery

We may give you additional instructions to prepare for your treatment. For example, we sometimes prescribe a short round of antibiotics to take for 1 week before treatment. We also may give you directions on the best clothing to wear to and from surgery.

Post-Treatment Instructions

After your surgery, there will be several instructions you will need to follow for the duration of your recovery period. These instructions are intended to help make your recovery as comfortable as possible. Some post-treatment instructions may include:

  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco products
  • Do not take blood-thinning medications
  • Do not use certain herbal supplements
  • Advice on how to use cold compresses
  • Directions about prescription medications

It is common to use compression garments after a surgery such as this one. We may also prescribe additional antibiotics or provide you with instructions specific to your treatment. We also ask that patients attend a follow-up appointment during their recovery period to assess how well you are recovering from treatment.

What Causes Thigh Fat?

Something so frustrating surely has a cause, right? So what is it exactly that causes fat to accumulate so quickly on the thighs? The truth of the matter is that the amount of fat you have on your thighs is determined by a couple of factors, some of which we have very little control over. Common causes of thigh fat include:


Your overall body weight determines how much fat is on your body. We tend to store fat in ratio to how much energy our bodies require to continue operating, which is generally about 2000 calories a day for tasks such as blinking, breathing, and regular organ activity. The more you weigh, the more likely you are to have stored excess fat on your body, which accumulates as fat deposits. Common areas for fat deposits include the chin, the breasts, the stomach, the buttocks, and yes, the thighs.


As a rule of thumb, women have a tendency to store more fat in their bodies. Women are also more likely to store fat on their thighs, particularly the inner thighs. Women tend to have higher levels of fat in the body due to hormones, which sometimes encourages the metabolic processes in female bodies to be slow. Women also store extra fat during pregnancy, something which does not always easily disappear after childbirth.


More than any other factor, the amount of fat your body stores is determined by your genetics. Many people have a genetic predisposition to store excess fat on the body, which means removing this fat through diet and exercise can be especially challenging. Genetics also determine the areas of your body that are prone to gathering excess fat.

Why Should You Consider Thigh Liposuction?

There are plenty of reasons why prospective patients consider liposuction for the thighs. Some common reasons to consider this procedure include:


Liposuction for the thighs is a body contouring treatment that slims the shape of your thighs. As a slimming procedure, this treatment can help you accomplish your ideal shape when regular lifestyle changes are no longer effective. Having a slimmer shape can be a boost for your overall confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, slimming the shape of your thighs can make it easier to tone your legs with regular exercise.

Reduced Chafing

This procedure can create more space between your inner thighs, which can reduce the rubbing and skin irritation caused by chafing. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, chafing can be incredibly painful and lead to sores, welts, and other skin conditions. Reducing the amount of fat on your thighs can eliminate chafing completely.

More Clothing Choices

Many patients seek this treatment so that clothing can fit better. For many people, finding clothes that fit the lower half of the body can be a challenge. Pants can gape or be too tight, and wearing dresses or skirts in certain cuts can be impossible. When the size of the thighs is reduced, it is much easier to find clothing in the correct size with the proper fit.

What Causes Chafing?

Chafing has many causes and can occur in many areas of the body. On the thighs, chafing can be caused by excess sweat, moisture, heat, and skin rubbing too frequently. Chafing can also be caused by clothing that is too tight and sensitive skin. If chafing continues, it can cause pain and skin conditions, such as rashes, welts, and sores if untreated.

Are There Alternatives to This Procedure?

If you are not qualified for liposuction, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your body contouring goals. If liposuction is not right for you, there are several other treatments that can help reduce the amount of fat in your thighs and slim the shape of your legs. Such treatments include energy-based methods like radiofrequency and ultrasound. If you are not qualified for this treatment, we will help you explore the options that are available to you.

Is This Procedure Safe?

Liposuction has been a staple in cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for many decades and is a trusted method to reduce significant amounts of fat on the body. In fact, liposuction is safer today than it has ever been as advances in medical science have made the treatment more precise and less of a risk for the patient. Liposuction is considered a routine procedure because it is so common.

Can I Combine This Procedure?

Many patients wonder if it is possible to combine liposuction of the thighs with liposuction on other areas of the body, and in fact, combining liposuction procedures into one surgery is very common. For example, patients often combine thigh liposuction with liposuction on the stomach, buttocks, arms, and breasts.

It is also common to combine this treatment with non-surgical treatments to contour the shape of the body. While liposuction reduces the amount of unwanted fat in your body, some patients opt for other energy-based treatments that can smooth the appearance of the skin, reduce the appearance of surgical scarring, diminish the appearance of leftover cellulite, and tighten any lax skin.

Are You a Good Candidate?

Most patients who are interested in this treatment are qualified for this treatment. Qualified patients have maintained a steady weight for at least 6 months and are willing to maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Qualified patients also have an adequate amount of unwanted fat on the thighs and skin with healthy elasticity. You may be a good candidate for this procedure if you want to:

  • Slim your overall shape
  • Rejuvenate your appearance
  • Remove unwanted fat
  • Improve the fit of clothing
  • Reduce chafing

Rejuvenate Your Image With Thigh Liposuction!

We all need a helping hand sometimes. When diet and exercise fail to slim your shape, it’s time to try a new solution. If you think the way to rejuvenate your image is with thigh liposuction, contact Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, MI to schedule your consultation appointment. We value the opportunity to help you reach all of your aesthetic goals.


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