‘Thighlighting’: The Next Big Thing in Plastic Surgery?

Many people get inspiration for their plastic surgery procedures from their favorite celebrities – to get lips like Kylie Jenner, a butt like Jennifer Lopez and even cheekbones like Ivanka Trump. Now women in Hollywood are turning to their plastic surgeons for procedures to give their thighs and legs the shape and curves of stars like Gigi Hadid and Taylor Swift.

The newest trend in plastic surgery is a mix of procedures known as “thighlighting.”


Leg Lifts No More

The thighlighting combination includes liposuction, inner and outer thigh contouring, thigh lifts and calf implants.

“Thigh and other leg procedures are popular because women want to look good in shorts, skirts and swimwear. Women in Hollywood are no different,” said Dr. Jack Peterson, M.D.

Peterson is a Topeka, Kansas, plastic surgeon who performs thigh lift procedures and thigh contouring as standalone surgeries or in combination with a buttock lift.

“Thigh procedures are attractive to those individuals who have reached their weight-loss goals and have stubborn fat that will not budge despite exercise,” Peterson said. “Some patients who choose to have these procedures have a large amount of loose skin after losing weight.”

According to Plastic Surgery Statistics, the annual report of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 9,929 thigh-lift procedures were performed in 2016, an 8 percent increase over 2015.

Tone Thighs With Contouring

Thigh-contouring treatments are increasing in popularity because they make the inner thigh look leaner and lend to an overall more proportioned and slimmer appearance.

“For many women, the adipose fat tissue accumulates on the outside of the thighs and can cause the development of saddlebags,” Peterson said.

During the thigh-contouring procedure, Peterson uses liposuction to remove unwanted fat from both the inner and outer thigh area.

Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that removes unwanted fat through suction.

“Liposuction is an excellent way to contour the thighs and give them a new shape,” Peterson said. “Liposuction also induces the body to amplify collagen production, which provides skin-tightening benefits and a more shapely physique.”

The recovery from liposuction takes on average six to eight weeks. After the procedure, patients will experience swelling and bruising and are required to wear compression garments for several weeks to push out excess fluid and reduce swelling.

More Than Just the Thighs

The thighs are not the only body area that can see results from liposuction; the abdomen, upper arms and buttocks can also benefit from resculpting. And surprisingly, the armpits are also becoming a popular area for liposuction. Earlier this year, model and actress Chrissy Teigen admitted having liposuction on her armpits.

“The liposuction procedure is an excellent option for most body areas that have unwanted fat tissue,” Peterson said. “In many cases, the fat tissue in these areas is thick and fibrous. The tough nature of this fat makes it very difficult to get rid of on your own.”

Peterson even uses liposuction to treat men with gynecomastia, or enlarged male breast tissue.

Gynecomastia is a condition that affects 65 percent of middle-aged and older men in the U.S. Causes of gynecomastia include age, changes in hormones and the use of drugs like marijuana.

“The fat that develops in the chest because of gynecomastia is extremely stubborn and does not typically respond to diet and exercise. Liposuction can do the work that lifting weights cannot when it comes to removing unwanted breast tissue,” Peterson said.



Hollywood Reporter. Everything You Need to Know About “Thighlighting,” Hollywood’s Newest Plastic Surgery Trend. 15 November 2017.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Plastic Surgery Statistics 2016.

Up To Date. Patient education: Gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men) (Beyond the Basics). 10 February 2017.