Is cellulite the bane of everyone’s existence? It sure feels like it. Those dimples and puckers in the skin have led to the creation of cellulite-reducing creams, exercises, massages, and other “hacks” that the Internet claims will work. However, these fast fixes are never truly effective, so everyone is always on the lookout for a treatment to make those lumps on their thighs, hips, buttocks, and abdomen disappear. 

Many wonder if a thigh lift is the answer. The goal of a thigh lift isn’t to get rid of cellulite, however. The objective of the surgery is to reshape the thighs by removing excess, sagging skin. The underlying muscle and tissue is tightened to create smoother and more toned thighs. 

There are three major types of the procedure, each focusing on a different area of the thighs.
  • The inner or medial thigh lift targets additional skin and fat on the upper inner thigh.
  • An outer or lateral lift excises skin and fat from the outer upper thigh area.
  • A spiral thigh lift targets all areas of the thigh: front, back, inner, and outer. 

Cellulite removal can be an additional benefit of the surgery, but it’s not guaranteed. When the excess skin and fat are removed, this can take some of the cellulite with it. The muscle tightening can also improve the appearance of existing cellulite. However, not every patient will experience these results. Typically, if a patient can lift their sagging skin and notice a change in the appearance of their cellulite, it’s likely it will be reduced or disappear after a thigh lift. If that’s not the case and the dimpling remains when you lift your skin, it’s less likely the surgery will provide these results. 

So, should you get a thigh lift to get rid of cellulite? No, you shouldn’t. For patients interested in removing skin and smoothing out their thighs, they can ask their plastic surgeon to consider cellulite removal when performing the procedure. If you’re only looking to lose cellulite, though, there are alternatives you can turn to. 

Cellfina is an FDA-approved non-invasive procedure that can improve cellulite for up to three years. The system cuts the connective bands that pull down on the skin and cause puckering. Afterward, the skin is released back to its normal, smooth shape. Another option is Cellulaze, a minimally invasive procedure utilizing lasers, instead of Cellfina’s blades, to cut the connective bands. In addition to reducing your skin dimples, this increases skin thickness, stimulates collagen production, and flattens fat. 

A third alternative growing in popularity is Sculptra. This FDA-approved injectable containing poly-L-lactic acid is typically used to decrease wrinkles around the mouth. More recently, it’s been enlisted to fill in puckered skin around the body, particularly on the thighs and buttocks. This procedure requires quick injections into each dimple, smoothing out the skin and stimulating collagen production. 

A new injectable called Qwo is set to come on the market spring 2021 with the promise of treating cellulite. Buglino Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery will update patients once we've had a chance to review it!

Each of these options is a temporary fix because, unfortunately, cellulite can never truly be eliminated. To learn more about why and how you can combat or treat cellulite in the short term, check out our blog here


Dr. Anthony Buglino has the ability to perform all these surgeries and procedures. If you’re interested in reducing excess skin and fat on your thighs, he can recommend a thigh lift. If you’re solely curious about removing your cellulite, he can discuss the three options he offers at a consultation. After talking about your goals and desires, he will develop a plan on how to effectively treat your cellulite. Schedule a free consultation today!

Topics: Body Contouring