Will exercise help cellulite and saddle bags or is surgery my only option?

I am 5'7" 140. I have mild saddlebags and some cellulite that I would like to improve- will exercise and diet decrease this/ improve it? Or is surgery the only option once cellulite and saddlebags form?

Doctor Answers 9

Cellulite removal

Your cellulite problem is a common one. Fortunately, finally there are effective ways to minimize this problem. Perhaps the least invasive one is  Cellfina™. Cellfina is the only FDA-cleared minimally invasive, one-time procedure clinically proven to improve the appearance of cellulite for at least two years—the longest FDA-cleared duration for a cellulite treatment. A straightforward solution to cellulite, Cellfina™, combines a proven approach with innovative, proprietary technology, to produce precise, long-lasting results and has a high satisfaction rating on RealSelf. Together with Velashape 3, a non invasive procedure to help "shrink wrap the skin" and further minimize cellulite as a combination treatment is perhaps your best chance for taking care of this tough problem. Cellulaze is also a possible treatment but much more invasive

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Best Options?

Thank you for your question.

While exercise may reduce the appearance of some cellulite in overweight people, true cellulite will need to be treated clinically.

For treating #cellulite, my office typically recommends one of three treatment plans: #Cellfina, #VelaShape III, #ThremiSmooth.

#Cellfina is the newest technology and probably most effective. It is a minimally invasive one-time procedure under local anesthetic that removes the fibrous bands under the skin that cause fat to bulge through creating the appearance of cellulite. The results are fairly #permanent.

#VelaShape and #ThermiSmooth are #non-invasive #bodyshaping products that can help reduce the appearance of your cellulite over the course of multiple sessions.

Book an in-person consultation with a #BoardCertified #PlasticSurgeon to determine which treatment plan is right for you.

Best of luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Cellulite and saddle bags

Cellulite and saddle bags are probably best treated with a combination of Cellfina and liposuction. Cellfina has been shown to have patient satisfaction rates over 90% three years following treatment.

Paul M. Parker, MD, FACS
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Cellfina / Cellulite Reduction/ Liposuction/ Skin Tightening / BBL/ High Definition Procedures

Cellfina is an FDA approved minimally invasive procedure that reduces the appearance of cellulite for at least two years on the buttocks and back of the thighs of women.
It works by releasing the internal bands that cause the cellulite dimpling and so we have not seen any fat atrophy. You should not see much of a difference with weight gain or loss but this also has not been studied.
Other areas of the body with dimpling, it is important to make sure it is truly cellulite before treatment.

It is common to have swelling bruising and firmness after the procedure. This can last for a few weeks.
Cellfina has shown 100% noticeable improvement and 96% satisfaction in all patients at 2 years.
Cellfina is designed to be a one time procedure.  It can be used on women with all skin types but caution should be taken if theres a history of keloiding.  It can also be combined with other treatments such as Thermi or Ulthera if skin tightening is needed.

We have done Sculpsure and Coolsculpting if fat reduction is wanted, but its best to wait 3 months to see the results before proceeding.

It can also be done at the same time as other procedures such as liposuction and BBL or as a stand alone procedure in the office.

Since Cellfina outcomes can be based on technique and experience, please see a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes body contouring to see if Cellfina or other treatments are available to meet your goals.

Take care,

Dr. Schwartz
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Cellulite help

Generally exercise will leave you more tones, but it will not get rid of cellulite. I suggest looking into Celfina technology which employs subcision to treat cellulite with excellent results. Look at our website for more information. Good luck!

Exercise and Surgery

Through regular exercise and healthy eating, you can almost always improve your appearance. However in instances such as saddlebags and cellulite, the root of the problem can often be genetic and the problem areas will still exist despite your best efforts. Leading a healthy lifestyle along with a combination of treatments may help with these areas of concern. Be sure to visit a board-certified surgeon and ask about your options and to see if you are a good candidate for CoolSculpting and/or Cellfina.

Jay Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Weight loss

Weight loss and exercise should be first part of plan. For resistant areas thermi rf radiofrequency can safely target localized areas by both reducing fat and tightening skin. This is done under local anesthetic and has a very high approval rate.

Morris Westfried, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews


Thank you for your question.  Ideally, photos would be helpful to assess your current situation.  Saddlebags are caused by a genetic predisposition to fat deposits in this area, weight gain and skin laxity.  Cellulite is a genetic predisposition to skin dimpling which is independent of weight gain.  It can be seen in normal weight individuals.  Diet and exercise will definately improve your health and appearance and should be the cornerstone of your self improvement plan.  It probably will not completely eliminate genetic saddlebags, loose skin or cellulite.  The treatment recommendations all depend on how severe the problem is and can range from non invasive, minimally invasive or surgical options.  Consider a consultation to discuss your options. Best wishes.

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Cellulite treatment

Saddlebags can be improved with CoolSculpting which is non-invasive technology the freezes the fat.  The Cellulite can be treated with Celfina which is minimally invasive.  It releases the bands forming the dimples that give Cellulite its appearance.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.