Does Lipo of the Outer Thighs (Saddlebags) Make Your Butt Look Smaller?

I am considering lipo on my inner and outer thighs and was wondering of this will make my butt look smaller? I have heard bad things about buttock lipo, that it can make your butt droop. This is something I want to avoid but hope the outer thigh lipo will help.

Doctor Answers 10

Liposuction of the outer thighs may make the buttock proportions appear smaller, and better shaped!

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It is possible with liposuction of the outer thighs to may make the buttock proportions appear smaller, and better shaped. There are three dimensions to the buttock region: height, width, and projection. Often times, the width of the buttock can be reduced with sensible removal of fat from the posterior aspect of the outer thigh region. Projection or thickness of the buttock region would not be improved.

You are absolutely correct to note that over aggressive removal of fat beneath the gluteal crease will cause the buttock to droop, creating an elongated or lengthened butt. Fat extraction in this region of the ‘banana role’ region must be superficially removed. A thorough physical examination is essential to determine if you are a suitable candidate. I think that it is extremely important to see an expert plastic surgeon experienced in body contouring.

I hope this helps!

Englewood Plastic Surgeon


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To nomoresaddles,

Hi! In fact, liposuction of the thighs can make the buttocks look MORE prominent, because they are not surrounded by so much fat, and so they stand out more.

For most women who are having liposuction of the outer thighs, I also recommend liposuction of the love handles, even if they are not big. Here's the reason.

Many women are shaped like a violin, and if you only do lipo of the outer thighs, you are only removing the lower bulge of the violin. The love handles are the upper bulge of the violin. If you leave the love handles alone after you have corrected the outer thighs, it makes you look square from behind.

I've learned that even if the love handles don't bother you now, they will bother you later. And correcting them also makes the buttocks look better.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Outer thigh liposuction may be helpful

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Let me try to clarify some things. I agree that liposuction of the buttock itself will often not look good. When viewed from the side, I do not think liposuction of the outer thighs will improve buttock shape. When over done, I think outer thigh liposuction can detract from buttock appearance.

However, when considering the overall appearance of the buttocks from the back, particularly wearing something like jeans, I advise women that outer thigh bulk tends to make the buttock adjacent to it look larger. In addition, as another surgeon mentioned, fullness above the buttocks, along the flanks and iliac areas also gives a larger appearance of the buttocks. The pants make fullness above and below the buttock look like one larger combination. Reducing both by liposuction emphasizes the buttock proper, but reduces peripheral fullness. Many of my patients really like the results.

Talk to your surgeon about what you want to see. Hope you get the result you are looking for.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Thigh Liposuction will not decrease buttock projection

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Inner and outer thigh lipo will remove a localized fat deposit from these areas. It will not decrease the projection of the buttock, which most people are concerned about. If the projection is an issue, the fat removed during lipo could be used to augment the projection of the buttock. Buttock liposuction by itself has to done carefuly to avoid dents. Hope that helps!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Liposuction in the Buttock Region

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                  The aesthetics of the buttock region are not only affected by anatomy, but cultural variations as well.  The aesthetics of this area are affected by a complex interaction between the buttocks and surrounding anatomic areas.  The hips, lateral thighs, upper leg and lower back can all impact the appearance of the buttock.  For the buttock to be attractive, harmony, balance and proportion with the surrounding anatomic structures is critical.

This is a complex interaction.  When large saddle bags merge with the buttock region, liposuction might make the buttock appear smaller.  In contrast when the buttock and saddlebags are distinct anatomic units, liposuction of the saddle bags might create a disproportion which makes the buttocks look larger than they really are.  It’s therefore difficult to answer this question without pictures or a physical examination.

                  If you’re considering liposuction and are concerned about these issues consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate.  By performing a physical examination this surgeon should be able to indicate how liposuction will affect the surrounding anatomic areas.  

Buttock lipo

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Buttock lipo is perfromed should be done very conservatively because the butt may drop like an old persons.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Thigh Liposuction will not cause buttock drooping on the right patient

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Depending on age, skin type, weight, and other variables, buttock Liposuction can cause drooping. In the right patient, liposculpture of the saddle bags, flanks, and back can bring about a more pleasing overall balance and aesthetic results.

Barry H. Dolich, MD (Retired)
Bronx Plastic Surgeon

No, lipo on your saddlebags will not make your butt look smaller

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Removing fat from the thighs will not make your buttocks look smaller. Furthermore, we see many patients who have had this done and look worse with sagging buttock skin and/or dents in the skin.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Saddlebag liposuction

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Thank you for your question.  While it is difficult to judge your situation without benefit of a photo, liposuction to the buttocks can indeed result in an unfavorable contour.  With that in mind, treating the "saddlebags", the area of the outer thigh just below the buttock, can be quite effective if done correctly.  I would recommend choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in liposculpture of this delicate area.

It can make the buttocks look smaller

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Liposuction results depend upon your shape and how firm the skin over the area to be treated is. Loose skin over an area to be treated with lipo can limit how nice the improvement may be. Lipo of the saddlebags can make the rear look more shapely, but it depends.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

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.