How Can I Get Rid of Saddlebags? (photo)

I'm 5'7" and about 120 pounds, and have a body fat percentage that ranges from 18-19%. I eat very healthy and try to work out. It seems though that no matter what I do, I cannot get rid of these little saddlebags, and it drives me nuts. I was in a dressing room today and could really see it because I was wearing skinny jeans and had a perfect view of my behind. That's when it really hit me how much I hate my butt!! Given my body size, am I still a good candidate for lipo to get rid of this?

Doctor Answers 23

How to get rid of saddlebags?

Dear Liz,

Thank you for your question and photograph.  Based on the information that you have given us I think that you would be the perfect candidate for liposuction.  Your BMI is 18.8 which puts you in the "normal" range so you are fine as far as nutrition and exercise are concerned and as you have discovered no amount of exercise will reduce these "little saddlebags".  This is one of the most effectively treated areas for liposuction and I would expect that you would have an excellent result. 

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

How Can I Get Rid of Saddlebags

I think with the information you have given, that liposuction would be a good option for correcting your localized fat deposits.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Liposuction for saddle bags

Yes, liposuction is ideally suited for healthy, fit individuals who have problems areas such as lateral thigh fat, aka saddle bags.  Provided you have healthy skin with excellent capacity to "snap back" you may be a very good candidate for liposuction. See a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for an evaluation. Best of luck.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Question of Liposuction or Thigh Lift

Liposuction is usually the best way to decrease the lateral though fat or "saddlebags".  If the skin is also loose, then you may need the lateral thigh lift also.

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Candidates for liposuction


Patients that are at their ideal body weight, but have isolated areas of fat, are the best candidates for liposuction!  Liposuction is not a surgery for weight reduction, it is a body contouring procedure. Best results are achieved by patients who are close to their ideal body weight but have exercise/diet-resistant areas such as yourself.


George John Alexander, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Options for Saddlebags

Although there’s no substitute for good diet and exercise, sometimes there’s only so much we can do to reverse nature’s cruelties. That’s where science comes in. No, reshaping your body isn’t as easy as going to the beauty parlor. Surgery is never 100% risk free and the healing process requires patience and determination.  

Liposuction works best on patients who are of relatively average weight, but who need help with a problem area, or with shedding the ten pounds they regain between diets. If you have good skin quality and minimal sagging, you make an ideal candidate for liposuction.  

Liposuction modifies volume by sucking out fat, and liposuction candidates need good skin tone. The procedure takes about an hour, the recovery takes just a couple of days, and there's virtually no scarring. I use several innovative forms of liposuction, including SmartLipo, in order to contour and resculpture the area while providing the most beautiful results with minimal scarring. SmartLipo, used in combination with other forms of liposuction or alone, is a procedure that uses laser light to liquefy fat and tighten the surrounding skin. Liposuction as an outpatient procedure under I.V. sedation can easily reduce the saddlebags some people have. Because liposuction stimulates the skin to tighten, good elasticity provides a smooth contour after fat is removed.  

We also now offer patients a new way to reduce inches without surgery, which may be a good option for you.  ZERONA® has been FDA cleared to reduce inches with no pain, no surgery and no downtime. Patients are losing between 3.6 to 5.5 inches and many are seeing even greater results when combined with a sensible diet and exercise program. It's the perfect way to lose stubborn body fat from: neck, love handles, arms, hips, back/bra‐line, thighs, tummy/waistline and knees in this fast paced world we live in. After just six 40 minute treatments you will see inches melt away. Best of all, there is no recovery or downtime so you can resume all your normal activities immediately after each treatment. 


Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Saddle bags

Often saddle bags can be treated by liposuction alone. If you have loose skin you m ay be better off with some kind of surgical excision. An exam would be essential.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Liposuction and saddlebags

Liposuction is the way to go. If indicated, I would also consider treating the lovehandles/flanks as well as the saddlebags since these two areas define the buttocks as a cosmetic unit from below as well as above.

Richard D. Nadal, MD
Key Biscayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Liposuction and the treatment of saddlebags

From your photos it is difficult to say whether or not you would benefit from liposuction of the saddlebag area.  However, you appear to be in good shape and are not over weight and if you have isolated pockets of fat in the saddlebag area you may benefit from a small liposuction in this area.  Check with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who regularly, performs liposuction.  Best wishes. 

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Saddlebag treatment

Lipo is the best way to go! It's most optimal for otherwise fit patients who have localized fatty areas. You would need to be examined by a plastic surgeon to assure your tissues will respond well to liposuction.

Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

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.