Can You Get Rid of Saddlebags?
2020 has officially landed, and many of us are evaluating the changes we’d like to see in the year to come. While self-care and budget management are often mentioned, health and fitness goals still top most people’s new year’s resolutions lists—and we’ve already been hearing from patients asking how they can tune up their figures.
Perhaps one of the biggest requests we hear is related to saddlebags, an area of excess fat around the hips and outer upper thigh that can throw off your silhouette. Most common in women, saddlebags are actually a bit of an optical illusion—while they may look like a simple bulge of the thigh, they are often the result of an underdeveloped glute-hamstring tie-in. While toning and strengthening the glutes can help prevent saddlebags, once this fat accumulates, it can be tricky to get rid of it on your own. That’s why even thin patients may have a lumpy appearance in the upper outer thigh area.
So, can you get rid of saddlebags even when hitting the gym hasn’t worked? Yes! Saddlebags are one of the most common areas patients improve via cosmetic surgery and non-surgical treatments—and there have been a few impressive technological advances that make getting rid of saddlebags easier than ever, allowing us to slim the area with less downtime and quicker, more satisfying results when compared with traditional plastic surgery methods.
How do you get rid of saddlebags?
Here at Berks Plastic Surgery, there are two technologies we typically use for reducing saddlebags, depending on the severity of the concerns and whether or not a patient is a good candidate for surgery.
Surgical reduction of saddlebags
For larger saddlebags, we often recommend Smartlipo TriPlex. Laser-assisted liposuction like Smartlipo is light years ahead of traditional liposuction when it comes to treating saddlebags. By combining the power of targeted laser energy with liposuction, we are able to rupture fat cells so they can be more easily removed with less trauma to the body.
Here are a few things our patients love about Smartlipo Triplex for saddlebags:
- The laser energy doesn’t just kill fat cells—it also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the treatment area, which causes the skin to contract and tighten. This is especially important for treating saddlebags. In comparison, old-fashioned liposuction simply sucked out the fat, leaving skin to contract as best as it could. (People with good skin elasticity could get nice results, but others could be left with flaccid skin.)
- Recovery is quicker with laser-assisted liposuction. The laser delivers energy directly to the fat cells, causing them to rupture and drain away as liquid. This makes the fat easier to remove, and your body will have less post-procedure healing to do.
- You’ll experience less bruising and swelling than traditional liposuction, which means you’ll see your results taking shape sooner.
Non-surgical saddlebag treatment
For people with less fat on the upper outer thigh or those who aren’t interested in scheduling surgery, CoolSculpting non-surgical fat reduction can be a fantastic option. With its growing popularity, many of you will have heard of CoolSculpting, but here’s a quick refresher:
- CoolSculpting uses cryolipolysis (fat freezing) to precisely target and cool fat cells, causing them to die and be naturally metabolized by the body.
- The CoolSculpting device cools to the exact temperature to target fat cells without harming surrounding tissues. (Lesser versions of this technology are risky and can leave you with poor results.)
- Treatment typically takes around 30 minutes, and we can treat both sides of the body at once with our two machines.
- While the cold can feel a bit shocking at first, patients report they go numb within just a few minutes and can handle the treatment comfortably.
- Results gradually appear over the course of two to three months.
- While CoolSculpting will likely require a few treatments to get dramatic results, our patients love the gradual slimming of the saddlebag area.
- After your CoolSculpting treatment, you may experience a small amount of soreness, but you should be able to resume all of your normal activities the day after treatment.
CoolSculpting vs. liposuction for saddlebags: which is right for me?
While both CoolSculpting and Smartlipo can be great options for reducing saddlebags, what works for one person may not work for you—and there are a few things to consider:
- Laser-assisted liposuction will deliver quicker, more precise results and are best for those hoping to enjoy a new shape before a specific time such as spring break or a wedding.
- CoolSculpting is great for those who prefer to gradually slim down over a number of months. Just know that getting the results you want could take up to a year, depending on how many sessions are needed.
- CoolSculpting treatment costs can match or exceed that of cosmetic surgery once a patient has 3-4 treatments to get their desired results. Because of this, it’s important not to choose CoolSculpting simply because you think it is a cost-effective option compared to surgery.
Ultimately, this decision should be made between you and your plastic surgeon during a consultation. Want to find out which option is the perfect solution for you? We’d love to help! Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.