How to Unpack Your Saddlebags

Conveniently located to serve Pensacola, FL.

Front desk photo of Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery office

As much as we do not like the term saddlebags, we often hear patients use it to describe their outer thighs. When looking from the front into the mirror, saddlebags are the bulges just below the hips at the outer thighs. They can also extend around the back in a roll just below the buttock crease. Fat deposits on the outer thighs are one of the most challenging areas to lose using traditional weight loss and exercise methods. Thanks to modern technology, we have options to help you get rid of them for good.

The best method to remove stubborn pockets of fat is liposuction. Liposuction is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed in the United States and the outer thighs is one of the most often treated areas on the body.

How Is Outer Thigh Lipo Performed?
The first step is to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for liposuction. Liposuction IS NOT a weight loss treatment. Instead, it is a way to remove stubborn fat deposits and sculpt more aesthetically pleasing curves and contours.

Once the surgeon has determined excess fat areas to be treated, they will inject the areas with a tumescent anesthetic solution. The use of tumescent solution is one of the most significant advances in liposuction. It reduces bleeding, bruising, discomfort, and pain and contributes to more rapid recovery. Tumescent solution is used in conjunction with general anesthesia if the patient is having a large, or multiple areas of liposuction done, or with oral and local sedation if the patient is having a smaller or a single area treated in the office.

After the anesthesia is in effect, tiny incisions about ¼ inch in length are carefully placed to be as inconspicuous as possible after healing. The fat is then removed with thin tubes called cannulas that are connected to a suction device. Cannulas come in various shapes and sizes depending on the amount and location of the fat. They have blunt tips to prevent cutting and bleeding and smoothly glide past and protect the blood vessels and nerves during the liposuction procedure. The surgeon suctions out the unwanted fat leaving a smooth and natural contour. Following the procedure, there should be no dents or bulges. No drains are needed. A compression garment is worn for several weeks to aid in healing.

Recovery After Liposuction
You can expect a beautiful, balanced and proportioned contour that can be seen immediately, which will get better as everything heals. Patients will continue to see improvement over the next three to six months. After a fat removal procedure like this, future weight gain will be less in the treated areas. However, maintaining a stable weight and regular exercise is the key to long-term results.

If you look in the mirror and see bothersome bulges on your outer thighs, schedule a personal consultation with one of our award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeons at Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery, Drs. Peter Butler, Jocelyn Leveque, and Nathan Patterson.

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