The unflattering terms “saddlebags” and “riding breeches” refer to hips, upper outer thighs and buttocks that are disproportionately large relative to the rest of the body. In some instances a roll of fat forms at the junction between the upper thigh and buttock known as a “banana roll”. Saddlebags and banana rolls impart an image of maturity and inactivity, whereas slender thighs and smaller hips suggest youth and vitality.
Many women are experience frustration when large thighs and/or saddlebags force you to buy clothing with different sized tops and bottoms. This is sometimes referred to as the two-body syndrome.
As men and women pursue more idealized body proportions, they usually find that they cannot rid themselves of their saddlebags with diet and exercise alone. The reason for this is that the shape and size of our hips is largely determined by our genetic makeup.
It is therefore no surprise that saddlebag liposuction is the most requested type of liposuction, with liposuction being the most commonly performed surgery in the U.S. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), nearly half a million people had liposuction in 2005.
The saddlebag liposuction procedure allows cosmetic surgeons to remove fat deposits from the hip area with minimal, non-permanent scarring. A few incisions are made through which a cannula is inserted. A cannula is a small hollow tube used to remove fat through suction as it tunnels through the fat tissue beneath the skin.
Extra care is taken when the procedure extends to the anterior (or front) or the medial thigh because the skin in these areas is thinner and the fatty layer under the skin is less pronounced. In these areas it is usually preferable to perform what is known as circumferential liposuction in two stages at least a month apart. Dividing the procedure into two surgeries on different days allows for better drainage of localized fluids and a faster recovery time.
Treating the banana roll must also be done conservatively because removal of too much fat in this area can create a second crease beneath the buttock. This crease can also be avoided by treating this area in two stages, in which only about half of the targeted fat is removed during the first stage. A few months later, after the results are evaluated, the second stage is performed.
During the recovery period, you may have to wear at first two compression garments and then only one for a few weeks. Most patients do not find that these garments are any more intrusive than wearing pantyhose. Most are able to return to work within a week after the procedure.
If you would like to rid yourself of your saddlebags, talk to an experienced cosmetic surgeon today.