How to Reduce Saddlebags on the Thighs

The term “saddlebags” refers to the extra fat that accumulates around the lateral thigh or outer thigh areas. Many people have trouble with this area, and it can often times be caused by a person’s genetics.

Both Smartlipo and SculpSure are body contouring procedures that effectively treat the “saddlebag” areas on the thighs.

Smartlipo for Reducing Saddlebags

Procedure Overview

Smartlipo is a minimally-invasive, highly effective laser liposuction procedure to reduce saddlebags on the thighs. Smartlipo is done under local anesthesia and is also highly effective for other areas of the body, such as love handles and the abdominal area.

Smartlipo works by gently melting fat tissue (adipose) before it is suctioned out from the body. The use of tiny instruments prevents excessive tissue trauma, and the heating and melting of fat prior to removal helps tighten the skin1, unlike other liposuction techniques.


Smartlipo has very minimal downtime and minimal discomfort post-procedure. In fact, 94% of WIFH patients don’t choose to take an oral sedative, allowing them to drive themselves home after their procedure. Most patients are able to return to work and exercise the very next day.

Patients should expect some tenderness and swelling that will dissipate over 2-3 weeks. Patients will need to wear a compression garment for about 3 weeks post-procedure. Most patients do not bruise as a result of Smartlipo, but it is a possibility. If bruising does occur, it resolves very quickly.

SculpSure for Reducing Saddlebags

Procedure Overview

SculpSure is the very first FDA approved2 warm laser treatment for fat reduction that is completely non-invasive and non-surgical. SculpSure is a hyperthermic device that uses heat to destroy fat cells in unwanted areas like saddlebags.

The laser energy heats and destroys the fat cells under the skin, resulting in with up to a 24% reduction in fat in the treated area with each treatment3. A contact cooling system keeps the skin cool while the heat is being delivered to the fat and surrounding tissue.


Following the SculpSure treatment, patients will feel some mild tenderness when pressing on the area, but patients will be able to continue with normal activities. It is recommended to have at least two treatments to achieve best results.

SculpSure is a non-invasive procedure it relies on the body’s natural process of eliminating the disrupted fat cells. Because of this, results vary from patient-to-patient and are much less predictable than a surgical body contouring procedure.

Which Procedure is Best for You?

SculpSure differs from Smartlipo in that one is non-invasive and one is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Both are very effective for fat reduction, but the patient’s decision could come down to a few key considerations such as:

  • how much reduction the patient is wanting
  • the patient’s lifestyle and ability to have downtime from normal activities
  • if the patient is able to wear a compression garment post-procedure
  • budgetary considerations for treatment

WIFH provides complimentary consultations for patients who are interested in body contouring procedures. For more information, please feel free to contact us.

1. DiBernardo, B., Reyes, J., (2009). Preliminary Report: Evaluation of Skin Tightening After Laser-Assisted Liposuction. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 29, Issue 5, September 2009, Pages 400–407,
2. Stevenson, Jennifer. “Re: K17111.” Department of Health & Human Services, Food and Drug Administration. 13 June 2017. Letter.
3. Decorato, J. W., Chen, B., & Sierra, R. (2017). Subcutaneous adipose tissue response to a non-invasive hyperthermic treatment using a 1060 nm laser. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 49(5), 480-489.

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