The term saddle bags is not a medical or anatomic term. It is used as jargon to describe the lateral thigh area below the waist at the level of the buttock. It is so named because it is believed to resemble the saddle bags used in association with a device to carry excess possessions. The reason more women than men have saddlebags or this accumulation of fat in the lateral thigh area is genetic. Also being overweight, sedentary or not very active can also in addition to the genetics contribute to the excess accumulation of fat in this lateral thigh area.
I’m not clear on any exercises to address this area. Therefore, in my opinion the best way to reduce saddle bags significantly it is with suction fat removal or liposuction. This can be done under local with sedation for small amounts. I prefer to do this under general anesthesia so that I can get the best result.
Aesthetically women have fullness in this lateral thigh area normally therefore we do not want to make this area flat. We need to take into consideration the female aesthetic when performing this operation. If the amount of fat to be removed is small to moderate one small quarter inch incision should be adequate to remove the excess fat.
If the fat is abundant, it’s possible that two small incisions may be required. Compression garment is recommended to be worn for at least two months post procedure. Bleeding, bruising, swelling is to be expected. On rare occasion the area has been so abundant that it must be excised with the direct approach which I have done on several occasions. This however will require a longer incision site.
So lateral thigh saddlebags can be surgically reduced at the wishes of the patient keeping in mind that some ethnicities like these large lateral thighs. The good operation for the right reason on the right patient.