Hip Dip Surgery

Hip dip surgery is a cosmetic procedure done to inject, remove or transfer fat, around the hip and thigh region to minimize the appearance and presence of hip dips (the indentation found in some people between the hip bone and thigh bone).

What is hip dip?

Hip dip refers to the naturally occurring inward curve between the hip bone and the femur on the sides of the human body.  These “dips” can be visible externally depending on an individual’s unique anatomy and physiology, fat distribution and amount, and muscle mass. In today’s social context hip dips can be considered cosmetically undesirable as it is contrary to the “ideal” body image presented to us by social media.

Hip anatomy includes bony prominences known as the ilium (what you can feel near your waist). The Ilium are connected to the pubis (pubic bone) and the ischium (seat bones), which all connect to make a “socket” where the thigh bone (femur) joins to make the hip joint.

Near the head of the femur bone is an outward bone protrusion known as a trochanter. Depending on the angle of the femur, the prominence of the trochanter, and fat and muscle mass, the space between this trochanter and the tops of the ilium (hip bones) is where the external appearance of a hip dip can be noted.

Hip anatomy also includes muscles of the buttocks and thighs. The muscles of the buttocks known as the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. For people wanting to increase muscle mass to “round out” their hips and minimize the dip, exercises that target the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are suggested.

What causes hip dip?

Bone structure that includes wide and/or tall hip bones and prominent femur trochanter causes more exaggerated hip dips.

According to experts, hip dips are generally caused by bone structure and have little to do with fat and muscle. However, exercises and diet that work on fat and muscle can help to decrease the presence of hip dips in some people.

Are there any health risks from having hip dip?

No, hip dips are not a medical risk but have to do with cosmetic preference.

Who is most often affected by hip dip?

In general, anyone can be affected by hip dip, as it is a naturally occurring body shape. The severity of the dip obviously varies person to person depending on the shape of the pelvis, and fat and muscle mass and distribution.

Typically, women are most affected by hip dip due to several factors.

  1. Social media pressure to have a certain body shape
  2. Women typically have a wider pelvis than men which can pronounce hip dips
  3. Women typically carry or accumulate more fat in their hips which can pronounce hip dips

Female Body

How to fix hip dips?

Hip dips is not a condition that must be fixed due to medical necessity, rather it is a cosmetic condition that people often choose to try to fix due to personal preference.

The most common and least medically invasive options to try to fix hip dips include exercises and dieting to attempt to round out the hip dips.

Hip Dip Workouts and Exercises

Workouts and exercises to increase muscle mass and improve muscle shape in the buttocks are recommended to those wanting to decrease the presence of hip dips.

Workouts and exercises done in pilates or yoga that target hips, buttocks and abdomen can be very effective in working to minimize hip dips.

Try the following exercises for 20 minutes per day 4-6 times per week, and get moving!

  1. Fire hydrants (side leg openers)- Performed in the hands and knees position. Leg is kept bent at the knee and lifted out to the side.
  2. Lunges of all types- Performed standing. Extend one leg forward. Bear weight on the extended leg and lunge forward onto the leg and then return to center position. Alternate legs.
  3. Side-lying leg raises- Lay down on your side. Lift the upper leg into the air repeatedly. Can be done with the leg straight and/or bent.
  4. Squats of all types- Performed standing. Legs are widened to shoulder width or wider. Exercise is done by bending at the knees and returning to standing.
  5. Side leg lifts (standing and laying)
  6. Glute bridges- Performed on your back, the knees are bent with the heels of the feet close to the buttocks. Raise the hips into the air and hold for a few seconds or minutes.
  7. Leg kickbacks- Performed on hands and knees, leg is kicked back and lowered. Make sure to alternate legs.

Hip Dip: Treatment Options

In addition to workouts and exercises for hip dips, there are other treatment options.

  • Fat injections
    • May require a treatment plan (most effective treatment plans involve 3-4 injections over a 6-month period)
    • Fat cells are extracted through a needle and syringe from a donor site (generally from buttocks, abdomen, or thigh) and then processed. The processed fat cells are then inserted by injection into the desired area: in this case, into the depression located between the hip bone and thigh bone known as hip dip.
  • Creams to promote fat growth
    • Volufiline is a non-hormonal, plant-based ingredient that has been known to stimulate fat cell growth when applied topically to the skin. Some people are purchasing creams with this ingredient to apply to their hip dips to promote fat cell generation in this area. This can help to assist in the rounding-out appearance of the hips.
  • Fat distribution surgeries (liposuction)
  • Implant surgeries
    • A silicone material is inserted into the depression known as the hip dip to fill out the dip, creating a more rounded, “hour glass” shape. These silicone pads or implants are made of the same material used in breast augmentations.
  • Wearing of hip pads or padded underwear
  • Wearing of other shape-control clothing

Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet with enough calories and nutrients is recommended to have a healthy distribution of fat and a healthy muscle mass.

Try to eat unprocessed foods including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats. Avoid high sugar foods and drinks such as soda, candy and alcohol.

Staying hydrated by drinking 64 ounces of water daily is very important in maintaining healthy body weight, and gaining muscle.

Try to practice a healthy, balanced diet with regular exercise. In addition work to develop healthy behaviors related to body image. Body image disorders can be harmful and even life threatening.

Body Image Disorders

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulemia
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Binge eating disorder, compulsive eating

Hip Dip Surgery

Typical surgery to help improve the appearance of hip dips is a fat distribution surgery, where a fat graft from one part of the body is transferred to the area between the trochanter and the hip bones to promote fat growth in the dip.

Other fat transfer might include removing fat from the thighs or waist (love handle region). Fat build up in the thighs and waist can exaggerate the appearance of a hip dip.

Cost: Hip Dip Surgery

Of course the cost for this type of surgery will depend on insurance coverage and the specific type of surgery that will be done. However, an estimate for a fat transfer surgery is between $4,000-5,000. For implant surgeries or more extensive work, the cost can be up to $8,000.

Kelly Frey Martin
Kelly Frey Martin

Kelly is a labor and delivery nurse from Goshen, Indiana. She is now using her talents in Colombia, South America where she and her husband work with youth to develop life and leadership skills.