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How to Get Rid of Love Handles

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Love handles can be the most stubborn – and annoying – fat on your body. Even thin people often have a little side fat, no matter how much they exercise. And love handles aren’t just a problem for ladies – plenty of guys want to ditch their side fat too.

Here’s something we hear a lot: “I’m working hard at the gym and watching what I eat, but I need a little help with some challenging spots.” And more often than not, love handles are problem area number one.

Love handles can be the most stubborn – and annoying – fat on your body. Even thin people often have a little side fat, no matter how much they exercise. And love handles aren’t just a problem for ladies – plenty of guys want to ditch their side fat too.

What Are Love Handles And How Can I Make Them Go Away?

Love handles, also called “flanks” in the plastic surgery community, are fat pockets that build up on the sides of the body near the hips, below the ribs. What makes love handles so troublesome is that diet and exercise often aren’t enough to make love handles disappear.

The good news is that love handles are one of the easiest areas for your plastic surgeon to deal with. Targeting love handles with surgical or non-surgical intervention allows you to make a dramatic change by treating a small area.

For women, treating love handles is a great way to perfect the shape of their hips with a quick and easy procedure. For men, targeting love handles is a popular option as it gives them a more toned torso. Let’s look at several excellent surgical and non-surgical options for getting rid of the fat cells that create those pesky love handles.

Women belly with drawing arrows


According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures. In addition, love handles are one of the most frequently targeted spots and are the most common liposuction area for men.

Because fat is concentrated in a small area, love handles are the ideal spot for safe, minimally invasive liposuction. Your doctor uses a thin metal tube called a cannula that sucks fat cells right out of the body. Liposuction for smaller areas is often done with a local anesthetic. The upside of liposuction is the patient sees immediate results, although it does have a longer recovery time than some less invasive procedures. Side effects include swelling and bruising, and patients usually get back to work after three to seven days.

Pro-Lipo Laser Treatment

Pro-Lipo is a great option for treating unwanted fat in small areas with a less invasive procedure–and a faster recovery time–than liposuction. It’s ideal for men and women who are at an average weight but need a little extra help dealing with hard to reach areas. Pro-Lipo works best for healthy patients who want to get rid of up to 10 pounds of hard to lose fat–including love handles at the hips or saddle bags at the thighs.

Pro-Lipo uses a preliminary laser treatment to break up fat before liposuction. The liquefied fat is easier to remove using suction through a small metal tube. This method allows your doctor to work his magic using smaller incisions and a local anesthetic, reducing discomfort during the procedure, and swelling following the procedure. Because the incisions are so small, it’s unlikely you will have scarring as a result of Pro-Lipo. The laser treatment also stimulates the skin, building up collagen to increase firmness.

Non-Invasive Treatment with SculpSure

One of the hottest trends in non-invasive body sculpting just hit the market, and clients are raving!

SculpSure is a newer treatment approved by the FDA. And guess what? There’s no surgery involved. Best of all it’s specifically designed to target annoying hard-to-lose pooches and love handles. SculpSure uses a technique called non-invasive lipolysis to target fat cells. The laser wavelength kills fat cells by melting them, then your body’s lymphatic system gets rid of them for good.

The SculpSure treatment doesn’t involve surgery or suction–it’s simply a flat laser applicator that heats up and destroys fat cells (up to 24 percent according to manufacturer trials). The device has a chill function to keep skin temperature comfortable during the procedure.

Treatment time is around 25 minutes per session, and while clients see a noticeable difference after the first treatment, a few treatments are required for the full effect.

One of the best things about SculpSure is that it has virtually no side effects. Some patients report a little discomfort during the procedure, including mild stinging and cramping sensations. But most don’t experience any bruising and only minimal swelling. Clients can get back to work directly after the procedure.

It’s important to note that SculpSure is not designed for weight loss but instead is a sculpting technique that targets small, hard to reach areas. SculpSure is best for patients who are in good shape and at a healthy weight.

CoolSculpting: A Solution for Love Handles

Another standout method in non-surgical fat reduction is CoolSculpting. This innovative technique employs controlled cooling to target and crystallize fat cells. After treatment, the body naturally processes the fat and eliminates the dead cells, ensuring a more sculpted physique.

CoolSculpting is especially effective in addressing love handles due to its ability to target localized fat with a 20 to 25 percent reduction in fat cells. With no surgery or downtime, patients can expect a more contoured silhouette after a few sessions. This non-invasive treatment offers a seamless experience, with patients often reading, working on their laptops, or even taking a nap during their sessions.

CoolSculpting is not designed for weight loss but instead is a sculpting technique that targets small, resistant areas. It is best for patients who are in good shape and at a healthy weight.

Liposuction Or CoolSculpting For Love Handles?

Liposuction involves the removal of fat from the body through suction. During liposuction, small, thin tubes called cannulas are inserted through tiny incisions in the skin. These tubes move under the skin to target fat deposits, breaking them up and suctioning them out. This procedure is more invasive and typically requires a period of recovery. Liposuction offers immediate and significant results in fat reduction and body contouring. It is ideal for those looking for a more dramatic change and who are in good health.

On the other hand, CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved procedure that uses controlled cooling to freeze and eliminate fat cells. This method is non-invasive, involving no cuts, anesthesia, or instruments entering the body. During the treatment, a device is placed on the skin, which cools the fat cells to the point of destruction. Over time, the body naturally processes and eliminates these dead cells. The results from CoolSculpting appear gradually over weeks or months. This method is suitable for those who prefer a non-surgical approach, have small to moderate fat deposits, and are looking for subtle changes without downtime.

Both treatments have their pros and cons, and the choice depends on individual goals, health, and preferences. Consulting with Dr. Chang and his expert team can help in making an informed decision.

Getting Rid Of Love Handles Is Easier Than Ever!

It’s frustrating when you’re doing everything right with diet and exercise, but keep fighting an ongoing battle in a few tough spots. So let’s get this straight: a little outside help isn’t cheating. In fact, many clients (both men and women) look at targeted procedures for love handles as a reward for positive lifestyle changes and hard work at the gym. With more options available, including both minimally invasive surgical procedures and non-surgical contouring, hitting those problem areas is easier than ever.  

Meet us at 19500 Sandridge Way, Suite 350, Leesburg, VA 20176, or call us at (703) 574-4342 for a complimentary consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Phillip Chang before moving forward with your procedure. If everything matches up, our team will help you navigate the entire process from beginning to end. Also, remember to check out our blog and social media for more information on cosmetic surgery trends!

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