Whether you call it your “muffin top,” “love handles,” or “flanks,” the fat on the sides and back of your hips is often easy to accumulate and difficult to get rid of. Both men and women struggle with this problem area, and both can benefit from the advanced fat removal treatments we offer at our offices in New Jersey.
- What is the best way to get rid of love handles fast? Liposuction is the quickest way to remove all of the excess fat from your hips and lower back. Laser lipo is a type of liposuction that allows for skin tightening as well as fat removal for a complete transformation. We perform these procedures under local anesthesia so patients can get back to work in 1-2 days typically. Most patients are ready to show off their results around 1 week after their procedure, making this the fastest way to get rid of stubborn fat.
- Why have lipo surgery if there are so many non-surgical options? The advantage of liposuction is that, in one treatment, we can remove whatever extent of fat is desired — even 75%, 80%, or 85%. Non-surgical treatments can reduce about 20% of fat with each treatment. This happens over a three-month period. So, the advantage of these non-surgical treatments is that they’re non-invasive, there’s no downtime, and they’re very comfortable.
- What if I'm struggling with post-baby weight or loose skin? As long as you’ve finished breastfeeding, you can safely have any procedure performed that you’d like. However, we do recommend moms wait until at least 6 months after giving birth for hormones and weight fluctuations to normalize before treating.
Excess Fat on the Hips & Love Handles
Workouts to get rid of love handles aren’t particularly effective. That’s because it’s impossible to “spot treat” your body to remove fat from specific areas with workouts or diets. The best a workout and diet plan can do is help you lose enough body fat to reduce your problem areas, but maintaining a very low body fat percentage isn’t easy (or necessarily healthy). For most people, there are stubborn problem areas that are very difficult to remove and maintain – often love handles fall into this category.
Luckily, there are surgical and nonsurgical treatments that can target and permanently remove these fat cells for quick and lasting results.
Loose Skin on the Love Handles – and a Note About Stretch Marks
The skin on the hips and lower back can be stretched beyond repair by weight fluctuations or pregnancies. Often, young women experience rapid growth spurts that lead to stretch marks on the hips. This can also happen during pregnancy – or really any time weight fluctuates. It can also happen to men, as well. Stretch marks indicate the skin was stretched so rapidly that the underlying support layer of collagen has irreparably ripped. This means that the skin will not contract normally when fat in this area is removed, whether by diet and exercise or through treatments that remove the fat cells. Even when stretch marks are not present, sometimes skin does become loose, creating less than desirable results when fat is removed.
There are several treatments that can be used to stimulate collagen, which will tighten skin and improve the appearance of any stretch marks.
In this case, we need to try to rebuild as much of the collagen support below as possible. To do that, we recommend treatments that selectively heat the deep layers of the skin where collagen fibers form a support mesh to create a “shrink wrap” effect and stimulate the repair and growth of new collagen and elastin. For those with lots of excess or very loose skin, we do recommend a body lift with our plastic surgeon in addition to collagen-induction skin tightening treatment. These can be done together in one surgical session using either Smartlipo®’s laser system or ThermiTight®.
Our Favorite Treatments For
Love Handles & Muffin Top
Laser Lipo (No General Anesthesia)
We offer liposuction (with and without laser skin tightening) as a minimally invasive procedure performed under Comfort Calm® Local Anesthesia. Local anesthesia allows patients to have a gentler, more comfortable procedure with a shorter recovery period and better results.
Best for: Patients with a singular “problem area” of fat that they want to completely remove in one treatment. This procedure takes 1-3 hours to complete, depending on how many areas are treated. Patients can expect to be back to work in about 1-3 days, depending upon how active their jobs are (desk jobs vs. waitressing vs. construction).
Coolsculpting® & Sculpsure®: Non Surgical, Non Invasive, and No-Downtime Options
CoolSculpting® uses a proprietary technique called cryolypolysis to freeze unwanted fat cells, causing the body to remove them through natural metabolic processes. SculpSure® uses laser technology to melt unwanted fat cells without damaging surrounding tissue. Both of these treatments are completely non-invasive, meaning they don’t require needles or surgery to work. Instead, the handpieces are applied to the surface of the skin for a 25-60 minute treatment cycle. Afterward, patients can return to work, social activities, and workouts right away.
Best for: Active patients with small areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Each treatment session with CoolSculpting and SculpSure is able to remove about 20-25% of the unwanted fat in a treated area. For that reason, most patients will have at least 2 treatment sessions for each area, spaced about 4-6 weeks apart. Full results are seen at 12 weeks after the last treatment.
Liposuction (General Anesthesia)
If you are looking to remove love handles fat and combine it with a body lift procedure to remove excess skin, or you have multiple areas of fat you’d like removed with liposuction, then our plastic surgeon’s liposuction, performed under general anesthesia, is your best option for a complete and dramatic transformation.
Thermitight®, PrecisionTX®, SmartLipo® Triplex: Minimally Invasive Treatments Performed Under Local Anesthesia
Smartlipo® Triplex has a unique under-the-skin laser skin tightening treatment that heats the skin from below following liposuction for significantly better skin tightening results than non-invasive procedures.
When performed without liposuction, this treatment is called PrecisionTX®. ThermiTight® works similarly, using radiofrequency heat instead of a laser also administered from beneath the skin. Non-invasive treatments are limited in aggressiveness because too high of a temperature on the skin’s surface will create complications, but these minimally invasive procedures bypass that risk and are able to create much more significant results in terms of skin tightening and firming.
Best for: Patients with mild to moderate skin laxity who don’t want the scars or downtime from a tummy tuck or body lift surgery. These procedures are performed under Comfort Calm® Local Anesthesia as outpatient procedures with 1-2 days of downtime. Results typically take a few months to finalize, since these treatments spur the body’s natural collagen-building processes, and those processes do take some time to complete.
Exilis® Ultra, Sofwave®, Ultherapy®: Non Surgical, Non-Invasive, and No Downtime Options
Exilis® Ultra, Sofwave®, and Ultherapy® are non-surgical, non-invasive procedures that use radiofrequency and ultrasonic waves to heat the collagen fibers deep within the skin to create a “shrink wrap” effect and generate the growth of new collagen. Exilis recently upgraded to Exilis Ultra, adding ultrasound technology to their radiofrequency treatment. It has really amazed us with how quickly this treatment works and how happy patients are with the results – and it’s also our most affordable treatment, starting at just $400 per session. For longer-lasting results, though, we often recommend Sofwave. Ultherapy is typically quite uncomfortable when performed on skin directly over bone, so for patients without a lot of fat on their hips or love handles, this is typically not the treatment of choice.
Best for: Patients with mild skin laxity who want a non-surgical, no-downtime option. These treatments work best for patients with only mild skin laxity, but we do often treat patients with moderate skin laxity who are adamant about not having a surgical procedure, and who will be happy with an improvement, rather than perfection. These procedures are also more affordable than a surgical procedure, and another procedure can always be performed afterward. Some patients do opt to try out these non-invasive options first. There’s no downtime or recovery with these procedures, and treatment times can range from 30-90 minutes on average. Exilis Ultra requires several treatments (3-6), while Ultherapy and Thermage® typically require 1-2 (sometimes 3) treatments for this specific treatment area.
Body Lift Surgery (Extended Tummy Tuck Through Love Handles)
Body lift surgery is a plastic surgery procedure performed under general anesthesia. Using incisions, it can remove both stubborn fat and excess skin around the love handles. It’s also easily combinable with an extended tummy tuck procedure to more fully address the lower torso and flanks.
Best for: Patients who want the most transformative option and are okay with downtime. Body lift surgery can require 1-2 weeks of dedicated downtime and several more weeks of limited activity. However, body lift surgery produces long-term results and can most significantly improve concerns.
See Our Patients’ Love Handles and Muffin Top
Before & Afters
“I did not feel pressured into any surgeries and he told me about several different options at different price points. It was a wonderful experience.”View My Story
“"I threw away my spanx out and I'm so happy about that...the results are incredible."”View My Story
“I have NEVER felt so confident in my life and so excited to start this new chapter. Did the cost set me back a little? Yes. But you can’t put a price tag on true happiness and it was worth every penny. ”View My Story
- Reflections Center is home to a team of experienced cosmetic physicians and providers. With our entire team focused on creating the most natural-looking and best cosmetic outcomes for our patients, we’re able to each focus on the procedures we’re best at and master those procedures at a very high level.
- Our body contouring specialists focus on nonsurgical and minimally invasive procedures, but we’re not afraid to refer patients to a plastic surgeon for surgery when these procedures won’t get the results the patient desires.
- We offer free consultations with our cosmetic physicians to discuss body sculpting treatments so that every patient has access to accurate and honest information about which procedures will benefit them the most.
- We have all of the top technologies available in our practice – from fat removal to skin tightening to stretch mark repair. This not only gives our patients access to the best treatments available but ensures we have the right treatments for all types of patients.
- We value patient experience and will do everything in our power to ensure that not only do you get first-in-class results but also that your procedure is comfortable and your recovery is quick and easy.
- What if I've lost a significant amount of weight on my own?
Skin tightening procedures can only do so much. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight may have severely damaged their skin beyond repair. In that case, the only option may be surgical removal of this excess skin via a tummy tuck or body lift surgery. The best way to find out if your skin is too loose to benefit from one of the treatments we offer is to schedule a free consultation with one of our cosmetic physicians who specialize in body sculpting procedures.
- How come laser lipo costs thousands of dollars at the doctor's office, but I see it on groupon for only $200
The advantage of liposuction is that, in one treatment, we can remove whatever extent of fat is desired — even 75%, 80%, or 85%. Non-surgical treatments can reduce about 20% of the fat with each treatment. This happens over a 3-month period. So, the advantage of these non-surgical treatments is that they’re non-invasive, there’s no downtime, and they’re very comfortable.
- What if I'm struggling with post-baby weight and/or loose skin?
As long as you’ve finished breastfeeding, you can safely have any procedure performed that you’d like. However, we do recommend moms wait until at least 6 months after giving birth for hormones and weight fluctuations to normalize before treating.
- What if I've lost a significant amount of weight on my own?
Skin tightening procedures can only do so much. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight may have severely damaged their skin beyond repair. In that case, the only option may be surgical removal of this excess skin, via a tummy tuck or body lift surgery. The best way to find out if your skin is too loose to benefit from one of the treatments we offer is to schedule a free consultation with one of our cosmetic physicians who specialize in body sculpting procedures.
- How come laser lipo costs thousands of dollars at the doctor's office, but I see it on Groupon for only $200 sometimes?
There are many devices that have the name “lipo” in it. i-Lipo might be an example. “Liposuction” means the removal of fat. However, these devices are very low-level lasers that have the energy equivalent of a laser pointer. Unfortunately, the results seen with these treatments are pretty much nonexistent so when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
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With One Of Our Physicians
Dr. Mitchell Chasin is a Cosmetic & Laser Physician at Reflections Center. Dr. Chasin believes strongly that the best cosmetic physicians are those who are dedicated to mastering their craft through continuing education and collaboration with the industry’s top doctors.