Have you ever been twisting and turning in front of the mirror to get a better look at those pesky love handles on your side? You certainly aren’t alone. Muffin tops, bra bulges, arm flab – some pockets of fat can be stubbornly persistent, even if you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Plastic surgery does not have to be invasive. You can have your love handles removed with innovative, non-surgical fat removal and skin tightening solutions. Below we focus on two specific procedures: Renuvion, performed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher at NuBody Concepts Nashville, and BodyTite, offered by Dr. Mark Peters at NuBody Concepts Memphis.
Can love handles be removed with liposuction?
To remove or rather reduce love handles, the first step is to apply tumescent liposuction to the area. This will break down the fat cells in your flanks and remove them from the body. Using liposuction rather than more invasive surgery has the following benefits:
- Minimally-invasive. Liposuction is performed under local anesthesia and requires very little downtime, with patients returning to their regular activities in 1-2 days.
- Long-lasting. Fat cells removed with liposuction do not grow back – they are permanently gone.
- Small but dramatic. Liposuction on your flanks can make a big difference and achieve satisfying results. It’s a small area but even a little bulge is noticeable; removing the bulge from your flanks can result in a rather dramatic change in your figure.
- No sutures, no scars. You won’t get any scars as a result of your love handle treatment since liposuction is a minimally-invasive procedure performed without major incisions. It is performed with a cannula inserted under the skin in strategically-placed intervals. The resulting incisions are so small that they often heal without stitches, though some doctors like to place a single stitch for even faster healing.
Love handle removal with radio frequency assisted skin tightening
While liposuction works great for volume reduction on larger areas such as the belly, it is often less effective on smaller pockets of fat. For trouble spots like love handles, bra bulges, or male breasts, liposuction alone may achieve unsatisfactory results. In addition, when fat is removed from under the skin, the skin surface doesn’t always shrink back. This is especially true for patients who have lost a large amount of weight or have diminished skin elasticity brought on by age.
Most patients find that applying radio frequency assisted lipolysis (RFAL) right after their liposuction achieves the most satisfying results. RFAL is more commonly known as skin tightening or a non-surgical tummy tuck. It uses radio frequency generated heat that is applied through a thin wand the surgeon moves back and forth under the skin to contract the surrounding tissues. Skin tightening is an ideal complement to liposuction since the surgeon can use the same pathways for the wand that were used to apply the anesthesia and suction off the fat.
Is Renuvion or BodyTite better for love handle removal?
From the patient’s perspective, Renuvion and BodyTite are more or less interchangeable. There are differences between the two, but the results are mostly dependent on the plastic surgeon’s skill with his or her preferred technology.
BodyTite has been around a bit longer than Renuvion. It was FDA approved in 2016 and has since found many new applications to treat sagging, wrinkly, or crepe-like skin. For instance, Dr. Peters of NuBody Concepts Memphis was one of its first adopters and was awarded First Place in the inMode Expert Clinician contest for his innovative use of BodyTite to treat cellulite.
Renuvion gained FDA approval in 2020 and has taken the cosmetic surgery market by storm. The key difference to BodyTite is the addition of bursts of helium plasma to the radio frequency emitted from the cannula. This allows the tissues to be heated to an even 85 degrees Celsius and cooled back down in under one second. It means that a surgeon can perform skin tightening on an entire area in just 5-15 minutes.
Read more about BodyTite vs Renuvion.
What can I expect during liposuction with skin tightening?
Removing love handles or any other trouble spots with liposuction and skin tightening typically takes 2-3 hours. The plastic surgeon:
- Applies topical numbing to the insertion points for the cannula.
- “Wets” the entire treatment area by pumping a saline solution laced with lidocaine (a local anesthetic) through the cannula and moving it around under the skin.
- Suctions off fat using the same cannula the lidocaine solution was pumped through.
- Inserts the BodyTite or Renuvion wand through the same insertion points and steadily passes it over every inch of the treatment area once again.
- The radio frequency energy targets the subdermal tissues and contracts or “coagulates” them. This shrinks the skin and promotes new collagen production.
- You’ll see an immediate improvement afterwards, but the skin contraction will continue over time, steadily improving results for up to 12 months. What you’re looking for is not only a fat reduction triggered by both liposuction and RFAL
- Most patients see 40% firmer, more toned results compared to regular liposuction alone.
RFAL skin tightening can be used almost anywhere on the body and face. It is an excellent alternative to surgical procedures such as tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, or facelift. A patient can achieve almost surgical-like results without the downtime, the scars, and potential complications associated with excisional surgery.
How much does it cost to get love handles removed?
At NuBody Concepts Cosmetic Surgery in Nashville and Memphis, liposuction starts at $3,600 for the first treatment area, and minimally-invasive skin tightening starts at $4,900 for the first treatment area, which includes liposuction. The two love handles are considered one area. More areas can be added to the same procedure using a discounted schedule. To receive an exact quote, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon.
When comparing price quotes, make sure you ask if they include liposuction and all other fees and surcharges – some surgeons bill them out separately. Learn more about liposuction and skin tightening cost.
Have you decided that you want to do something about those love handles? Explore your options by talking to a plastic surgeon and book a consultation in Nashville or Memphis today!