Everybody knows what love handles are, and nobody loves them. Most adult men have some of that ring of flank fat—skinny and fat and athletic guys, even trainers. Getting rid of them is anatomically complex. Over the years, a layer of fat develops over our oblique muscles, which sit on the sides of our torsos. That subcutaneous fat, just below the skin, is what hangs over your waistband. And diet and exercise can’t always solve it.
If it bothers you, there are medical interventions that can help. For decades, liposuction was the go-to treatment. But in recent years, noninvasive devices that freeze or melt fat are becoming mainstream. CoolSculpting is a fat-freezing technology. You can expect around 20 percent fat destruction. Each treatment takes about an hour.
Newer to the game is truSculpt 3D, which heats fat to destruction using a radio-frequency handpiece. It’s a painless, 15-minute procedure with no downtime afterward. Patients even report significant skin tightening, which also helps diminish the appearance of love handles. (This is not surprising, as we have used radio-frequency heating to build collagen and tighten skin for years.) Treatment for each of these methods starts at $750, and the number of sessions you need depends on the individual.
Whichever you choose, results will be better if you have good muscle tone, so eating right and working out your core are important. But know that love handles don’t have to be forever.
Have a question for Dr. Imber? Email him at AskDrimber@
Gerald Imber, M.D., is a world-renowned plastic surgeon, with more than 40 years of medical experience, and director of Youth Corridor Clinic in New York City.