Interested in addressing lower abdominal and love handle fat in least invasive manner. (photos)

I am a formerly obese kid, having reached 220 pounds at age 14. I became very active and modified my diet to lose weight over the years. However, despite diet and exercise, I have always had a very loose, flabby body, with large superficial fat deposits in love handles and lower abs. I have weighed as low as 165 with little improvement. I am 5'10", 172 pounds and exercise and weight-train extensively. Interested in addressing these areas in the least invasive way possible.

Doctor Answers 18

Eliminating Love Handles and Lax Skin

Thank you very much for your question and your photographs. Unfortunately, after losing a large amount of weight, many patients are left with inches of excess skin and isolated fat deposits. These areas can be difficult to eliminate through diet and exercise alone. While noninvasive techniques can eliminate the fatty deposits, the lax, stretched skin will remain. A surgical procedure, such as an abdominoplasty, is going to be necessary to remove this unwanted tissue on your abdomen and flanks. I recommend that you schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, who can further explain your options. He/she will perform an in-person examination and review your medical history, determining the best procedure for your specific needs.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

How can I remove the excess skin of my abdomen and flank areas?

Unfortunately, once you have loose skin and on the photos you have quite a bit, the only way of making it better is through a surgical procedure like a tummy tuck for that area. Any non-surgical procedure like coolsculpting will remove more fat but not do anything with tightening the skin. I am President of the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons and body contouring after weight loss is one of my specialties. 

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

How to address these areas in the least invasive ways possible?

Far more important than deciding if liposuction is for you is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choose your surgeon rather than the technique and let him explain why one technique may be better than another and if you need a tummy tuck. Many board certified plastic surgeons provide a free first time consult and you should take advantage of that! See the below link on some suggestions on finding the most qualified Plastic Surgeon for you!

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Loose and hanging skin after weight loss

Hello,  thank you for your question and photos.   Loose skin after a massive weight loss even when doing it with exercise and diet may develop sagging skin.  This issue can only be addressed with surgery.  Look for a certified plastic surgeon in your area for a correct treatment. 

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Body cont

Thank you for the question and the photos.  The least invasive way to reduce fat in specific areas would be to undergo treatment with non-invasive fat reduction technologies such as CoolSculpting.  The big question would be whether the skin in that area is loose and whether this is from loss of skin elasticity.  If the skin is loose and the skin has diminished skin elasticity, fat reduction of any kind will not address the skin issues specifically.  In these cases, the fat can be reduced but the skin looseness will remain and may even worsen.  If this is the case, a skin tightening procedure such as a tummy tuck would be needed.  The best way to determine which route would be best for you is to have an in person consultation and exam.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Removal of Excess Skin

Congratulations on the weight loss, that is such an accomplishment. In my opinion a full tummy tuck would give the best result as far as removing excess skin. I realize that most patients fear the recovery or scar. However even with todays technology, the only real way to get rid of excess or loose skin is to remove it. Be sure to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and have a careful exam to go over all of your options! Best Wishes! Dr. K

Robert M. Kachenmeister, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Liposuction/ Liposculpture/ Fat Transfer/ Vaser/ Hi Definition Procedures/Liposuction Revision/Tummy Tuck/Body Contouring

Thank you for your question.

From your photos, you appear to be an excellent candidate for Vaser Hi definition liposculpture with fat grafting. You should get a great result from liposculpture, giving you a more contoured shape.  With the skin contracture component of the Vaser you may not need a Tummy Tuck.

Vaser Hi Definition liposuction uses the concepts of negative and positive spaces in relation to the underlying bony and muscle anatomy to define areas such as your six pack and create an athletic looking physique.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Weight lose and lose skin

Congratulations on the significant weight loss.  You will get the best answer to your question by scheduling an in person consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and discuss your unique situation and concerns. The surgeon would meet with you, examine you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure in person and what to realistically expect. Then you can make an informed decision on which procedure(s) to start with according to your desires, recovery time necessary, your history and current health. Surgery after significant weight loss is usually very rewarding for our patients that have already worked so hard to loss the weight and a great journey to be on with our patients. 

Our young patients that have lost significant amounts of weight and have the excess skin removed and tightened are often our happiest patients. Please view the attached video as we discuss this with one of our patients after her weight lose.

Mark Schoemann, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Addressing your abdominal concerns

First off, congratulations on losing the weight and changing your lifestyle! That is the hardest part and thank you for posting your photos. Your concerns are 1) a "loose flabby body" and 2) remaining love handle (flanks) and lower abdominal fat. In terms of the loose flabby skin, this can only be adequately treated with surgery to physically cut out the skin. This form of tummy tuck will result in a scar in your lower waist line which can be hidden by swimwear and underwear. It will also automatically remove the lower abdominal fat since you are cutting it out. If you do liposuction alone, you will have enough more loose hanging skin. For the residual flank flat, you can have targeted liposuction to treat those problem areas which most men share which can be done at the same time as the skin excision. Judging from your photos, it appears you are in great shape at this point. Removing the excess skin directly will be a great change to your overall look and complement your upper body. It is important to have an in-office examination for a thorough physical and review of your history to make sure you have a safe and effective treatment plan. Hope this helps!

Johnson C. Lee, MD Plastic Surgery

Johnson C. Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Interested in addressing lower abdominal and love handle fat in least invasive manner

As the other surgeons have pointed out, skin laxity is a major player in what you do not like about your stomach and love handles. It appears that most or all of the surgeons are recommending some type of excisional surgery to remove skin and fat. I would avoid seeing any physician that gives you a treatment plan different from that.

Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.