Will Tummy Tuck Take Care of Love Handles and Excessive Fat That's on my Sides?

Im getting a tummy tuck soon. I also have love handles. Will the tummy tuck take away the love handles? Im hopping that it does so.

Doctor Answers 11

Need liposuction during tummy tuck to address "love handles"

A tummy tuck alone will not necessarily address the excess fat on the sides of your body (love handles or flanks). Typically this is treated with liposuction of the flanks at the same time as the tummy tuck which enhances the overall contour of your torso and waist area. Most patients who undergo a tummy tuck surgery will benefit from liposuction of the flanks simultaneously.

A board certified plastic surgeon will be able to examine you in detail and determine the best approach for your love handle area.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 281 reviews

Tummy tuck with lovehandles requires liposuction

It is important to be clear about your expectations to have the best result from your tummy tuck. We include liposuction to contour the hip or love handle when needed, but rather than assume and face a possible disappointment, ask your surgeon clearly what to expect. Only additional liposuction over the hip will solve your problem.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Love Handle Reduction Requires Liposuction With Your Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a frontal procedure that changes what happens between the hip points or where the ends of the incisions stop. Any extra skin or fat beyond these points will not be changed by the skin and fat cut out. This is the role that adding liposuction to the sides and back does. It extends the result from a 180 degree procedure to one that is a 270 degree waistline change. This is not part of the tummy tuck, either in the design of the procedure or in accounting for the time and cost to do it. You need to go back and review your planned procedure with your plastic surgeon.

Love handles are not addressed by a tummy tuck

A tummy tuck essentially addresses the "front half" of your trunk, that is, your abdomen. In order to address your love handles, liposuction of the area would also be needed. You should mention this area of concern with your surgeon so that he/she can review it with you and add it to the surgical plans if you still want to pursue this.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck Does Not Address Love Handles

A standard full tummy tuck would not improve love handles or excess fat in the flanks and upper hips.  This would have to be addressed with either a body lift or liposuction, depending on the amount of excess fat and/or skin.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Be clear about your expectations

Personally I will do all that is necessary to get the improvement I think is necessary. I think this is good medicine and the right thing to do. In this age of retail plastic surgery some will list all component procedures separately and price accordingly. My advice is to find a competent surgeon and clearly discuss your options and your expectations.

Thomas R. Walek, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tucks correct the tummy but can be combined with treatments to improve the adjacent areas

It is very common to see patients with shape problems that extend over the hips and around to the flanks when they come in for a "tummy tuck" consultation. A "tummy tuck" or abdominoplasty does not improve the hips and flanks. The extra fullness around your waistline can be greatly improved with liposuction at the time of your tummy surgery if necessary without changing the duration of your recovery. If you have a lot of loose skin that extends around to your back as well then this can also be addressed with a modified surgical plan.  Ask your Plastic Surgeon about the options that are available and what would create the best shape improvement for you.

Dr. Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Love handles and tummy tuck

A tummy tuck only will not eliminate love handles.  You may want to to talk to your surgeon regarding adding liposuction of the flank areas which would help.

Lawrence C. Lin, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck deals with tummy only

If you want the love handles taken care of that is separate from a tummy tuck, and it adds more time and cost. Discuss this with your surgeon so you know exactly what is done.

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Love handles are treated with liposuction during tummy tuck

Thank you for your question. A personal exam and consultation is always best.

That said it is very common during tummy tuck to use liposuction to decrease the size of the love handles and this usually produces a nice result.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in your procedure, and who has an excellent reputation in your community.

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.