There are many people out there who feel they could benefit from some sort of body contouring but are confused about which body contouring option would be best for them. The phrase “body contouring” encompasses a wide variety of cosmetic procedures and treatments.
By using both new and traditional procedures in addition to being able to choose between surgical, minimally invasive and noninvasive body contouring treatments, men and women are able to customize their body contouring to fit their needs.
Narrowing your search
With all the options you have available to enhance your look, it can feel as though the choices are overwhelming. Fortunately, there are five questions you can ask yourself to begin the determination of how to pick body contouring procedures.
- Are you within 10 pounds of your optimal weight? People who are within a healthy weight range can benefit the most from liposuction or one of the many nonsurgical body contouring procedures. These individuals are considered to be generally fit but have particular areas of stubborn body fat that they wish to remove.
- Is your body mass index (BMI) 30 or less? A person should have a BMI of about 30 or less in order to be fit enough for most body contouring procedures. If someone’s BMI is over 30, a good idea for them is to concentrate their efforts on diet and exercise before exploring procedure options.
- Do you have sagging muscles or loose skin? Sagginess is a common cosmetic concern, particularly as people get older, have experienced weight fluctuation throughout their lives or lost a dramatic amount of weight recently. Separation of the abdominal muscles is common during pregnancy and can be addressed with an abdominoplasty. Excess skin and stretched and weakened muscles can be tightened or surgically eliminated.
- Are you wanting quick results? Liposuction and other surgical body contouring choices can provide results that can be seen in a matter of days or a few weeks. Nonsurgical body contouring procedures often need multiple treatment sessions stretched out over time for the best results.
- Do you have the time to recover? Surgical choices such as liposuction and tummy tucks need dedicated recovery time in which physical activities are restricted. Nonsurgical treatments can offer less downtime or even no downtime since they do not involve surgical incisions, anesthesia or needles. So, you can get back to your daily activities fairly quickly.
Surgical options for body contouring
There are many surgical and nonsurgical body contouring options to consider. Body contouring can be an excellent option for anyone who is looking to redefine their figure. It’s especially effective for people who have experienced major weight loss. A combination of procedures can help reduce the stubborn fat deposits and tighten up the loose skin and muscles often left behind.
Here are some common surgical procedures that people opt for:
- Liposuction involves the removal of unwanted stubborn fat pockets to create a slimmer, more streamlined body. This can be performed on practically any area of the body that has excess fat.
- Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, involves the toning and tightening of the stomach area. With this procedure, loose skin is removed and stretched and weakened muscles are repaired.
- A thigh lift and body lift can help the condition of baggy skin surrounding the buttocks and thighs which can be caused by genetics, aging or major weight loss. This is accomplished by getting rid of excess skin and stubborn fat and tightening the underlying musculature.
- An arm lift can help improve the appearance of loose sagging skin on the upper arms by removing the excess, hanging skin.
- A Brazilian butt lift can enhance the buttocks, providing a better balance of natural curves. This is achieved by using a person’s own fat cells to augment the buttocks.
Minimally and noninvasive body contouring options
Nonsurgical options can be great for individuals who want to address mild body contouring concerns that may not need extensive treatment from a surgical procedure. They are also a popular choice for people who have busy schedules and can’t take the necessary time to recover after surgery. For instance, a busy mom who wants to achieve some toning and tightening now has nonsurgical options to consider, where 10-15 years ago, a surgical mommy makeover was her only reliable contouring option.
There are many nonsurgical treatments to consider. Some use cold temperatures to kill unwanted fat cells, some use heat. There are also treatments that use ultrasound waves aimed at fat cells under the skin to break down the fat. All of these options then rely on your body’s natural cleansing process to remove the destroyed cells and create a slimmer look in the treated area. Most of these require a 30-90 minute treatment sessions, with several sessions needed for noticeable body slimming. In some cases, nonsurgical treatments can also tone and tighten the skin in the area being treated.
When considering nonsurgical options, it’s important to visit with several board-certified plastic surgeons to see which treatments they offer and find out why they’ve chosen one method over another. See how each one might be able to help your specific cosmetic concern, get pricing and take the time you need to make a good decision for your own goals.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.