Body Contouring – What Exactly Is It, Benefits and How it Works

How often have we told ourselves, I’m going to eat better and get off my couch? Yet how many of us actually follow through? Over and over again, we promise ourselves we will get active, but it just never happens. Our busy schedules seem to always get in the way.

Maybe there is something else we can do instead of hitting the gym every day and still not seeing any results or having enough time for exercise: maybe body contouring would be a good option for you!

body contouring

What exactly is body contouring?

During this procedure, dermatologists use lasers to remove fat deposits while tightening the skin in the problem areas. Sounds good to be true, right?

Maybe you’re wondering, how is this possible? Well, it is because of these reasons:

  • The laser technology breaks up the fat under your skin, which dissolves over time
  • The skin tightens and becomes more firm because of collagen production stimulated by the laser technology
  • Your skin is smoother after you treat all parts where cellulite was present.

What does body contouring do?

The major areas that may benefit from body sculpting and fat-dissolving include:

  • “Love handles”, also known as the “muffin top” area (abdominal area)
  • Excess skin and cellulite in abdomen, flanks (sides of waist), outer thighs, and buttocks.
  • Excess fat underneath the chin (submental fat).

Body contouring has a slew of benefits. Like, many people who undergo body contouring report relief from back pain related to excess weight around the waist.

Additionally, individuals who have lost weight due to illness or injury may need a tummy tuck to flatten their stomach.

People who suffer from cellulite (a bumpy skin texture) may require laser body sculpting to have a smoother appearance.

body contouring treatment

Among the most common procedures for body contouring are:

Abdominoplasty

aka tummy tuck restyles the midsection by tightening muscles, removing fat and excess skin across the abdomen (and sometimes around the belly button). This procedure is usually done after pregnancy, for significant weight loss, or if one is unhappy with their belly shape.

Brachioplasty

Aka arm lift, repositions sagging skin on the upper arms, back of the arms, and armpits as well as removes pockets of fat in those areas.

Breast Reduction

Reduces large breasts that cause discomfort due to brassiere weight or because they are oversized for an individual’s frame. Also, it reduces discomfort from large breasts when exercising, such as jogging or running.

Butt Lift

Removes fat from other parts of the body (e.g., abdomen, hips, thighs, etc.) to enhance the appearance of one’s buttocks or to create a fuller look in the lower region to achieve better symmetry in this area with other areas on the body. It can also reduce sagging skin on the buttocks and mold protruding tissue into a more appealing shape.

Facelift

Removes excess fat, support structures, and occasionally skin from around the face to restore a more youthful appearance by getting rid of hanging skin below the earlobe as well as hairline wrinkles.

Lower Body Lift

Tightens the thighs, buttocks, pubic area, and abdomen by removing excess skin and fat from these areas. It removes bands of tissue from these regions, which gives them a shapelier appearance.

Neck Lift

Cuts away sagging skin and repositions the remaining tissue to create a more youthful look around both sides and front of the neck.

Thigh Lift

Tightens sagging outer thigh tissue by removing pockets of loose skin and fat. It is usually combined with liposuction. It can be done by itself, too, if there isn’t much fat in the area.

How does this non-invasive procedure work?

During the treatment, ultrasound waves pass through your skin to reduce those stubborn bulges that refuse to disappear. The sound waves enable target fat cells to drain them of their contents. After a few sessions, several centimeters of the treated areas may be visibly smaller.

Who can benefit from body contouring?

Most people who are in good overall health, have no history of cancer in the last five years, and have realistic expectations will probably enjoy a satisfactory result from a body contouring treatment or two in conjunction with an enhanced lifestyle regimen for healthy weight loss or control.

It is well known that obesity leads to many diseases such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., which makes it extremely important to lose weight through healthy means rather than opting for surgery, especially considering there are effective non-invasive treatments available.

A procedure like this is ideal for people who have excessive fat on their thighs, hips, belly, etc. While some people will not be eligible due to medical reasons (e.g., pregnancy), others may choose not to undergo the treatment because they don’t feel confident enough with their appearance after having these procedures done.

When should I consider body contouring?

Body contouring is often used by people who have tried exercise and dieting, but cannot reach their ideal weight.

The procedure can tighten up areas where exercise has not been able to give an adequate result; therefore, it is often used as part of the body sculpting process after liposuction or traditional tummy tucks to improve outcomes and enhance skin tightening in specific targeted areas (such as inner and outer thighs).

body contouring requirements

Take the time to understand what you are getting yourself into. If the areas you want to contour are on your lower body, make sure you are able to stand, bend, and sit for long periods. Also, consider that the waist area will not accommodate lying down or sitting back for very long. If this is an issue, you may want to arrange for someone else to cook dinner after the procedure.

Is it painful?

Many patients quote that their pain experience is mild or tolerable during the process.

Several different types of lasers are used for body contouring, so results vary depending on what type of machine is being used. Still, they all require some form of discomfort associated with them, so keep in mind that none of them are going to be pain-free.

How Effective is Body Contouring?

Body contouring is effective when there is an area that needs attention, and not something that can be treated quickly.

It’s an ongoing process that requires multiple treatments to see results, but at least you will know you can go back for more sessions if needed, unlike liposuction, where the only option would be surgery.

In addition, laser technology has been proven safe and effective through studies by dermatologists all over the world, which makes body contouring a good alternative compared to other options out there, such as liposuction or cosmetic fillers.

What are the risks involved?

There can be many risks when considering a body contouring procedure.

The most common risk is infection. Although this occurs in less than five percent of cases, it can be dangerous if not treated early.

Other possible complications include:

  • Blood clots
  • Loss of feeling or function in an area after the surgery
  • Nerve damage
  • Scarring
  • Swelling, which can last several weeks to months
  • Failure of the skin to contract normally after surgery
  • Unexpected changes in the way an area looks or feels
  • Tissue death (gangrene)
  • Difficulty breathing due to swelling around the lungs after liposuction. This is rare and usually only occurs if you have heart problems or are obese. The risk for this complication is higher with one removes a larger volumes of fat.

The most serious side effects occur when a patient has had some health issues before they go for contouring. If there were any heart problems, lung disease, diabetes, blood clotting disorder, infection of certain conditions such as lupus, and disorders that cause thickening and scarring of the skin, you are at greater risk for complications after surgery.

How Long Do The Results Last?

Depending on the equipment type, dose, duration, and patient factors such as age and skin color, the results will vary.

The best way to know if this process will work for you would be by going through a consultation first with your dermatologist, who can give you an idea of how long this process could take before seeing any results.

body contouring results - slim woman showing her fat loss results

As with many cosmetic treatments, individuals who undergo a type of body contouring procedure can expect their new appearance to last for several years. However, if you gain or lose weight after your surgery, it is possible that the fat redistribution will no longer be effective. For this reason, many surgeons recommend patients focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle instead of only considering surgery.

Body contouring has a high satisfaction rate among patients who have undergone the procedure. In fact, many people report that they feel more confident after undergoing a type of body contouring procedure.

Even though results last, we recommend doing touch-ups now and then to maintain beautiful, soft, and smooth skin.

How much does a body contouring session cost?

Typically, the cost of body contouring surgery for a package of three treatments is between $2,500 and $5,000. However, this price is on the low end for more expensive procedures such as Brachioplasty (arm lift) and tummy tucks.

For less common procedures like lower body lifts, the total cost will be closer to $7,500 or more.

Insurance may not cover all types of body contouring procedures; however, some plastic surgeons will offer special incentives that may help you receive financing for your treatment. First Class Cosmetics offers body contouring and other services with the safest, most advanced, and gentle technology on the market.

How you can maximize results

During a consultation for body contouring, some patients ask about the number of procedures needed to get their desired outcome or what specific techniques will give them their best result. Those are:

One way you can maximize your results from body contouring treatment is by visiting a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been trained specifically for this procedure. It’s important to discuss any medical conditions you may have with the surgeon before undergoing any procedure so that they can better advise you.

Another way to ensure you get great results is by sticking to your post-surgical care plan after treatment to ensure you get the most out of it. Also, it will help speed up recovery time and reduce pain. For example, some procedures require one to wear elastic garmentsaround the new tissue for several weeks following surgery to provide support and allow swelling to subside. Body contouring treatment does involve a bit of extra work on the part of the patient, but you are more likely to get optimal results if you are willing to put in these few extra steps.

The takeaway

When it comes to our bodies, most of us look for quick fixes. If we see something that promises an overnight transformation, we’ll hop on board with no hesitation. The problem is that those solutions usually come at a high cost. Even more, they leave our wallets empty and our stomachs sick from guilt after we spend money on things we didn’t need in the first place.

Body contouring using lasers is safe and effective when board-certified dermatologists perform it. Also, it is an excellent alternative to liposuction and fillers because it focuses on cellulite reduction and skin tightening.  The result is youthful skin. Results last, but you should maintain them with regular touch-ups every now and then.

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