What is body contouring?
Body contouring is a type of cosmetic plastic surgery that includes a wide array of cosmetic surgical procedures designed to improve the shape and tone of the body. This type of surgery is often used to remove excess fat and/or skin from the body, which can help to improve the aesthetic appearance of the body. Body contouring surgery can result in more elegant curves and give the body a more sculpted, toned look, and improve the overall aesthetic balance of the body.
Body contouring can be performed on various areas of the body, including the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, arms, and neck. It can be helpful for people who have lost a significant amount of weight and are left with excess skin, or for those who want to improve their overall body shape and contour.
There are many procedures available to improve body contours, and treatments are individualized for each patient depending on the existing body type and the patient’s goals. When designing a plan for body contouring for any given patient, one of the most important considerations is the determination of fat content and how that fat is distributed throughout the body. Another important consideration is how much excess skin is present for the area of the body to be treated, whether due to aging, pregnancy, weight fluctuations, or genetics. In general, if excess skin is not a problem, liposuction (and occasionally fat grafting, such as in Brazilian but lift or filling in hip dips) alone can be used to reshape the body, such as liposuction of the torso (often called 360 liposuction), arms, saddle bags, or inner thighs for example. On the other hand, if extra skin does exist, treatment will likely include an excisional procedure, such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), arm lift, thigh lift, or neck lift. Another question is whether the abdominal musculature wall has been stretched out (called abdominal wall laxity or diastasis recti), in which case an abdominoplasty has the added benefit of plication of the abdominal wall to re-tighten the abdomen, which acts much like an internal corset.
What is the recovery for body contouring?
Recovery time after body contouring surgery can vary depending on the specific procedure(s), the individual patient, or the surgeon. In general, patients can expect to experience swelling and bruising after the surgery and will need to take time off work to recover. One week off work is adequate in most cases, but in physically demanding jobs light duty may be required for several weeks. Surgical drains are commonly used for excisional procedures, most commonly with abdominoplasty, and can typically stay in for anywhere from two to six weeks. With almost all body contouring procedures, it will likely be recommended that patients use a compression garment or faja to keep swelling under control, and may be recommended from one to three months or more. Pain medication will be prescribed to help manage discomfort. It is important for patients to follow their doctor’s post-surgery instructions and attend any follow-up appointments to ensure a successful recovery.
What is the recovery for body contouring?
Body contouring surgery is typically recommended for individuals who are in good overall health and have achieved a stable body weight. This type of surgery is often sought by individuals who have stubborn areas with excess fat that have not responded to diet and/or exercise. Another common presentation is for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and have excess skin or localized fat collections remaining after reaching their goal weight.
Interested in body contouring surgery?
Body contouring procedures can have drastic, transformative results. Perhaps the most satisfying element with body contouring is the resulting improvement in confidence and patients feeling more comfortable with themselves, whether due to feeling more comfortable in clothes or being less self-conscious about their body or simply being happier with their appearance. With that said, it is important for patients to have realistic expectations about the results of body contouring surgery and to discuss their goals, concerns, and expectations with a qualified plastic surgeon. If you are considering body contouring and wondering if you are a candidate for surgery. Come meet with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons for a free consultation.