Due to significant weight loss, skin becomes lax and loses its elasticity. Body contouring, also known as body sculpting, helps remove sagging skin and fat pockets from the underlying tissues and regain skin elasticity. Body contouring results in a body that is fine-tuned and well-proportioned. Surgical body contouring consists of various procedures, like arm lift, breast lift, facelift, lower body lift, circumferential body lift (belt procedure), medial thigh lift, and tummy tuck. Non-surgical body contouring consists of lipolysis that uses old, heat, lasers, radio frequency, and other methods. Surgical procedures are risky and have more downtime, but the results are far more noticeable than the non-surgical methods.
What is Body Contouring?
As we age, many unavoidable physical changes occur in our bodies. Pregnancy also plays its part in stretching and sagging of skin, resulting in drooping of underlying tissues, slow metabolic activity, and easy accumulation of fats. Whereas, sometimes, excessive weight loss results in loss of skin elasticity.
Body contouring following significant weight loss reduces skin laxity and fat while improving the shape of the underlying supportive tissue. The result is a better-proportioned appearance with well-defined contours.
Types of body contouring procedures
Body contouring encompasses a range of procedures.
Surgical body contouring
Different types of surgical body contouring procedures are:
Arm lift: helps correct drooping skin of the upper arms
Breast lift: helps correct flat and sagging breast tissues
Facelift: helps fix skin laxity in the lower face, jowls, neck, and cheeks
Lower body lift: helps reduce skin laxity in the abdomen, buttocks, inner and outer thighs
Medial thigh lift: reduces sagging of the inner thigh
Tummy tuck: helps remove loosely hanging flaps of muscles hanging over the abdomen
Surgical body contouring is often necessary for people with shabby appearance after massive weight loss. Body lifts become the most suitable option when people have excessive fat deposits or liposuction doesn't give satisfactory results. Often, surgeons combine more than one type of body lits to get the target results. They thoroughly analyze your lifestyle, medical record, and desired outcomes before recommending a specific surgical body contouring procedure.
Non-surgical body contouring
Non-surgical body contouring, called lipolysis, also comprises several procedures. Different types of non-surgical body contouring methods include:
Cryolipolysis: cools fat cells to a very low temperature and destroys them
Injection lipolysis: targets fat cells by injecting deoxycholic acid into the body
Laser lipolysis: kills fat cells using laser technology
Radiofrequency lipolysis: targets fat cells using ultrasonic waves
Liposuction: sucks out fat deposits using negative pressure
Non-surgical lipolysis is a non-invasive method to remove fats. It is worth mentioning that non-surgical body contouring is not a weight loss solution. Ideal candidates are the ones who are close to their desired weight but want to eliminate stubborn fat pockets that won't go by exercise or diet control.
Non-surgical body contouring procedures have a few additional benefits: they don't need general anesthesia, don't leave scars, have less downtime, and have few to no side effects. After non-surgical body contouring, you can enjoy perfect curves as long as you maintain your ideal weight.
Types of Body Contouring
Which Body Contouring is Right for You?
It is a common perception that a controlled diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are the secret to a fine-tuned and sculpted body. But the fact is genetics and old age imbalance the equation. Even if you are going well with your daily workout and diet plan, still a few areas of your body would make you feel under confident and portray a negative self-image. People get excess flabby skin and flaps of muscles after significant weight loss.
A range of body contouring methods is there to design a type of curve that you think is right for you. But choosing one out of many body contouring methods currently available, is confusing and leaves patients wondering which treatment plan is right for them. There are many surgical and non-surgical options providing outstanding results. People close to their ideal weight but have stubborn fat pockets consider liposuction and non-surgical body contouring procedures their ultimate solution.
However, those with excessive fat reduce it through surgical body contouring. Surgical body contouring is regarded as the gold standard in fat removal techniques and provides the most astonishing results. However, the correct procedure for someone will depend on their anatomy, fat and sagging skin extent, and individual preferences.
Cryolipolysis, or CoolSculpt®, is a minimally invasive fat removal technique that destroys fat cells by cooling them to freezing temperatures.
The surgeon places a cup-shaped device on the area where fat cells are to be destroyed. That device freeze-cools the fat cells and destroys them, keeping the muscles, skin cells, and never tissues unharmed as they freeze at even lower temperatures.
Cryolipilysis is ideal for those who want to reduce fat pockets without shaping their bodies. Each session takes 35 to 60 minutes, ideally giving a 25% fat reduction. It takes a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 2 to 3 months to exhibit ideal results, and the results retain as long as you maintain a healthy weight. The procedure causes slight discomfort due to intense cold temperatures.
Injection lipolysis is a fat-removal procedure involving injecting a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid into the patient's body. Deoxycholic acid is otherwise found naturally in human bodies. Deoxycholic acid can destroy fat cells that the body metabolizes later within a month.
Kybella® is an example of injection lipolysis, focused on treating fullness in the chin. One session of injection lipolysis is almost 30 minutes long, and multiple sessions are required to achieve the targeted results.
Some swelling and bruising are the common side effects of injection lipolysis. However, you can resume daily life activities immediately after the procedure.
Laser lipolysis is a non-invasive method to get rid of fat cells by heating them through laser energy. The laser energy heats and destroys fat cells. At the same time, the cooling mechanism of the treatment ensures that your skin cells and nerve tissues remain unharmed. The body's lymphatic system eliminates those dead cells within 12 weeks after the procedure.
SculpSure® and Zerona® are examples of laser lipolysis. It targets fat in the abdomen and flanks. One session of laser lipolysis is approximately 25 minutes long, and multiple sessions are required to achieve the ideal results. Typically, there is no downtime. Perfect results are retained as long as you maintain the ideal weight.
Radiofrequency lipolysis is the safest way to treat stubborn fat pockets. This method involves ultrasonic radiations that are very gentle on the skin while treating fats.
The method targets muffin tops, love handles, abdomen, and back fat. The procedure is typically one hour long, and multiple sessions are required to achieve the ideal results. Results retain as long as you maintain the target weight. The procedure is safe and gives very mild to no discomfort, and you can resume your daily activities immediately after the procedure.
UltraShape®, truSculpt®, and BTL Vanquish ME® are examples of radiofrequency body contouring methods.
Lifts and tucksLifts and tucks are intended to eliminate superfluous fat and additional skin. These systems are perfect for those with abundant droop and loss of skin flexibility after weight reduction or having a baby. For example, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), breast lift (mastopexy), facelift (rhytidectomy), arm lift (brachioplasty), double chin surgery, lower body lifts, and medial thigh lift. Surgery is considered the best fat removal technique since it gives the most amazing and conspicuous outcomes. However, the healing time relies upon the strategy embraced and the level of the method, and it leaves scars that vanish over the long run.
LiposuctionLiposuction is a common cosmetic procedure used to get rid of extra fat by means of suctioning it away with negative pressure. Since 1992, the number of individuals opting for liposuction has increased by 264%. The amount of fat that can be eliminated depends on the region being treated and the amount of fat present. Generally, the outcome is long-term as long as you keep your weight at the optimal level according to your BMI. The best person for liposuction is someone who is at an ideal weight but has stubborn fat accumulations that are not responsive to diet or exercise. This procedure typically involves general anesthesia. The areas that are typically treated with liposuction are the abdomen, upper legs, hips, neck, and chest area.