Body Contouring – What Is Body Contouring?

Body contouring is the art of creating a more aesthetically appealing body and properly proportioning the figure according to an individual’s goals. Cosmetic surgeons routinely perform liposuction and liposculpture procedures to shape and smooth areas throughout the body, including the chin and neck, abdomen and waist, arms and legs, thighs, hips, and buttocks. This process is known as body contouring.

How does body contouring work?
During body contouring, fat is removed through liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, from unwanted areas of the body. Excess fat deposits can be removed from the chin, neck, arms, breasts, waists, thighs, or just about any part of the body. A tumescent solution is used to control bleeding and anesthetize the area. The removed fat also can be prepared for lipoinjection into areas of the body that a person is desirous of enhancing such as facial features, buttocks, or other areas. A buttocks augmentation is one example of a body contouring process that can be achieved through liposuction and lipoinjection.

Who is an appropriate candidate?
Body contouring is not a weight loss management procedure to treat obesity. Rather, it is used to treat stubborn fatty deposits that won’t go away. The best candidates are people within 30 percent of their normal weight range but who can’t get rid of unwanted fatty deposits despite a healthy diet and regular exercise.

What is the recovery process and time?
Lipoplasty is a surgical procedure that will require small incisions to be made in the areas where the fat tissue is to be removed. Whether a patient is under general anesthesia or local anesthesia depends on the extent of the surgery and the preferences of the surgeon and the patient. Regardless, lipoplasty is a day patient procedure and patients are released to go home the same day as surgery.

After surgery, the patient is required to wear a compression garment to aid healing. This is usually worn for one to two weeks but may be required longer for optimal results. Sutures can usually be removed after five to seven days unless dissolving sutures have been used.

Immediately following surgery, bruising and swelling will be present, which can cause some mild discomfort and pain. Pain is easily managed with medication. Lymphatic drainage and ultrasonic massage enhances healing and helps reduce swelling. Swelling subsides on average within four to six weeks but can take three months or more. The patient should be fully enjoying his or her new look approximately three months after surgery.

In addition to common liposuction and lipoinjection procedures, cosmetic surgery also offers more advanced body contouring procedures. Some of the more popular advanced body contouring procedures include breast implants or abdominoplasty (a tummy tuck). These are surgical procedures that require longer recovery periods but the results are well worth the effort for many people.

What are the typical results?
Body contouring provides positive, long-lasting results. Patients can expect to enjoy long term success with the results of their lipoplasty provided they maintain a healthy lifestyle of proper diet and regular exercise.