Body contouring, body shaping or body sculpting is the reshaping of body contours. Particularly, through the removal of fatty deposits under the skin. Whereby, the most commonly known treatment is liposuction.
A surgical procedure with inherent risks that many patients wish to avoid. As noninvasive cosmetic treatments become more advanced and more accessible, the demand for fat-reduction procedures has crescendoed from a whisper to a yell.
And in fact, there are more than a dozen noninvasive body procedures. Using several diverse technologies on the market today and more are set to launch in 2020, with some in the works for later this year.
In reality, now, less invasive energy-based alternatives are available. Including energy-assisted liposuction. In particular, which is usually gentler in comparison to regular liposuction.
Recently, completely non-invasive treatments are showing up in the market but the results are less predictable and less impressive.
What is a Body Contouring procedure?
Body contouring is such a giant subject. We tend to lump cellulite treatments, skin tightening, fat reduction, and muscle tightening all into body contouring now.
First of all, it is important to realize, dramatic weight loss has many benefits. Especially, after any substantial amount of weight loss due to weight loss surgery and/or lifestyle changes. Whereby, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size.
Secondly, a surgical body contouring procedure following major weight loss removes excess sagging skin and fat. By all means, while improving the shape of the underlying support tissue.
And in fact, the result is a better-proportioned appearance with smoother contours. However, not all treatments are made equal and not all procedures are right for every issue.
The catch is that most treatments aren’t a light-switch solution. Most procedures take at least six weeks to show changes with one or more sessions and full results materialize in two to three months, so a little planning is essential.
And some treatments work for tough-to-reach body parts better than others, while some are more effective for specific areas.
Good body contouring candidates are:
- Adults whose weight loss has stabilized
- Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase the risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
- Individuals that are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness
Which are the Best Types of Body Contouring?
First, I recommend a consultation with a board-certified physician who performs more than one of the below treatments.
And secondly, I can equally advise on which is best for you based on a variety of physical and lifestyle factors. Having said that, technology is constantly evolving in the body-contouring arena, so “the best treatment” is a moving target.
But, here are the most effective, doctor-recommended and the U.S Food and Drug Administration – approved body treatments currently on the market.
Whether you want to debulk or refine, from neck to ankle.
- Arm lift: correct sagging of the upper arms
- Breast lift: correct sagging, flattened breasts
- Facelift: correct sagging of the mid-face, jowls, and neck
- Lower body lifts: correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, inner and outer thighs
- Medial thigh lift: correct sagging of the inner thigh
- Tummy tuck: correct apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
When is Body Contouring an Option?
Surprisingly, body-shaping surgeries can remove fat or excess skin, tighten skin and help re-contour the body. According to plastic surgeon Raymond Isakov, MD, “There are two basic reasons you might consider surgery.
For instance, after massive weight loss to remove extra skin for symptoms such as rashes. Or even to achieve the body shape you want by targeting specific areas.”
In both cases, it may take more than one procedure to achieve the result you’re looking for. And, the procedures are often done in stages. You may think you need a tummy tuck.
But, to get the body shape you want, you might need a panniculectomy (skin and tissue removal below the belly button) as well. Or liposuction in another area to keep everything in proportion.
So, considering the different goals you may have for your body, what would you need to get the results you want? All you need are the best body contouring steps as I’ve discussed below.
Which are the best Body Contouring steps?
As an example, a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a more cosmetic operation; it’s ideal for getting the body shape you want. It will remove excess fat and skin from your abdomen.
The muscle repositioning also helps some people tighten stretched abdominal muscles. In that case, the surgeon may extend the incision to get rid of excess skin from the back (circumferential abdominoplasty). After all, which is needed more often after massive weight loss.
Then again, a panniculectomy (skin and tissue removal of the hanging skin only) is more reconstructive. Liposuction can be used alone or in combination to keep everything in proportion. It can remove excess fat in the thigh. Or even in other areas so stomach contours match the upper and lower body.
Here are more expound methods;
1. Non-surgical Body Contouring
Basically, nonsurgical body contouring is also known as nonsurgical fat reduction. There are a variety of nonsurgical fat reduction procedures.
These procedures, on one hand, reduce or remove stubborn pockets of fat to contour and shape different areas of the body. Not to mention, most nonsurgical fat reduction treatments are based on certain principles though.
The four basic principles include;
- Cryolipolysis, or controlled cooling, uses freezing temperatures to target and destroy fat cells.
- Laser lipolysis uses controlled heating and laser energy to target fat cells.
- Radiofrequency lipolysis uses controlled heating and ultrasound technology to target fat cells.
- Injection lipolysis uses injectable deoxycholic acid to target fat cells.
But, on the other hand, nonsurgical body contouring procedures aren’t intended to be weight loss solutions.
Ideal candidates are close to their desired weight and want to eliminate stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.
With most body contouring procedures, your body mass index shouldn’t be over 30.
2. Cryolipolysis Process
CoolSculpting is a treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s a noninvasive fat reduction technique that stems from the science of cryolipolysis.
Whereby, since it uses cold temperatures to target and destroys fat cells in various areas of the body, surrounding tissues are left unharmed.
The freezing temperatures kill off fat cells, which are eventually flushed out of your body through the lymphatic system. And once these cells are gone, they shouldn’t reappear.
Target areas include:
- bra and back fat
- underneath the buttocks (banana roll)
- double chin
- One treatment area takes 30-60 minutes, with little to no downtime in most cases.
- Multiple treatments required (for better results).
3. Laser Lipolysis
Remarkably, SculpSure was first cleared by the FDA in 2015. Not to mention, it’s a noninvasive method of lipolysis that uses laser energy to heat and destroys fat cells.
The treatment’s high temperatures can cause the fat cells to die. And eventually, the body’s lymphatic system gets rid of the dead fat cells. Within a period of approximately 12 weeks after the procedure.
Target areas include:
- Each treatment takes approximately 25 minutes. Typically, there is little to no downtime.
- Multiple treatments required (for better results).
4. Radiofrequency Lipolysis
In general, UltraShape and BTL Vanquish ME are nonsurgical, FDA-cleared procedures that use ultrasound technology to contour the body.
And since Ultrasound technology is very gentle to the skin when treating stubborn pockets of fat, it involves very little to no discomfort.
Target areas include:
- Each treatment takes one hour on average, and you should be able to go back to your daily activities immediately.
- It requires multiple treatments.
5. Injection Lipolysis
Kybella or Injection Lipolysis was approved by the FDA in 2015 as a nonsurgical injection to treat fullness in the submental area (under the chin). The body contouring procedure is also known as a double chin.
By the same token, Deoxycholic (a manmade form of a substance your body makes that helps to absorb fats) acid has the potential to kill fat cells. The body gradually metabolizes the dead cells during the weeks after treatment.
- chin area (specifically under the chin)
- Typically, treatment takes about 30 minutes. Apart from some swelling and bruising, recovery time is minimal in most cases. You should be able to resume daily activities almost immediately.
- There are Multiple treatment requirements.
To simply put, Laser-assisted or Energy-assisted body sculpting involves the application of energy (usually from a laser) to melt fat for manual removal or absorption by the body through a minimally invasive opening (no scarring results).
The heat generated on or beneath the skin may also cause some skin contraction and tightening as well, which is desirable.
7. Accusculpt Procedure
Notably, Accusculpt Procedure is ideal for areas such as the hips, thighs, knees, bra lines, arms, and chest.
Your physician uses the AccuSculpt contouring system to remove excess fat deposits that have settled in the target regions. Which also results in overall skin tightening of the treated areas.
Patented technology makes the procedure safer, more effective and less invasive than competing technologies.
Accusculpt Body Contouring Procedure;
- Safely removes excess fat deposits from the target region
- A quick, minimally invasive procedure requiring only local anesthesia
- Only a single treatment needed to get visible, lasting results
- Your physician will work with you to customize a treatment plan specific to your physical properties and treatment objectives.
What to Expect!
Since Accusculpt is a minimally invasive laser liposuction technique that melts excess fat deposits, it makes them easier to remove than its more invasive predecessors.
Thereafter, the heat generated from the laser also warms collagen deep within the skin. Often, resulting in toning and tightening of the tissue in areas of lax skin. Such as the neck, abdomen, or arms. Accusculpt only targets fat cells, decreasing collateral damage to surrounding tissues.
In simple terms, the AccuSculpt procedure starts with a physician consultation to outline the areas of concern and discuss expected results. After a small amount of local anesthesia numbs the treatment areas, your physician will make very small incisions at the edge of each treatment area.
He or she will then treat the areas with the AccuSculpt laser contouring system to liquefy controlled amounts of fat.
Body Contouring vs Body Sculpting
In the first place, CoolSculpting and SculpSure are the leading non-invasive body contouring treatments. Not forgetting, that reduces stubborn fat without surgery or downtime.
Surprisingly, millions of men and women have turned to these fat reduction treatments. As a non-surgical alternative to liposuction to address belly fat, love handles, thigh fat, back fat, double chins, and other bulges that resist diet and exercise.
Furthermore, both CoolSculpting and SculpSure are safe and effective. However, the different energy modalities and technologies present unique advantages and disadvantages of each treatment.
Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and have understood some of the main benefits and risks associated with Body Contouring procedures.
Besides, if you’ll have additional contributions, suggestions or even questions, please feel free to Contact Us. And by the same token, you can share your thoughts with other readers in the comments box below this article.
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