Summary: There are many effective ways to contour your body. The most common means of body contouring is, of course, diet and exercise. But surgical methods of body contouring have become more popular in recent years, as have some of their non surgical counterparts, such as Coolsculpting and Kybella. But surgical body contouring is still the most popular option for patients who want to eliminate either excess body fat or excess skin of any kind.
What Are the Most Effective Ways to Contour Your Body?
Plastic surgery is pretty good at helping you to change your shape. Indeed, plastic surgeons have developed several effective ways to contour your body, each with their own strengths and drawbacks. Or, perhaps it’s better to think of these body contouring procedures as each treating its own set of symptoms.
Most patients who are interested in body contouring procedures are looking to treat specific areas of the body. In other words, they aren’t trying to change the overall look of the body (and even if they were, body contouring procedures are necessarily well suited to do that). Instead, they’re seeking to change one thing here or there.
That doesn’t mean body contouring procedures can’t make potent changes. Indeed, just the opposite is usually true–body contouring procedures are famous for making significant and lasting changes to the body. But those changes are almost always targeted in a very specific way. Body contouring procedures are often designed to produce very specific results. For patients, then, finding the body contouring procedure that’s right for you often involves first determining what you want your results to look like.
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
There are two primary issues that patients often want resolved via plastic surgery: excess skin and excess fat. Both issues often manifest in similar ways. Though they can look drastically different, it’s not always easy for patients to differentiate between issues created by excess skin or excess fat.
Both issues also often cause a drastic drop in confidence and self esteem. And yet, excess skin and excess fat are treated in entirely different ways:
- Excess skin is usually treated via a body lift procedure of some kind. The most famous (and common) of these types of procedures is called a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty. During a tummy tuck, excess skin from around the tummy is removed and the abdominal muscles are given some added structure. The end result for most patients is usually a tummy that looks significantly firmer and fitter.
- Excess fat is most often mitigated using a procedure called liposuction. Like tummy tuck, liposuction is both incredibly popular and incredibly well known. You’ve likely heard of it, in fact. During a liposuction procedure, a surgeon will make a small incision in the target area, then insert a small tube called a cannula. The cannula is used to extract the fat in a highly controlled, contoured way. Most patients use this procedure to eliminate unwanted areas of fat that, stubbornly, do not respond to diet or exercise.
Liposuction and tummy tuck procedures are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they are often combined in order to achieve maximum impact.
Other Body Lift Procedures
Of course, your tummy isn’t the only place you can end up with excess skin (though, it is the most commonly treated such area). There are plenty of “body lift” procedures that are designed specifically to help you treat other parts of the body. A lower body lift, for example, will treat parts of the body from the waist down.
Some patients even opt to receive an arm lift, which can mitigate excess tissue that crops up around, well, the arms. In some ways, facelift and blepharoplasty procedures also target excess skin–it’s just that they are much more specialized procedure designed to produce much more specific results.
Contouring Your Body
The whole idea behind body contouring is that, whether you’re targeting excess skin or excess fat, the results will blend in with the rest of your body. Most patients don’t want to draw attention to the fact that they’ve undergone a plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure. They want to appear as though they’ve achieved their results naturally.
And that’s understandable. It’s also why plastic surgeons work so hard to make tummy tuck or liposuction procedures blend in with their surroundings. This is especially true with a procedure such as liposuction, where surgeons spend time sculpting the fat so as to provide the most natural looking contours possible.
Sometimes diet and exercise can only do so much. If you’re still uncomfortable with your body–either because of excess fat or excess skin–surgical options might be able to give you a natural look even if nature isn’t exactly cooperating. But it’s only ever a procedure you should undergo if you want to. For some people it’s going to be more challenging–but better in the long run–to simply work on being happy with your body as it is. But for others, body contouring surgery could be a viable option. And if you’re interested in body contouring, be sure to talk to your plastic surgeon today. (Note: this article is intended for entertainment purposes only and should in no way be used to make medical decisions; consult with your plastic surgeon for that.)
- Kaufman, David. “Body Contouring.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons, www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-contouring.
- Mann, Denise. “Does Body Contouring Surgery Work?” WebMD, WebMD, 21 Apr. 2006, www.webmd.com/beauty/news/20060421/does-body-contouring-work#1.
About the Author: Nick Engebretson has been helping plastic and cosmetic surgeons with their marketing for over twenty years. He’s able to stay up to date on the latest and most current trends in the fields of plastic and cosmetic surgery.