Most people know there are many cosmetic and plastic surgery options for dealing with facial and skin issues, but knowledge of ways to deal with other parts of the body is less fulsome. Commonly known are liposuction and tummy tucks, but there are other treatments available. People who are looking for improved body shape or tone may find the answer among the various body contouring procedures that are widely available.
What Is Body Contouring?
Also known as body sculpting, body contouring refers to a group of cosmetic procedures that are specifically designed to reshape and enhance the appearance of the body. This includes surgical procedures such as the removal of excess skin and loose skin and non-surgical, non-invasive treatments that focus on skin tightening, smoother skin, improved skin and muscle tone, fat cell dissolving, general fat reduction, treatment of scar tissue, and more.
Here are some of the most common body contouring treatments currently available that are cited as being the most effective in helping to achieve a toned body with realistic expectations.
Surgical – Liposuction
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that plastic surgeons have been performing for decades and it is one of the most immediate and long-lasting fat and weight loss solutions. This invasive procedure is the process of physically disrupting and liquifying fat cells to immediately eliminate pockets of fat from the body.
Although most commonly applied to the stomach, liposuction can also be used to remove stubborn fat cells from the inner and outer thighs, upper arms, hips, and neck.
Surgical – Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is another type of invasive body contouring technique. It focuses on the removal of excess skin and fat from the abdominal region. It can also help to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall which will help to create a flatter, more toned appearance.
Tummy tucks are most often recommended to people who have been on a weight loss journey and are now at a more ideal body weight but have leftover loose skin.
Surgical – Body Lift
Just like it sounds, a body lift is a medical procedure that offers full-fat removal in areas of the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, and more. A body lift is a major surgery, but if you want an arm lift, thigh lift, tummy tuck surgery, and more altogether, then a body lift is what will get the job done.
In a body lift, excess fat cells and sagging skin are removed. The dimpled, irregular skin surface is smoothed out because the shape and tone of the supporting underlying tissues have been tackled, so better tonality is achieved.
Non-Surgical – CoolSculpting
CoolSculpting, a form of cryolipolysis, is one of the most commonly advised non-invasive body contouring procedures. It is a treatment that uses controlled levels of cooling of the underlying tissue to freeze and remove unwanted fat cells from many different areas of the body including the abdomen, hips, and thighs. It can also be used on smaller areas such as a double chin.
Patients embrace the idea of CoolSculpting because the treatment removes significant amounts of fatty tissue without requiring an extended recovery period. The procedure takes about an hour, no anesthesia is required and the patient can return to normal activity almost immediately after.
Surgical – Laser Lipolysis
This treatment is similar to CoolSculpting in that it uses temperature to destroy fat cells, except where CoolSculpting uses cold energy, laser lipolysis uses heat energy.
The main difference is that CoolSculpting does not require any surgical intervention whereas laser lipolysis requires a small incision in the skin to allow the laser to enter and is also used for the tube to suck the fat cells away.
The prices for the procedures are in a similar range, although laser lipolysis is slightly more expensive The results for both procedures are similar for patients of moderate weight.
Non-Surgical – Radiofrequency Body Contouring
There are several brands of machines that deliver radio frequency for the purposes of non-surgical body contouring. A medical clinic or spa will have its preference but they all work to the same process.
Radiofrequency energy is delivered to the subcutaneous layers of the skin where there are embedded collagen fibers. The tissue is heated making the collagen fibers contract which then enables fat cells to drain away and shrink. At the same time, the fibroblast cells are stimulated to produce new collagen and elastin.
The procedure results in a reduction of fat and the skin is left looking tighter, smoother, and younger. RF contouring can be used on the abdomen, buttocks, knees, thighs, arms, and neck and is also a good cellulite treatment.
Non-Surgical – EmSculpt NEO
If you have tried weight loss or an exercise regime but some stubborn fat pockets will just not go away; or if you are interested in toning and defining your muscles then EmSculpt NEO is a possible solution.
In this procedure, High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic energy (HIFEM) and Radiofrequency energy (RF) are simultaneously applied to the body areas to be sculpted. The energies combine to one, heat subcutaneous fat cells to a temperature that causes them to die, and two, increase muscle temperature like a warm-up causing intense supramaximal contractions which build and tone the muscle.
Clinical study results for EmSculpt NEO are excellent. They reveal that a treatment plan of four to six sessions can decrease fat by up to 30% and increase muscle tone and definition by up to 25%. It is said that a single session to the abdomen is the equivalent of 20,000 crunches.
Non-Surgical – Ultrasound Lipolysis
Another alternative to liposuction for those who wish to avoid any form of surgery, ultrasound lipolysis, as known as ultrasound cavitation, is the delivery of ultrasound energy to remove fat cells from under the skin. As with other forms of body sculpting techniques that use different forms of energy to destroy fatty tissue, there are various brands.
The radio waves break apart fat cells which are then absorbed into the body by the lymphatic system. Like other non-surgical options mentioned in this list, there is a good record of efficacy, minimal downtime, and immediate return to regular activities. It is also cheaper than liposuction.
Leading A Healthy Lifestyle
Alongside all of the surgical and non-surgical treatments that body contouring specialists can offer, the results will only last if you commit to a healthy lifestyle that involves a healthy diet and plenty of physical activity.
There is nothing better than a regular, demanding exercise routine to help keep your body in great shape, especially if you decide to undergo any of the procedures above and don’t want to have to go through them again.
Maintaining a balanced diet will help you to keep your weight in check, and the commitment to regular exercise will continue to be positive in terms of skin tightening and ‘natural’ body contouring.
Realistic Expectations Are Important
The treatments listed here are suitable for any skin color and any body type but ultimately, you need to make sure you have realistic expectations of what you might be able to achieve. Any kind of physical and body transformation is going to take time, so don’t go into an appointment expecting the issue you have to be solved in a single session.
Where to Go for Body Contouring
Although the types of body contouring we’ve mentioned here are completely safe with few potential risks or side effects, you must choose the right place to have a procedure. At Z Center for Cosmetic Health, run by a certified board surgeon, we only offer treatments undertaken by clinically trained professionals. Call us for an initial consultation to understand if you are an ideal candidate for body contouring and what treatment we can offer you.