Roughly 637,000 body sculpting surgeries are performed each year – but what is body contouring? In this guide, we’ll discuss what these procedures look like, what to expect afterwards, and how to heal properly.
For people who are overweight or obese, weight loss is often recommended. For some, diet and exercise are enough to banish unwanted pounds. However, for others, medical treatments such as prescription medications or weight-loss surgery will be important features of someone’s weight-loss journey.
When people lose weight, they often have skin and some fat deposits left behind. This can also be the case after one or more pregnancies have taken their toll. While these are not dangerous, many people find them uncomfortable or simply would like them gone. No amount of dieting, exercising, or taking diet pills can remove excess skin, so for these individuals, body contouring is an option. Also called body sculpting, these procedures can remove skin and some stubborn fat deposits left after weight loss. They do not actually help you lose weight (other than the nominal amount of weight the extra skin contributes to your overall body weight).
Types of Body Contouring Procedures
Many parts of the body can be contoured and sculpted. Here are some of the most common contouring surgeries:
– Arm lifts
Also called brachioplasty, an arm lift is when skin and fat deposits are removed from the upper arms. This is most commonly done on the underside of the area between the armpit and the elbow, where gravity takes effect over time and after weight loss. The excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is tightened up to give a more toned appearance.
– Butt lifts
As the name implies, this procedure helps lift up the buttocks. The buttocks tend to sag as a result of the aging process as well as after weight loss. This procedure, also known as BBL surgery, pulls them back up and tightens up the skin. It is sometimes done along with a lower body lift.
– Lower body lifts
During a lower body lift, the buttocks, thighs, hips, and abdomen are all sculpted and toned. This procedure is also sometimes called a belt lipectomy. During the surgery, your doctor will remove extra skin and lift these areas to minimize sagging and to improve the tone and appearance of the area.
– Tummy tucks
Commonly performed after a woman’s last pregnancy, a tummy tuck tightens and tones the lower abdomen. This can also be done after dramatic weight loss, as it will remove any sagging skin that can cause chafing and discomfort.
Liposuction is one of the more invasive body contouring procedures. Your surgeon will use a suction device to liquefy and remove some of the excess fat deposits in the area being worked on. Some common areas to have liposuction are the abdomen, thighs, hips, and arms.
Non-Invasive Body Sculpting Techniques
In addition to the procedures described above, there are also non-invasive body sculpting techniques that some people prefer. These don’t involve scalpels but instead rely on lasers, injections, or ultrasound techniques. Here are some common non-invasive body contouring options:
– Cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting)
This procedure is also sometimes known as “fat freezing.” It uses an external suction to pull a bulge of fatty tissue into the applicator, and the tissue is chilled to between 30 and 39 degrees fahrenheit. This freezes the fat cells and allows the body to resorb or redistribute them to eliminate the bulge.
– Injectable Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella)
Kybella is a prescription injection that destroys fat cells under the chin. Those who have a “double chin” often have this procedure done to tone and slim out that area of the body.
– Laser Treatment (SculpSure)
Laser treatments can be used on various areas of the body that are holding onto extra fat even after you’ve lost weight. Some common places that SculpSure can be used are the abdomen, back, thighs, and love handles.
– Red Light Therapy (UltraSlim)
UltraSlim uses a patented light to shrink fat cells, leading to a more toned look on the abdomen, thighs, chin, and other areas of the body. Some patients notice a dramatic difference even after the first session.
– Ultrasound Fat Reduction
This type of fat reduction technique uses ultrasound technology to break up fatty tissue. Some people find that they have good results with just one treatment. On the other hand, others will need a series of treatments to get the results they’re looking for.
What to Expect After Body Contouring Procedures
Your recovery after a non-invasive body contouring technique will be relatively quick and easy. You might feel bruised or have very sensitive skin for a few days following your procedure. You might also feel numb, which can be disconcerting. Additionally, you may need pain medication, and you will need to take it easy while your body recovers.
After one of the more invasive body sculpting procedures, expect to have a recovery process that is like any other surgical procedure. During body sculpting surgery recovery, you’ll need to get plenty of rest in bed, and you’ll also have some exercises that your doctor will tell you about to prevent blood clots and other potential complications. You might need to wear compression garments and you may have drainage tubes that need to be changed. You also might have prescription pain medication. Recovery can take several weeks or longer, depending on what area(s) of the body you had sculpted and how you are feeling.
Benefits of Post Op Care
At Pearl Recovery Retreat, we specialize in helping people recover from all types of surgical procedures, including body sculpting. Whether you need a quiet place to recuperate from laser treatment or a full medical staff available to help you get through your recovery after a lower body lift, we are here for you.
In addition to providing medical supervision and plenty of peace and quiet, we also provide healthy, nutrition-packed meals that are exactly what your body needs. We can arrange transportation for you to get back and forth to your surgical center or outpatient facility if you need to follow up with your surgeon. And we have lots of complementary therapies that can be soothing and promote healing after your surgery. If you are having a body contouring procedure, contact Pearl Recovery Retreat to learn about our services and how we can help you heal.