Nearly everyone experiences stubborn fat pockets that won’t seem to go away, no matter what you do. You could follow a disciplined workout regimen and eat a nutritious diet every day, but the pouch on your lower tummy or the part of your thighs that rubs together won’t disappear. It’s also possible you’ve already lost a ton of weight and are now carrying around excess skin that reminds you of your past. Maybe you’re tucking it into your pants or wearing certain clothing to cover it up. In either of these scenarios, body contouring is your answer.
What is Body Contouring?
Every person has a certain number of fat cells in their body. The number of fat cells we have in our body is fixed and cannot be changed. This means that when you gain weight, you don’t produce additional fat cells. You just enlarge the fat cells you already have. As soon as you start losing weight, the same fat cells will start to get smaller. And this is how gaining and losing weight actually works!
While you cannot add additional fat cells to your body, you can remove and destroy them. For good! Body contouring procedures eliminate fat cells from your body without any way for them to regenerate or be replaced. As soon as you “attack” those stubborn fat deposits through body sculpting techniques, your body will reveal its true shape.
Body contouring also deals with sagging skin, the remnant of massive weight loss. These procedures are usually the best choice for people who have undergone weight loss surgery and are looking for a way to deal with excess skin. Through various muscle and skin-tightening surgical procedures, experts in body sculpting and plastic surgeons manage to remove loose skin and improve the body’s aesthetics.
What Types of Body Contouring Procedures are Available?
Due to the massive demand for body contouring, numerous body sculpting procedures promise incredible results. They broadly fall into:
The most famous body contouring procedure in the world, liposuction is here to stay. It is worth mentioning though that liposuction has come a long way in the past two decades with shorter recovery time and less painful side effects, like swelling and bruising. It is the first choice of those who want to remove large pockets of fat or simply aren’t satisfied with the results of non-invasive body contouring procedures.
Body Contouring Surgery
Often necessary for people who have lost a lot of weight and are trying to improve the aesthetics of their body, body contouring surgery focuses on removal and lifts for excess skin or areas. Among the most common procedures are abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, brachioplasty (arm lift), breast rejuvenation, buttocks lift, inner thigh lift, and panniculectomy (removal of excess skin in the lower abdominal region). Some discomfort and pain are to be expected following such procedures.
Temperature-based Body Contouring
These non-surgical body sculpting procedures for fat reduction are based either on freezing temperatures or controlled heating and high-temperature technology. Cryolipolysis targets and destroys fat cells with the help of cold temperatures while laser lipolysis and radiofrequency lipolysis use controlled heating and ultrasounds, respectively, to kill fat cells. The freezing or high temperatures destroy fat cells that will be removed from your body through the lymphatic system. Once gone, they will never return! However, both types of procedures are associated with discomfort and next-day bruising.
How Does Body Contouring Work?
Non-invasive body contouring is a non-surgical treatment designed to break down fat cells in one way or another and eliminate them through the body’s lymphatic system. Many treatments are considered to be body contouring, but each of them is based on different technology and has its own effectiveness. Besides removing fat and being non-invasive, they have no other common elements.
What are the Side Effects of Body Contouring?
Since all body contouring techniques are minimally invasive treatments, there are no dangerous side effects or life-threatening risks. They usually don’t require anesthesia and many of them involve no downtime. Each session will last somewhere between 25 minutes and one hour.
If we’re talking about cold treatments, the only inconvenience during the actual procedure is that you are going to feel really cold. Some of the most common side effects are intense discomfort and bruising.
Heat treatment sessions last only 25 minutes but they are usually associated with the same side effects as cold treatments. Patients often report stinging or burning sensations. However, most of the time, they say the discomfort is tolerable, especially since the heat treatments are short.
On the other hand, ultrasound treatments destroy fat without causing any discomfort. According to a clinical study, 90% of patients confirmed that this treatment was comfortable and not linked to any side effects and were satisfied with its effectiveness.
Are Body Contouring Treatments Effective?
The answer to this question depends on the types of body contouring procedures. Various studies show that body contouring treatments are successful in removing fat cells and cellulite and reducing their reappearance. Whether you use cold or heat treatments, ultrasound, or radiofrequency, you will see improvements in your body shape and tone. Depending on your body type and the area you’re planning to treat, you will probably need between two and four sessions.