Is Body Contouring For You? 4 Questions To Ask Your Plastic Surgeon

Sculpting A New Body

After exercise, significant weight loss, or pregnancy, the body may fail to achieve a flattering shape. There may still be pockets of fat or areas of the body with a less-than-flattering form. As a result, some people seek out body contouring or sculpting treatments. Body contouring removes excess fat, tightens skin, and improves silhouette. Deciding on the right treatment can be difficult and often requires a surgeon’s guidance. Asking these 4 questions can help potential patients make the right decision.

1. What contouring procedures are available?

Body contouring is a broad term for various surgical and non-surgical procedures. Some surgeons use a single procedure, while others use multiple techniques over several sessions. Non-surgical procedures include laser therapy, cryotherapy, or radiotherapy to remove excess fat cells in specific areas. Liposuction is a popular body contouring technique that moves fat from one location to another. For example, fat from the love handles can be transferred to the breasts or buttocks. Finally, surgical procedures like facelifts, breast lifts, or tummy tucks are options for more dramatic, long-term results. The surgeon will choose the best approach based on the patient’s needs and budget.

2. Am I a suitable candidate?

Body contouring is an effective way to lose weight, but the procedures are only for some. The patient must have realistic expectations. Some procedures provide subtle changes, while others garner more dramatic results. The ideal candidate has tried diet and exercise first and is close to an ideal weight and shape. This candidate should require simple changes to accentuate what’s there. The ideal patient is also in excellent physical and mental health, with no underlying medical conditions. If the candidate is currently working on weight loss, the surgeon will suggest planning treatment for a later time.

3. Are there any risks?

Even for healthy patients, no procedure is without risk, ranging from mild to severe complications. Laser, cryotherapy, and radiotherapy can cause swelling, redness, and bruising. With liposuction, the body can reabsorb the fat, causing asymmetry, oil cysts, or other complications. Surgery also has possible risks, like blood clots, hematomas, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. The surgeon will explain all possible complications and any steps to reduce the chances of problems occurring.

4. How much downtime?

Body contouring requires some recovery, depending on the combination of procedures performed. Non-surgical techniques only need a few days of recovery. The patient should rest while the swelling subsides to avoid bruising, hematomas, or blood clots. The downtime is longer for surgeries like facelifts, breast lifts, or implants. On average, patients will need 4 weeks before resuming normal activities and even longer to see the full results.

Make the right choice

Anyone deciding on body contouring has a lot to think about. The process may involve multiple procedures to get the best results. The ideal patient should have realistic expectations and a desire to enhance specific areas. The surgeon will discuss surgical and non-surgical options to help with a final decision.


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