Surgical vs Nonsurgical Body Contouring: What Works Best?

Body Contouring Treatment For Weight Loss

Diet and exercise are the best ways to reduce pockets of fat. But specific surgical and nonsurgical body contouring procedures can help patients meet weight loss goals and shape the skin. Surgeons may tighten skin, dissolve fat, or use more or less invasive methods to remove stubborn fat. New technological advancements are providing patients with improvements in the surgical space and more nonsurgical body contouring options, too.


Liposuction is one of the most popular surgical cosmetic procedures used to remove fat that won’t go away with diet and exercise. Liposuction can be performed on the hips, thighs, stomach, buttocks, arms, face, and other areas of the body. Prime candidates for liposuction have elastic skin and don’t smoke. Liposuction, however, is a surgical procedure that carries some risks.

Body contouring surgery

Body contouring surgery is typically performed after a person has experienced a dramatic weight loss. Weight loss can leave behind excess and sagging skin. Body contouring procedures can correct sagging in the upper arms, breasts, face, stomach, and thighs. Body contouring can often be combined with liposuction surgery.

Cold treatment

Cold treatment is a type of nonsurgical procedure that uses cold temperatures to destroy fat cells, but not injure the skin. A device pulls the skin in by suction and applies cold temperatures for a certain amount of time throughout the body. Patients with vascular conditions such as Raynaud’s syndrome may not be good candidates for cold treatment.

Heat treatment

Nonsurgical heat treatment uses a laser to damage the structure of fats cells. The body then removes the dead fat cells. The heat treatment device uses a flat applicator making the device difficult to work on curves. Heat treatment is best for stomach and thigh procedures.

Ultrasound energy treatment

Ultrasound energy treatment uses mechanical vibrations to destroy fat. Ultrasound energy treatment typically lasts longer than other treatments. The procedure can take about an hour to complete. A technician will move the device around manually. Ultrasound energy treatment is best used on the abdomen.

Radiofrequency energy treatment

Radiofrequency devices use energy to create heat to target water in fat cells. Before the procedure, patients must be hydrated to reap the best results. Patients may feel a warm sensation during the nonsurgical procedure.


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