Cosmetic Surgery 101: What Is Body Contouring?

Posted by Monarch Plastic Surgery

Jan 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Cosmetic Surgery 101- What Is Body Contouring?.jpgCosmetic surgery is a vast field, encompassing a wide variety of surgical procedures, including facelifts, eyelid surgery, breast augmentation, tummy tucks, liposuction, and more. These procedures are meant to improve a patient’s appearance and build confidence.

A subset of cosmetic surgery is body contouring. This subset refers to a series of procedures that remove excess fat and sagging skin and improve the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports the skin and fat.

Body contouring procedures are often performed on patients after they’ve lost a significant amount of weight. Though the weight is gone, the excess skin and some extra fat remains. These procedures result in a more normal-looking appearance, with smooth contours and a more pleasing silhouette.

Here are some cosmetic surgery procedures in the body contouring series.

Body lift

A body lift is ideal for patients with loose skin and tissue due to a significant amount of weight loss. It can target many areas of the body where excess skin and fat are present with the goal of improving the tone and shape of the body. A body lift primarily targets the lower torso, which encompasses the abdomen, lower back, buttocks, and flanks. Some improvement in the lateral thighs is seen as well with a lower body lift.The procedure can also help tighten and smooth the skin, while reducing the appearance of cellulite.

During the surgery, the plastic surgeon will reshape the contours of the body by removing excess skin and fat through liposuction and excision while tightening underlying tissue.

Patients benefit from a new shape that is apparent immediately after the cosmetic surgery procedure is performed. However, the body will continue to improve for several months post-surgery.


Liposuction is a body contouring procedure that removes unwanted pockets of fat from areas such as the neck, abdomen, hips, flanks, back, arms, and thighs.The benefits of liposuction are myriad. It can reduce or improve the appearance of cellulite, safely remove fat, and allow for targeted sculpting to large areas of the body that do not respond well to regular diet and exercise.


Smartlipo is an alternative to liposuction. It’s minimally invasive and FDA approved, and it’s ideal for patients who are looking to target smaller areas of fat. It’s performed with mild sedation and offers a faster recovery than traditional lipo—you can return to work the very next day. During Smartlipo, a small laser is passed under the skin. The laser’s energy then causes the fat cells in the area to break apart. The fat is then either reabsorbed in the body or removed with a small suction cannula.

Common areas treated with Smartlipo include the bra line, neck, arms, back, stomach, knees, male breasts, hips, and love handles.

Tummy tuck

The tummy tuck is a popular cosmetic surgery procedure, particularly among patients who have recently lost weight and women who have had children. In this procedure, excess fat and skin is removed from the middle and the lower regions of the abdomen. The muscles of the abdominal wall are also tightened. A tummy tuck can successfully create a smoother and firmer midsection and improve a patient’s silhouette.


When people gain and lose weight, they’re often left with unsightly cellulite after the fact. Cellfina, the only FDA-approved cellulite treatment, can smooth the appearance of cellulite dimples, both on the buttocks and the thighs. Cellfina is a minimally invasive treatment option that uses a small needle-sized device to target the connective bands of cellulite under the skin’s surface and then releases the tension in the bands that creates the lumpy cellulite look. The results last for two years or more.

Though body contouring procedures are not to be considered weight-loss tools, they can help you achieve your desired body shape so you can feel fresher, happier, and more confident.

Learn more about what Smartlipo can do for your figure!

Topics: Plastic surgery

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