Body Contouring: What Are My Options?
We’ve all heard we can get a more beautiful body by eating right and exercising. That is true to a large extent, and there’s no denying the many health benefits. Unfortunately, no exercise or eating formula has yet been invented to specifically eliminate common trouble spots like love handles, saddlebags, or a protruding tummy.
Even if you are relatively lean and toned, you may still have stubborn pockets of fat in these or other areas. It can be so frustrating (not to mention demotivating) to spend hours in the gym only to see these areas resist every effort to eliminate them.
Although you can’t blast these bulges away with diet and exercise, stubborn pockets of fat can be removed with beautiful results. In the hands of a skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon, a body contouring procedure can give you the shape you wish you’d been born with.
Transforming Your Shape: Invasive VS. Non-Invasive Procedures
When it comes to attaining your “body beautiful,” you have both surgical and non-surgical options. Whether you choose a more or less invasive procedure depends largely on the extent of your contouring goals. Your plastic surgeon will discuss your desires with you and guide you toward the most appropriate option for your desires, body type and lifestyle.
You may have heard about liposuction—a surgical procedure in which targeted areas of fat are permanently removed by suction. Liposuction has been around for decades, and has only grown more sophisticated through the years. Your surgeon will only need to make tiny incisions, so scarring will be minimal.
Liposuction is a great option if you maintain a steady weight, have elastic skin, and want to remove fat deposits that are out of proportion to the surrounding areas of your body. It’s not an ideal solution if you have excess skin or are significantly overweight.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure—meaning it is somewhat invasive and either local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia is required, though it is primarily an outpatient procedure. As with any surgical procedure, your vital signs will be closely monitored during the procedure, and you will be given specific instructions to help achieve the safest and smoothest recovery possible.
If you’re not ready for a surgical intervention or desire a procedure with no downtime, your surgeon may recommend CoolSculpting®. CoolSculpting is an FDA-cleared, non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that specifically targets fat cells.
CoolSculpting literally freezes your fat cells underneath your skin, hence the “cool” part of the name. It’s an innovative approach that doesn’t harm surrounding tissue but still provides lasting results. Once the fat cells die, they don’t come back, and are naturally disposed of by the body in time.
You may see a difference after one treatment, though it will take a few months to realize your full results.
As with liposuction, CoolSculpting is not a treatment for obesity and will work best if you maintain a steady weight.
So Which Option Is Best For You?
Your plastic surgeon will be able to guide you to the optimal procedure after a personal consultation. As a general rule, CoolSculpting is best suited to those who are close to their ideal body weight with a minor amount of excess fat, and is especially well-suited for the abdominal and flank area. Lipo may be the best solution for those who want to have excess fat removed around the face and neck area, as well as for those who need more extensive contouring and fat removal overall.