Body contouring surgery is a broad term for plastic surgery procedure that eliminates the excess skin and/or fat, which does not respond to further weight loss, diet, and exercise. Tummy tuck, liposuction, arm lift, and buttock lift are the most common examples, says Dr. Tarick Smaili who is the medical director of the prestigious California Surgical Institute.
To achieve optimal results, body contouring surgery is generally reserved for normal weight patients who understand the importance of healthy lifestyle.
Meanwhile, anyone who expects significant weight changes will have to wait until he reaches his or her ideal body mass index.
The list below explains the most popular body contouring surgeries.
- Tummy tuck
Also referred to as abdominoplasty, the procedure typically results in a hip-to-hip scar to remove the apron-like skin and excess fat. But for additional contouring, some patients, particularly women, will have their abdominal muscle reshaped and tightened as well by internal sutures.
Internal sutures are important to maintain the planned shape and minimize the impact of “inadvertent” weight gain or pregnancy.
While the procedure removes the excess fat, it is only the superficial fat beneath the skin. For this reason, it is not a treatment for obesity, which is caused by excess visceral fats that are stored around “important” internal organs such as the intestines, liver, and pancreas.
The visceral fats are more metabolically active than superficial fats, thus in the event of weight loss they are the first to go. Some superficial fats, meanwhile, are more “stubborn” that they are difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate through regular exercise and proper diet alone.
- Lower body lift
In essence, a lower body lift encompasses three procedures performed in one surgical setup: buttock lift, outer thigh lift, and tummy tuck. With combo procedures, patients may enjoy potential savings and one recovery time.
The vast majority of lower body lift is performed in massive weight loss patients due to the severity of their redundant skin and sagging tissue.
- Arm lift
While it comes in different scar variations, a good surgeon will make every effort to place them within the armpit and/or on the inner arm to hide the scars. For additional contouring, some patients may need liposuction as well.
- Bra back lift
While the standard technique results in a horizontal scar across where the bra band lies, some patients who have lateral fat rolls might be more suitable for the vertical incision technique in which the scar starts below the armpit down to the hip.