What is Body Contouring?
Professionals use the term body contouring to cover a wide assortment of procedures designed to reshape parts of the human body. Many of the procedures aim to reduce fat from the body part being altered. The amount of fat targeted depends on the body part and its current condition.
In some cases, a body contouring procedure may solely refer to removing excess skin. This occurs in cases where patients have lost a significant amount weight, leaving them with an excessive amount of loose, sagging skin.
Many body parts can undergo body contouring. The torso, upper arms, chest, and thighs are very popular. Smaller areas such as the chin can also be altered via body contouring.
Body Shaping Versus Body Contouring
While some may use the terms body shaping and body contouring interchangeably, body shaping generally implies a change triggered by diet and exercise. A body builder committed to enlarging the size of his or her biceps is body shaping.
Body contouring, on the other hand, refers to altering the shape of a body part via deliberate intervention that relies on technology and the provider’s skill. An artistic eye is not only useful, but often essential when body contouring.
Most patients report an improved outlook on life and higher self-esteem after professional body contouring.
Body Contouring for Males
Males are more likely to seek out body contouring today than ever before. Fortunately, a number of biological factors help make the male body ideal for body contouring procedures.
For one, the subdermal fat can be firmer and even more vascular than in women of the same age. Likewise, male skin retains elasticity for a longer time than female skin. Both factors help make body contouring procedures very effective for male patients.
Perhaps the biggest factor sending males to the body contouring doctor is today’s image of what a virile, healthy man looks like. Masculinity, like everything else, has changed. Today, we imagine a man as trim with a lean and flexible, athletic body. The shoulders are broad. The chest is defined. The abdominal area is toned with some muscular definition – or at least flat!
Men who are blessed with the ideal body image through genetics and good health undoubtedly take it for granted in their youth. As the years go by, however, they notice it slipping away. With each changing season, the differences become more apparent and difficult to look at in the mirror.
In men, fat accumulates around the abdomen and the flanks. The once lean and appealing mid-section is replaced by a bloated belly and thick, love handles. At the same time, the breast area can also fall victim to the cruel hands of time and becomes soft and fleshy with little definition. Last but not least, a man’s jawline can end up hidden by the sagging flesh under his chin and neck. Fortunately, body contouring technology means that these changes don’t have to be permanent.
Body Contouring for Females
Women also seek body contouring professionals in large numbers, especially as they get older. Much has been written about the ideal female body. If one thinks back to the glamourous days of Hollywood, we invariably envision the hourglass shaped female body.
While that young-starlet image remains popular, today’s ideal female image is more sophisticated. Women, too, are expected to have a certain degree of athletic grace. A lean, healthy body supported by a strong, flat core is the sought after glamor body these days; and body contouring can help women achieve it.
Genetics play a huge role in a woman’s body shape. Some are destined to be more oval or pear-shaped than hourglass. That’s not to say that diet and exercise don’t play an important role. Both are tantamount to achieving and maintaining an attractive look. But the changes from professional body contouring can be quite dramatic for any body shape.
Woman may utilize body contouring for various area of the face and body. Many women want to get rid of the excess skin and fat between their chin and neck. Other facial areas may benefit, as well.
Woman may also seek to change the shape or size of their abdomen, especially if there is excess skin or fat sagging over the waist. Women may reshape the buttocks, inner thigh and outer thigh area.
Thanks to advancement in technology and the hard won skills of body contouring providers, women have more control over the shape of their body than ever before in human history.
Surgical Body Contouring After Weightloss
Providers can perform body contouring on individuals with a normal, stable weight; and for most providers doing so becomes routine. People dealing with extreme obesity, however, may choose surgeries to combat their weight and then seek surgical body contouring as part of their long term recovery.
The collection of weight loss procedures used in these cases is commonly referred to as bariatric surgery. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, bariatric surgery is appropriate for people with a BMI, Body Mass Index, of at least 40 and for people with a BMI of 35 and serious coexisting medical conditions.
Once bariatric surgery is complete, patients can lose a substantial amount of weight very quickly. In extreme cases, hundreds of pounds may be shed. Such a dramatic weight loss has numerous advantages as far as health and personal well being, but the patient is left with a lot of excess skin.
In many cases, the person’s skin simply can’t bounce back to its original shape. The longer the skin has been stretched, the harder it is to recover. The aging process and genetics play a big role, too.
The bottom line is that bariatric patients have a constant reminder of their past struggle with obesity. This may go hand in hand with low self-esteem or serious depression. Furthermore, the extra skin may interfere with movement and even putting on clothing.
A select group of highly trained professionals can perform in depth body contouring procedures on patients who’ve lost a massive amount of weight. The procedures leave scars and some will say that a patient is trading skin for scars. But the improvement in physical appearance as well as the boosted self-esteem makes the body contouring worth it for many patients.
Non Invasive Body Contouring
Thank to innovations in technology, many body contouring procedures are non-invasive, meaning they do not require medical instruments to be inserted into the body.
Patients who aren’t afraid of frostbite or numbness may opt for technologies using cold as their primary mechanism. These cold-based technologies allege to freeze fat cells to the point that they eventually die. The body then processes and eliminates the dead cells over a period of days, weeks, or months.
Patients and providers give mixed feedback on these technologies. Some may swear by cold based body contouring machines while others report little to no results. The fact that some of these devices require, and perhaps rely on, dieting and increased exercise is another important factor.
However, both ultrasound and medical radiofrequency have shown tremendous promise in non-invasive body contouring. Practitioners are able to control the depth of penetration and target specific areas of the body. The intended result is an improved body appearance.
Patients should keep in mind that not all technologies are developed in the same way. As body contouring treatments gain popularity, more and more companies launch a device in hopes of earning their share of the market. Some technologies are prone to leave bruises on the patient. Others may be uncomfortable or even painful.
Body contouring technologies that offer a great outcome through a comfortable treatment are the best of both worlds.