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.
Good Candidates for Body Contouring Procedures
It may seem that almost everyone is a good candidate for body contouring procedures. Granted, almost everyone would like to reshape or alter at least one part of their body and the majority of those folks are, in fact, ready for a body contouring procedure.
However, providers must take a few factors into consideration.
Patients with an existing condition that could inhibit normal healing are not good candidates for surgical body contouring. The condition may make them unsuitable for non-invasive body contouring as well.
Other than that, most adults find that they are suitable for body contouring as long as they are in good health and at a stable weight.
Your Body Contouring Journey
Your body contouring journey has already begun, demonstrated by visiting authoritative websites and learning more. The next step, is to talk to a trained provider who can assess you state of health and discuss your expectations.
Your provider will share his or her experience with body contouring procedures and may show you Before & After Photographs. He or she will discuss how you can best prepare for the treatment and what to expect immediately afterwards.
Choosing a Body Contouring Provider
When choosing a provider, it goes without saying that you’ll want to be sure that they’ve been properly trained. They should be at ease with performing the procedure. It’s also a good time to discuss the cost and time commitment involved, including visits for follow up care.
As with any procedure, it’s important that you’re comfortable with the provider and feel that you can discuss your needs openly and honestly. Don’t hold back during the initial consultation. If you’re seeking a drastic change to some part of your body, be sure your provider knows all about it.
Keep in mind that different providers can achieve different results depending on the technology they use. One provider may tell you that your expectations are unrealistic. Another may tell you, “No problem, here’s how we can accomplish that.”
The provider’s experience and past successes may also impact their answers. Keep an open mind while searching. Reach out to family or friends who’ve had a similar procedure and ask their opinions. Remember, not all providers are alike. The most important part is to find the body contouring provider that’s right for you.
Questions to ask Your Body Contouring Provider
Chances are that you already have a few questions to ask your new body contouring provider. Below are some that you may also use:
Can I achieve my body contouring goal?
How long does the procedure take?
Will anesthesia be required?
Will I have stitches?
Will I have bandages? If yes, when will they be removed?
How long does it take to recover from the procedure?
Will it hurt?
What can I do to make sure my procedure goes well?
What should I do after my procedure?
Is there anything I should watch for to make sure I’m healing properly after my procedure?
Will medications be prescribed? If so, which ones?
When I can return to all normal activity?
Consider this a starting place rather than a full list of questions to ask your body contouring professional.
Preparing for Your Body Contouring Procedure
You may be anxious in the days leading up to the big day. It’s perfectly normal.
Remind yourself that thousands of people have undergone body contouring procedures. Your provider may be someone with countless success stories already under his or her belt. Likewise, the technology used for body contouring procedures has never been better.
All of these factors can help soothe your mind and lessen your worries. At the same time, be sure to get plenty of uninterrupted sleep and rest. Postpone stressful situations or mitigate them as best you can. Continue eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, preparing your body for any post-procedure healing.
Depending on the type of body contouring you’re going to have, you might want to forego strenuous exercise. A stress reducing walk or easy jog will most likely be fine. Follow any additional instructions for your provider.
Use common sense and take extra good care of yourself when preparing for your body contouring procedure.
Recovering from Body Contouring
Some body contouring technologies require no post procedure down time. That was unheard of years ago, but quite common today.
However, your procedure may call for a bit of rest or a period of actual downtime while you recover. If this is the case, your provider will give you complete instructions.
If bandages or stitches were needed, you’ll need a follow up visit to have them removed. At the same time, your provider will examine your overall health and to see that you’re recovering as you should be.
When skilled providers utilize the best technology, complications from body contouring are minimal. If you suspect anything is wrong, however, contact your provider right away.
Again, try to keep stress at bay and eat nutritious foods, giving your body time and energy to return to normal. Most of all get plenty of sleep and relaxation as you recover from your body contouring experience.
Innovations in Body Contouring Technology
Body contouring technology has come a very long way in a short period of time. Radiofrequency and ultrasound are now viable options for many patients, making non-invasive procedures a reality. That’s a huge plus.
For more traditional body contouring procedures in which fat is extracted from the body, no innovation appears more stunning than the use of lasers. Using culminated light, providers are able to turn hard, stubborn fat into a liquid state, making it easier to suction the fat from the body.
This innovation puts many advantages into the hands of those who embrace it, creating a body contouring procedure with minimal risk and maximized outcomes.
Learn more about lasers and aesthetic body contouring from a provider found here.