Body Contouring: Types, Risks, Recovery

Overview

Body contouring means a collection of procedures that can improve the tone of underlying tissue and remove excess fat and skin. This is a good choice after dramatic weight loss. Because after any substantial amount of weight loss due to surgery or lifestyle changes, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size. This procedure can help lead to a more defined look with smoother contours.

Body contouring can be both surgical and nonsurgical. There are many types of body contouring options available today. The best treatment type will depend on what areas of your body you want to target, your anatomy, your goals, and your personal preferences.

Types

Based on the area of the body that you want to be treated, body contouring can be divided into:

  • Arm lift, which corrects sagging of the upper arms
  • Breast lift, correcting sagging, flattened breasts
  • Facelift, correcting sagging of the mid-face, jowls and neck
  • Lower body lifts, which targets sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, inner and outer thighs
  • Medial thigh lift, which focuses on sagging of the inner thigh
  • Tummy tuck, which corrects apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen

The best type of body contouring for you is dependent on your current body shape, goals, and preferences. It is worth mentioning that you need to be in stable weight and good health to do any of these body contouring procedures.

Cost

The average cost of body contouring surgery can vary widely according to the types of the procedure and the surgeon you choose. Generally, body contouring costs may include:

  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Medical tests
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Surgeon’s fee

Risks

To make the decision, you should know the risks and potential complications of body contouring procedures. Possible risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
  • Poor wound healing
  • Blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Residual skin laxity or contour irregularity

Preparation

In preparing for body contouring surgery, your surgeon may ask you to:

  • Get a lab test
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking at least 2 weeks in advance of surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements or other medications that may increase bleeding

If your body contouring is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery. You should also be accompanied for at least the first night following surgery.

Surgical steps

Although there are many different types of body contouring, their surgical steps are similar. Usual steps for surgical body contouring are:

  • Anesthesia, including intravenous sedation and general anesthesia
  • Making the incision to remove excess skin and fat
  • Removing unnecessary fat and skin
  • Closing the incisions

The results of body contouring following significant weight loss are visible almost immediately. However, it can take two weeks or more to see the final results if you have symptoms like swelling and bruising.

Recovery

Based on the part of your body receiving treatment, the techniques used in the procedure and your personal health condition, your recovery time may be different. In most cases, you may need dressings or bandages applied to your incisions following the procedure. Also, your surgeon will put small, thin tubes under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.

You may be instructed to avoid bending, straining or lifting for several days to weeks. Moreover, to minimize the risk of DVT, you may need to walk as soon as possible and drink plenty of fluid.

Luckily, many of today’s body contouring options are minimally invasive, and tend to result in shorter recovery times, less discomfort, and less swelling.


Keyword: body contouring.

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