Body contouring, or body sculpting, refers to a set of procedures that collectively address bodily problems associated with weight gain or aging – including sagging skin, excess fat, and weakened muscles. Surgical procedures for body contouring are known for their dramatic and almost instantaneous results. These procedures include:
Different body contouring treatments can target various parts of the body.
Liposuction and CoolSculpting can be done on almost every part of the body that stores fat, including the abdomen, back, thighs, buttocks, arms, and so on.
Meanwhile, procedures like tummy tuck surgery and Brachioplasty are more targeted to specific problem areas. Tummy tuck surgery removes excess skin and subcutaneous fat while also adjusting weakened abdominal muscles, resulting in a tighter and firmer abdomen.
Similarly, Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is a procedure that removes sagging skin and excess fat between the armpit and the elbow, resulting in a more tight and toned appearance of the arms.
We cannot emphasize enough that overall good health is important in ensuring the success of any plastic surgery procedure. Overall good health ensures that the body can heal well and quickly. It’s also important to avoid habits like drinking or smoking that can impede the body’s healing process. Additionally, advise us of any conditions (such as diabetes) that can interfere with proper healing.
It is also important to be aware of the downtime for each procedure and plan this in advance. Procedures like the tummy tuck and Brachioplasty have longer downtimes than liposuction – while CoolSculpting has no downtime at all.
If you find that your procedure has downtime involved, make sure to plan out the time frame for you to be able to rest and avoid strenuous physical activity. You might need to take a break from work and household activities.
You need to know what to expect. This is why consultations are so important. During our consultation, we can discuss your goals as well as any fine-tuning (if any) that are to be done for your procedure. We’ll also give you further information on the procedure itself and what you need to do afterwards to ensure the best results.
First, let’s talk about liposuction and CoolSculpting. Both of these aim to eliminate fat permanently but in different ways. Liposuction expels the fat by sucking it out while CoolSculpting freezes fat cells to destroy them. Another difference is that liposuction will involve small incisions that need sutures.
What makes these techniques so effective is the fact that fat cells no longer multiply in number after puberty. This means fat cell count can be permanently reduced by these procedures.
However, none of these two procedures is a substitute for proper diet and exercise because any remaining fat cells can still grow up to any size. This is why patients who become negligent regarding their nutrition and exercise after the operation may find that they are gaining weight again.
What makes the tummy tuck surgery and Brachioplasty surgery unique from liposuction and CoolSculpting is that these procedures can eliminate excess or sagging skin – and not just fat cells. For the tummy tuck surgery, adjustments on weakened abdominal muscles can also be done to ensure a tighter and slimmer looking abdomen. These procedures are also more invasive and may have more downtime but results are certainly dramatic.
Because these two body contouring treatments also address sagging skin, they are typically chosen by individuals who have gained and lost weight, borne children, or have skin sagging due to aging.
Fat-eliminating body contouring treatments may not show you the final results immediately. With liposuction, you will need to wait for the swelling to go down which takes about 6 to 12 weeks.
This time may be longer for the CoolSculpting procedure – but it’s not because of swelling. With CoolSculpting, you will need to wait for the body’s processes to expel the destroyed fat cells naturally (unlike with Liposuction where they are sucked out.) Therefore, you can expect to see the final results of CoolSculpting after about 6 months.
Meanwhile, surgical procedures like the tummy tuck and Brachioplasty that remove sagging skin and excess fat will give you an immediate glimpse of the results. For one thing, excess sagging skin will be gone so the change is noticeable. But because of the swelling, which is a natural part of the healing process, you won’t see the final results until about 6 months post-surgery.
In general, surgical procedures such as tummy tuck and Brachioplasty have downtimes when sutures need to be cared for and strenuous physical activity must be avoided. The tummy tuck surgery will need about 2 to 3 weeks of recovery while Brachioplasty will need about 1 to 2 weeks.
Compression garments will also be required to help control swelling. Pain medication and antibiotics may also be required – the latter is to minimize the chance of infection. Typically, normal physical activity is not recommended until at least 6 weeks post-surgery.
Lastly, habits like smoking and drinking are prohibited until full recovery – and these are discouraged thereafter.
Liposuction still involves the creation of small incisions that also need to be sutured. Therefore, the patient will need to properly care for the suture/s and take antibiotics. Compression garments may also be required depending on your case. However, recovery is relatively faster as you’ll be able to go back to work within a few days and resume normal physical activities within 2 weeks.
This is the only procedure on our list that has no downtime. Redness and soreness, however, are expected within the first few weeks and patients may be advised to wear compression garments as well. Additionally, loose comfortable clothing is recommended to avoid discomfort.
In general, surgical procedures such as tummy tuck and Brachioplasty can have complications such as infections, poor wound healing, prolonged swelling, fluid accumulation, numbness or changes in skin sensation, unfavourable scarring, fat necrosis, and asymmetry – which will need revisional surgery.
The main complications of liposuction include fluid accumulation, infection, internal puncture, numbness, fat embolism, and contour irregularities that may need revisional liposuction.
Being non-invasive gives CoolSculpting the advantage of having the fewest possible complications and the major ones include: pain, stinging, and tugging sensation at the treatment site.
Fat cells do not multiply after puberty. Therefore, fat cells that are removed through any of these body contouring procedures are gone for good.
In a way, fat can still return if the patient becomes too lax after the procedure – but it’s not because of cellular multiplication. What happens is that the remaining fat cells can increase up to any size with a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
Initially, plastic surgery may help you lose some pounds because of fat and/or loose skin that is removed but this is for aesthetic gains and not meant to control your BMI or be a substitute for sufficient exercise and a proper diet.
Get the body you’ve always wanted. Mclean is the leading plastic surgery and non-surgical cosmetic clinic in Mississauga. Under the leadership of the renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Mclean, the McLean Clinic offers a wide range of aesthetic solutions that will help you look and feel your very best.
So, let’s talk about your aesthetic goals. Contact us today and get a free consultation!