Body Contouring Solutions

Ever wonder what it would be like to sculpt your ideal body as if from clay? A plastic surgeon can help with that.

Body Contouring Solutions

The Skinny


Body contouring sounds like an often repeated phrase in an advanced painting class. That might be the case, but it is also a common practice among plastic surgeons looking to assist candidates in removing excess fat (check out our full guide to Excess Body Fat Concerns). Body contouring procedures can be performed via liposuction or through non-invasive techniques. We should note that body contouring is not bariatric surgery. A good candidate for these procedures has already made considerable and effective efforts to reach a healthy body weight and body fat and now just needs a little extra help with some of the more stubborn areas.

The Specifics


Who may consider body contouring procedures?

Fat tissue is important and it’s everywhere. At a healthy body weight and body fat level most individuals will still show areas of fat accumulation. The tight, toned look of elite athletes is highly specific and requires intense commitment to maintain.

There are two types of fat tissue. Visceral fat surrounds our organs, and high levels are strongly correlated to health risks like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Subcutaneous fat is the stuff we see, and the stuff that a cosmetic surgeon can help you with.

  • Arm Fat: Mostly correlated to high body weight and body fat. The fat tissue distribution of the arms makes it more likely for the back of the arm to show fat.
  • Belly Fat: The most likely, and one of the most stubborn areas to store fat. Men tend to accumulate fat in the midsection more than in the lower body. Aging causes fat deposits to naturally increase in the belly as well.
  • Buttocks Fat: Naturally women have higher concentrations of fat in the buttocks than men. The shape of the buttocks is also highly influenced by the large gluteal muscles.
  • Leg Fat: More commonly seen in women than men, fat in the legs typically accumulates on the front of the upper leg.
  • Submental Fat: This refers to the fat pad that sits just below the chin. It’s size and shape is determined by body weight and body fat, although some individuals are genetically predisposed to have a higher volume of sub mental fat.

The Anatomy of Belly Fat Belly Fat Anatomy Illustration

What can you expect from a body contouring procedure?

When it comes to cosmetic procedures for assisted body contouring, the target is the soft tissues. A DIY body contour through diet and exercise would target muscle as well as fat. These procedures usually target fat tissue for removal, and some can simultaneously enhance skin tone as well.

  • Liposuction: Directly remove fat deposits plus or minus the help of special solutions or additional instruments. Lipo is well practiced, effective, and safe.
  • Non-Surgical Fat Reduction: Freezing, heating, and injecting techniques reduce fat deposits in a less invasive way than liposuction. Generally, these treatments require multiple sessions.

Body contouring via liposuctionor non-surgical techniques will provide significant results that will be subject to weight changes, use, and aging. Recovery will be dependent upon the procedure, however, most of these techniques are not especially invasive.

When should you consider a body contouring procedure?

The ideal time to pursue a body contouring procedure is mostly dependent on your expectations. Any body contouring procedure is going to be subject to aging and changes in weight. Therefore, it makes the most sense to consider treatment when you are at a stable and sustainable body weight and body fat level.

Why should you consider a body contouring procedure?

Body contouring procedures are not weight loss procedures. A body contouring via liposuction or a non-surgical technique is designed to help with those last stubborn areas of fat. In older individuals at a healthy body weight and body fat level, a body contouring procedure can assist with the frustrating changes in the body’s natural fat deposits as we age.

Liposuction for Body Contouring

Liposuction is a tried-and-true classic for permanently removing fat. There are, however, an array of modern techniques to get the job done:

Non-Surgical Fat Reduction for Body Contouring

For people who wish to avoid curgery, there are less invasive fat removal treatment options.

The Takeaway


The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that 258,000 liposuction procedures were performed in 2018, making it one of the top five cosmetic procedures of the year. Body contouring procedures can help to refine, define, and enhance almost any area of the body with the added benefit of minimal down time. Don’t let those last few remaining stubborn fat cells get in the way of your ideal aesthetic.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. GB Forbes Body Fat Content Influences the Body Composition Response to Nutrition and Exercise PubMed.gov; 2000-05-01
  2. Paul Cohen, Bruce M Spiegelman Cell Biology of Fat Storage PubMed.gov; 2016-08-15
  3. American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report plasticsurgery.org; 2019-01-01

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