Body Contouring

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Body Contouring is a term used primarily to describe plastic
surgery techniques aimed at improving an
individual’s body shape. The most common
procedures used in body contouring
are liposuction and ‘tummy-tucks.’ Body
contouring surgery remains one of the
most requested procedures performed by
plastic surgeons today. According to the
American Society of Aesthetic Plastic
Surgeons, over 450,000 liposuction procedures
were performed in 2004 making it
the most common cosmetic surgery procedure.
The interest in body contouring surgery
has risen significantly over the past
five years fueled in part by the widespread
media exposure of plastic surgery ‘reality
shows’ as well as a trend towards society’s
acceptance of plastic surgery as a positive
personal experience.


Any individual who desires an
improvement in their body shape is a
potential candidate for body contouring
surgery. It is important to recognize that
body image can have a significant
impact on a person’s well-being. Often
times particular areas do not respond to
exercise and diet. Many factors such as
pregnancy, weight loss and the effects of
aging and gravity can lead to unattractive
stretch marks and loose skin that
detract from one’s body shape. These
areas can be significantly improved with
body contouring by removing the excess
skin and addressing the areas of fat
bulging. With the recent ‘trend’ in gastric
bypass procedures, body contouring has
become an excellent option for these
individuals who have experienced massive
weight loss.


Body contouring usually refers to procedures
that remove redundant or sagging
skin and/or excess fat. If you are
unhappy with the appearance of your
abdomen because of hanging skin, a
tummy tuck may be an excellent option
to improve the appearance of your waistline
by removing the loose skin and
tightening the underlying muscles. A
thigh lift can help to eliminate the wrinkled
skin of the upper thighs or, similarly,
a buttock lift can restore a more
rounded, lifted appearance to a sagging
buttock. Liposuction can be used to
remove areas of fat bulging and is often
used in combination with other body
contouring procedures to further refine
the cosmetic result.


The most common body contouring
procedure, liposuction, involves placing
small incisions (approximately the width
of your fingertip) in strategic locations to
allow for removal of the fat using specially
designed instruments (cannulas).
Through these small incisions, the fat
under the skin can be sculpted and the
skin will then shrink down to reshape
itself over the treated area. Other body
contouring procedures such as a tummytuck,
thigh lift or buttock lift require a
longer incision so that the sagging skin
can be tightened and the excess skin
removed. The incisions are usually
placed in areas that can be easily covered
with minimal clothing. In a tummy-tuck,
any bulging of the abdominal muscles is
usually corrected by tightening the muscles.
The incision for a tummy-tuck is
traditionally placed along the lowest part
of the abdomen, gently curving upward
in a U-shaped fashion along a line connecting
the bony prominences of the hip
bone. An inner thigh lift incision is usually
placed in the groin crease and can
extend onto the buttock crease. If a total
thigh lift is performed, the incision can
continue in a circular manner around the
entire upper thigh. A buttock lift incision
is most often limited to the buttock
crease, but can extend in either direction
if necessary. Variations in these incisions
are based on patient anatomy and surgeon

Plastic surgery is an art of both body
and mind. Body contouring can be your
mirror t