Almost 600,000 people undergo bariatric surgery in the United States every year.
For most people, the treatment is very successful but does leave some cosmetic problems for the patient afterward.
After dramatic weight loss, either from surgery or from behavioral lifestyle changes, the body and skin appear different.
There can be excess skin in places that patients don't want it.
Body contouring is a fantastic option to help address this cosmetic issue. Every year, more and more people are turning to body contouring to help their bodies look more like they want without undergoing surgery.
In this article, we will walk you through each of the major types of body contouring, and discuss their pros and cons. You will be able to decide which, if any, of these procedures are right for you.
What Is Body Contouring?
In essence, body contouring is using a specific device to reduce unwanted fat in difficult areas. Whether by surgical or non-surgical means, these tools help to shape the body's contour to a more desired form.
What Are the Different Types of Treatments?
There are many different types of body contouring treatments. Here, we will discuss the pros and cons of the major options.
The goal of liposuction is to break up individual pockets of fat and remove them using a high-pressure vacuum through a hollow instrument. This instrument is known as a cannula, and it is placed under the skin surgically by the surgeon, who then removes fat under the surface.
The pros of this approach are that it works. Most patients can expect an improved appearance as a result of the procedure.
Liposuction can also be used to treat other problems like chronic swelling, lipomas, benign fatty tumors, and excess skin after a large amount of weight loss.
Nonetheless, this procedure is surgical and invasive and it requires undergoing anesthesia.
Liposuction procedures can be some of the most expensive cosmetic treatments in body contouring. You will have more downtime compared to other types of treatment.
There are also certain areas that can be treated by liposuction, and others where it is difficult or unsafe.
There are other risks of the procedure, including infection, scarring, bruising, or inflammation. You also have all of the risks of surgery.
Microsculpting is a lighter alternative to liposuction. It uses ultrasound to painlessly dislodge fat from its position. After the fat has been dislodged, a micro-cannula is inserted under the skin to take it out.
Compared to liposuction, microsculpting requires less time away from work and less swelling. It is moderately less invasive and has a faster recovery time.
However, microsculpting still costs patients in the thousands of dollars.
Many of the same risks of liposuction including swelling, bruising, soreness, or numbness still persist.
Laser sculpting is a unique option that combines surgical intervention with a laser procedure. It works by liquefying different bodies of fat using a laser and then removing them through a minimally invasive surgical approach.
Once again, compared to liposuction, laser sculpting is minimally invasive. It is best used on small areas like the neck, chin, or arms. If there are special fat deposits in these smaller areas, laser sculpting is likely one of the best options. Most patients will be back on their feet within 24 to 48 hours, however, this can be longer.
Laser sculpting still costs several thousand dollars. As mentioned, only certain areas benefit from the specialized treatment.
The surgeon may still choose to use surgical intervention as part of this approach. It also takes longer to see results, as individuals may have to wait for one to two months before treatment is completed.
They still face many of the risks discussed above, including burns, blisters, or infections.
Coolsculpting is a form of non-invasive body contouring that involves freezing the fat. In a controlled setting using a body contouring machine, cool temperatures freeze fat in up to nine different areas. The procedure has no downtime and has been studied and found to have proven results.
The procedure still costs approximately $1000 per area that is treated. You may need multiple sessions, so this cost can add up quickly.
Further, it takes longer to see results compared to other methods. It may take some patients up to six months.
As with other procedures, common risks include redness, swelling, bruising, and other medical conditions.
Kybella is FDA-approved as an injectable treatment body contouring option. Specifically, it targets the stomach, armpit, back, and chin through the dissolution of fat cells.
It is an injectable man-made acid that is derived from a specific substance that your body makes naturally inside your intestines to dissolve fat.
It is minimally invasive, as it only requires injections. Many patients prefer this to more invasive surgical options since it is easier to tolerate the procedure. It is also used to slim the jawline specifically.
Kybella costs approximately $1200 per treatment, and usually up to four treatments are necessary. Once again, patients may experience bruising, numbness, itching, trouble swallowing, or swelling.
Is Body Contouring For You?
At the end of the day, the decision lies with you as to whether body contouring is the best option to reshape your body to look how you want. For many patients with major weight loss, body contouring is a fantastic option to help them feel like themselves again.
If you're looking for expert specialists in body contouring in the Columbus, Ohio area, look no further. At Beyond Skin Aesthetics, we are a physician-led practice with years of expertise helping patients use body contouring toward their goals.