Body contouring is a somewhat general term that refers to the reshaping of targeted areas of the skin and underlying tissue. Most of the body contouring procedures being performed today are non-invasive or minimally invasive, are outpatient in nature, and involve the tightening of sagging skin along with the removal of excess fat in a localized region.
The various types of body contouring can be explained by a plastic surgeon or dermal treatment specialist. The information that follows, however, serves as a good starting point for those seeking information about their treatment options as well as for finding out if they are a good candidate for contouring treatment.
There are two main types of liposuction treatment. The first is known as lipoplasty and involves the insertion of a small tube called a cannula. The end of the tube loosens excess fat – particularly fat held in cellulite bonds – and then suction is applied to draw out the loosened material. In most cases, this surgery procedure can be successful in removing benign fatty tumors. Patients generally find that fat deposits remaining even after undergoing healthy diet changes can be easily removed with a traditional liposuction treatment
Laser liposuction involves the insertion of a small laser tube into the fat deposit. The laser beam is just powerful enough to melt away the excess fat. Patients do not need full anesthesia for this procedure. A moderately powerful local anesthetic is all that is required. Recovery downtime is usually shorter than when traditional liposuction is performed.
Thermage treatments to correct sagging or uneven skin due to the presence of cellulite are becoming one of the most popularly performed fat removal techniques. A special heating unit is passed over the affected area. The underlying dermis, which is just above the uppermost fat deposits, is gently heated. The treatment causes an increase in the production of collagen, which helps build strength to the skin and makes it smoother. It also enhances the appearance because skin tone is improved.
Ultrasound waves are used to heat a targeted area of fat cells. The pulse mechanism can be fine-tuned to affect only a small region of fat, and the adjacent cells are left undisturbed. The procedure is scheduled only after a complete inspection of the affected areas has been completed using x-rays, thermal mapping, or other technique. Ultrasound fat melting can be completed in less than one hour. No anesthetic is needed. Patients can resume their normal activities immediately.
What to Expect
Everyone is different. The stubbornness of the unwanted fat, its density, and location, and the overall health of the individual must all be taken into consideration by the professional who will perform one of the above-mentioned procedures. However, the choice of which procedure is best is determined by the actual region of skin or underlying fat deposits compared to the ideal fat-to-body weight of the individual patient.
Body contouring and removal of sagging skin by using suction or heat treatments is not just for the elite or wealthy. Anyone who has unsightly fat deposits and who desires a firmer, suppler skin surface may be a candidate for these advanced treatment techniques.