What is Body Contouring?

Beautiful Body Contouring
Caroline Hedges

Caroline Hedges

Caroline Hedges is a critically acclaimed researcher, writer and serial entrepreneur.
With a knack for making the obscure plain, she is able to distill her research
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If you’ve reached your goal weight, but still are not seeing the body you’ve worked so hard for, you may be a great candidate for body contouring. For many people who are at or within 10 pounds of their healthy body weight, contouring is a great solution to help shed those stubborn pockets of fat that are keeping you from your ideal body. The great news is that you have many options for achieving the body of your dreams!

Do you feel like you may need something that produces dramatic results? There are several surgical options that can offer you the results you want. Don’t want anything too dramatic and would prefer to not have surgery? The good news is there are multiple non-surgical options to contour your body.

What is Surgical Contouring?

Contouring is an excellent way to redefine your figure, particularly for people who have experienced dramatic weight loss and have a lot of excess skin. Surgical options can help to tighten skin back up and get rid of those extra-stubborn fat deposits. Most of the following surgical contouring procedures are performed under general anesthetic at a local outpatient hospital. They should only be performed by an experienced, qualified, and accredited plastic surgeon.


This procedure involves the removal of fat to create a more streamlined look. It is very versatile and can be performed on virtually any area of the body. Many people choose the waist for their liposuction treatment, and many women choose to have liposuction as part of a bigger procedure called a “mommy makeover.”

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This procedure is more commonly referred to as a tummy tuck. It involves toning and tightening the stomach area and is particularly popular among women post-birth. After the stretching and trauma of birth, this procedure tightens the stomach by removing loose skin and repairing weakened muscles. 

Thigh and Body lifts

This procedure is focused on removing and tightening the loose skin around the buttocks and thighs that is there because of aging or extreme weight loss.

Arm Lift

Just as with a thigh/body lift, this procedure focuses on the removal of excess skin and fat in the upper arm area. It can significantly reduce bat-wings and increase confidence in the patient. You’ll be able to rock those sleeveless tops with confidence this summer! 

Brazilian Butt Lift

This procedure focuses on lifting and firming the buttocks using fat removed from other areas of your body. This is a two-in-one surgery: liposuction on another area provides the fat that will be transferred into the buttock area. Using your own fat reduces the risk of infection and is already compatible with their body.

Sun skin damage prevention

Recovery for Surgical Contouring

All of the above procedures carry a degree of risk, such as infection, bleeding and adverse reaction to the anesthetic. These are rare, and the surgeon will talk over all the risks during the initial consultation. Most of the surgeries above will involve scars. An experienced, qualified surgeon will work to ensure the scar is hidden and as minimal as can be.

Recovery will take on average 2 weeks for the initial stage – compression garments should be worn to reduce swelling and pain medication will be prescribed for the first couple of days. It is important to follow the surgeon’s recommendations for recovery and to take it easy until healing is complete. The final effects of all of the above surgeries should be seen around 6 months.

What is Nonsurgical Contouring?

If you do not feel like you need such extreme measures to get the shape you are looking for, there are many non-surgical options also available to you. Nonsurgical options are great if you do not have a lot of time for recovery.  Or if you’d rather not undergo surgery. 


This procedure uses cryolipolysis to freeze fat cells and allow them to be naturally eliminated from the body. To get the most of this treatment, it is recommended that 3 – 4 treatments are performed. Results have shown between 20 – 25% reduction of fat from treated areas. Check out Aesthetica’s before and after photos of a patient who had this performed!

Before and After CoolSculpting Image

Non-Surgical Skin Tightening:

This procedure uses a product called SkinTyte to encourage the skin to produce more elastin and collagen which will make the skin tighter and healthier. It is great for wrinkles too.


Kybella is an injection that uses deoxycholic acid to help the body breakdown and absorb fat cells. It is a naturally occuring substance in the body. The procedure is primarily used to eliminate double chins and sculpt the neck. 

Recovery for Nonsurgical Contouring

All of the above non-surgical procedures have little recovery periods. They are performed in office and take under a hour. Patients may feel a little sore and have some swelling and bruising which should reduce and be gone within 24 hours. Results vary depending on the treatment but expect to start seeing them within a month.

CoolSculpting for fat removal

Things To Consider

As with any medical procedure, it is important to consult your healthcare provider before making any decisions. Body sculpting focuses on giving you your ideal body shape, it is not intended to take the place of exercise and diet in weight loss. Usually a physician will advise, if you have a BMI of 30 or greater, to focus on your diet and exercise before undergoing any procedures. It is important to be healthy before undergoing any medical procedure. To know what is best for you, it is important to speak to your doctor.

Ready to love your body?

If you are wondering whether you would make a good candidate for any surgical or non-surgical body contouring procedures, we invite you to simply come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

Let Us Help You!

Our office can provide you with helpful information, schedule a free consultation, and walk you through the many services and procedures we offer.

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