Why Should I go for Body Contouring?
Our society has always admired beautiful figures. From the ancient Greeks, to today’s upscale California nightclub scene, actors, soldiers, athletes—even businessmen and politicians. We all strive to look young and full of life through our physiques, and this in turn helps in determining how other people perceive us. We follow a strict diet, and exercise regimens that shape their bodies in order to get that figure that we all dream of having someday.
But for most people, getting the right figure isn’t so easy.
A lot of people are willing to experiment a little in order to try and get the perfect figure, and not just because they want to feel good and healthy, but also because they want to look good. These people try different exercise routines and work out with high-tech machines, and utilize various dietary supplements. What they don’t know, however, is that many factors contribute to the success, or failure, of their endeavors. Genes, environment, even psychology, can greatly enhance or hinder a person’s efforts in achieving the right figure. This is when extra help is needed.
For these people, the 21st century’s answer lies in body contouring surgery. Body contouring is a general term that refers to any surgical procedure that alters different areas of the body such as the torso, upper arms, thighs and chest. Any of these can be done to any patient, but are mostly effective for people who have recently lost a lot of weight and wish to remove any excess skin, or remaining fat from their bodies.
Body Contouring VS Traditional Body Shaping Methods
Many people focus primarily on losing weight and think that the proper figure will immediately follow. But as mentioned earlier, weight loss itself is hard enough, let alone figuring out ways to specifically sculpt and tone the different parts of the body.
Removing excess fat, sagging skin, and achieving the perfect muscle tone is difficult to do naturally, if at all. Lifting weights can take a great amount of devoted time and effort to make an impact, the kind of time and effort that most people are normally too busy for. This is most especially important to people who have lost substantial weight, whether through exercise or liposuction. This is because dealing with the sudden weight loss can result in areas of your body giving off a more negative impact than one would expect after weight loss since seeing all the loose and sagging skin can be an unpleasant experience.
Fortunately, there are many female body contouring and male body contouring procedures available that can help patients achieve their desired look in the quickest amount of time with the least amount of effort possible.
The different kinds of Body Contouring Procedures
There are a number of body contouring procedures available today, and more are continuously being developed on a regular basis.
The body lift is one of the most common, which generally contours the entire abdomen, the thighs, and the buttocks. These are ideal for women who recently gave birth, and want to immediately regain a tight and shapely figure without the need to spend countless hours at the gym.
Bra-line back lift is another procedure that helps remove back fat rolls and excess skin caused by massive weight loss, aging, or even sun exposure. The scars, while present, will be hidden beneath the bra line to hide it from view.
Implants also count as body contouring treatments. Butt implants, for example, are available for women or men who wish to have larger, shapelier buttocks. These can also remove the effects of aging on your butt by giving a “lifted”, firmer, and tighter look. Calf implants are used for both aesthetic and practical purposes. For people who wish to have calves that are larger, more muscular, or just to repair the asymmetry caused by any physical trauma. Bicep and tricep implants serve the same purpose, helping increase the mass of the upper arms in order to give a more symmetric and more desirable look to the upper body.
Body fat transfers are also another way of shaping your body. Instead of using implants, body fat transfers take fat from other places of the body (usually the ones with excess), and moves them to another part of the body to augment it. An example of this is the Brazilian butt lift, which takes excess fat, purifies it, and re-injects it into the patient’s buttocks. This gives the same effect as butt implants, but some argue that because of the use of natural fat, it has less risk, and has a more natural look and feel.
Abdominal etching is another body contouring procedure that is quickly gaining popularity. It involves revealing a person’s abs by removing the excess fat and skin that is on top of it. This is very useful for people who have done strenuous abdominal workouts without reaping any visible results. This procedure gives the patient a nice set of abdominal muscles that they desire without having to exert too much effort.
These are just some of the many body contouring procedures in the market today. But before you quickly jump on the chance to get one, you should still remember a few more things.
Define your goals ahead of time
Whether you already have a preferred plastic surgeon, or are still looking for one, the primary thing to do is to set an appointment with several, and have a full check-up. This will give the necessary time to relay all of the things the patient wants accomplished, and for the plastic surgeon to gauge whether it’s achievable or not. This is important because, while the possible results of the body contouring procedures are generally the same, a lot of factors still depend on the patient’s specific physiology. The consultation will be critical in informing the surgeon of the desired outcome of the patient, and for the patient to get as accurate an idea as possible to the actual end result.
During the Consultation
Because there are many female body sculpting and male body sculpting procedures available, it is important to specifically point out the key areas that the patient wants treated. This is to help the surgeon choose which procedures to offer to the patient, and the possible risks and rewards that the procedure brings.
Once the surgeon has the proper information about the key area the patient wants to target, and the results he or she is expecting, the cosmetic surgeon can give the patient options they can choose from.
For example, a patient who would like her buttocks treated should specify whether it is to remove cellulite, or to augment, or lessen its size. If it is augmentation, will she want a body fat transfer procedure like the Brazilian butt lift, which is more natural, but since it is fat, can be reduced over time? Or would she prefer buttock implants which have more body, and are longer lasting?
Once the patient has chosen the procedure he or she prefers, preparations for the treatment can begin.
What preparation is done before the actual procedure?
The patient’s health and wellness is evaluated before any body contouring operation is done. The surgeon will check whether there are potential health risks. Sometimes, the clinic will conduct lab tests in order to properly conduct this evaluation. Photographs and videos are often taken, not just to show before and after results, but for the surgeon to be able to have a digital reference of the parts that need to be operated on. In most modern facilities, surgeons can even do a visual simulation of the before and possible after results using the photos and videos taken, before even a single incision is made. This can give the patient more confidence since it will be able to produce a clearer idea of what the treatment could do.
Some body contouring procedures will demand the patient to undergo a specific pre-operation procedure that can last a certain period of time before the surgery actually happens. In these cases, there will be a final consultation before the operation in order to help the patient prepare.
On the day of the surgery
Depending on the body contouring procedure about to be performed, patients will either be given a local or general anesthesia. For non-invasive procedures, little to no anesthesia is used at all. For more major procedures, the patient may be sedated in order to lessen the stress. What happens next depends on the procedure chosen, as each body contouring treatment is performed differently.
Usually, the procedures last from anywhere between 45 minutes to a few hours. Due to technological advances and improvements in technique and methodology, procedures don’t last more than that, and usually patients are allowed to go home to begin recovery on the same day.
For major cases, however, sometimes surgeons will insist on having the patient stay overnight, especially if the start of the recovery period is very critical, and needs close attention.
Post-operative care and follow up
In most cases, surgeons will give patients a series of medications that will take care of everything from potential infection, to suppressing pain, to hastening the healing process. These medications must be taken regularly and according to the specific instructions of the cosmetic surgeon. Also, most of these treatments will not allow strenuous physical activities for a given period, until a certain level of recovery has been achieved by the patient. This is mostly done for treatments that required incisions and sutures, which all need to close and heal, otherwise the patient risks reopening them and extending the recovery period and / or infecting the wound.
Some of the body contouring procedures will require the patient to return to surgeons for follow-up consultations. These usually involve the removal of sutures, or to check on the progress of healing. It is imperative that the patient shows up schedules diligently to ensure the proper progression of the recovery and to allow the surgeons to keep track of any changes or complications that might occur.
Risks and possible complications of body contouring procedures
Like any other surgery, body contouring procedures have inherent risks and possible complications. More detailed risks vary depending on the surgery, but majority of the body contouring procedures share a common set of risks and possible complications.
Infection is one of the biggest complications that a patient might experience. Procedures that require many incisions or have few but large incisions are prone to infection, depending on the patient’s own physiology, his or her diligence in taking the prescribed medication to combat infection, and the environment where the patient is recovering.
Swelling and bruising is also common, especially in procedures that inflict physical stress to the body whether through incisions, or pulling of the skin. Swelling is usually abated by medication, or topical creams. Excessive swelling or bruising, however, might indicate a deeper problem, and should be brought to the attention of the surgeon if it does not subside.
One critical problem to look out for is the performance of the surgery itself. Asymmetry is a risk that is ever-present, especially when using the services of less experienced or less skilled surgeons. While the initial asymmetric appearance might not be visible outright, either because it is hidden by bandages or coverings, or is offset by swelling, once recovery goes on, asymmetry can be visible, and by then, it might be too late to fix, and might require another a repeat of the procedure.
Asymmetry can be caused by many things, whether by a mistake made by the surgeon during the procedure, defective implants, or even patient-caused reasons like excessive physical movement before final recovery takes place.
These possible risks and complications go on top of the specific risks and complications brought about by each body contouring procedure, so it is important for the patient to be well-informed beforehand.
Costs of Body Contouring Procedures
The costs of body contouring procedures vary greatly, depending on certain factors like the quality of the amenities of the clinic, the quality of the materials used, the amount of anesthesia used (if applicable), and the size of the area to be treated. There will usually be some sort of surgeon’s professional fee, which depends on the skill and credentials of the doctor. Another key factor for the cost of body contouring is the area where the clinic is located. This is due to the varying expenditures that the clinic has to go through, such as rent and taxes. Also, the market factors into the cost. For example, a clinic in Beverly Hills will most certainly always be more expensive than one located in a more rural area.
It is important that patients find a clinic that they can trust, and one that offers the proper financing options for their procedures. These financing options vary depending on the procedure, but all of them are designed to help even the most average person afford plastic surgery procedures.
Installment plans range from in-house financing programs specific to a facility, to credit from the surgeon’s finance company partners. Even if the clinic or facility does not offer a financing option outright, you can still contact a medical finance company directly and ask for surgeons and clinics that they are affiliated with. However, the medical finance company will not endorse the right surgeon for the body contouring procedures you need, so you will still have to read through a surgeon’s credentials and qualifications on your own.
Many facilities will also offer packages that combine two or more procedures in one set. An example of this is the “Mommy Makeover” package offered by clinics that specifically target the problem areas of women after pregnancy and childbirth. The procedures here will include an abdominoplasty, breast lift, thigh lift, and others, depending on the clinic and the market.
Also, be sure to check with your health insurance to find out if they will cover the procedures you wish to get. Be sure to see if any possible complications will also be covered by your health insurance in order to have one less worry should something go wrong. This will safeguard both yourself and your money. Most health plans can also reimburse the cost of your body contouring procedure, so be sure to take advantage of these should they be available.
Below are some examples of the costs of some of the most popular body contouring procedures available today.
Abdominal etching can fetch a price ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. This excludes the cost of liposuction to remove the excess fat off the abdomen.
Bicep and tricep implants can cost between $5,000 to $9,000, which includes the surgeon’s fee, the anesthetic, and the costs of the implants. Calf implants can cost less, around $3,500 to $5000, depending on size, quality of implant, and other fees.
Body fat transfers can cost between $5,000 to $10,000, including the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, and operating room fee.
Body lifts can cost you $12,000 to $50,000, which will include treatments such as abdominoplasty, thigh lifts, and buttock lifts. The costs vary depending on the extent of each procedure and the amount of work that needs to be done.