What is Body Shaping? What You Need to Know
Many people express a desire to improve the shape of their body, often by losing weight. There’s a great deal of focus placed on looking slim and shapely, but it can be difficult to achieve.
It is possible to lose weight and get more toned using a combination of diet and exercise.
However, some find that this is too difficult to maintain, or get discouraged because they don’t get immediate results. Sometimes they don’t get the results they expected or hoped for. Weight loss isn’t always effective for every area of your body. In some cases, significant weight loss can result in extra skin.
Another issue may be that you’ve recovered from childbirth or major surgery and your body has never gone back to the way it was. Or, age has taken its toll on your skin and looks loose or wrinkled. All of these scenarios encourage some people to consider body shaping procedures.
What is Body Shaping?
Body shaping, otherwise known as body-sculpting or body contouring, involves a medical or surgical procedure designed to reshape an area of the body. There is a combination of procedures, many of which are particularly popular among women. These procedures can be broken down into surgical and non-surgical procedures.
As you’d expect, surgery comes with more risks and a longer recovery time but is used for more significant changes. The results are usually far more noticeable after a surgical option.
Non-surgical procedures still carry a measure of risk, but you’re usually up and about much quicker. These kinds of procedures were popularized by the Kardashian family, who famously underwent several of these treatments to receive their signature looks.
Before the Procedure
Before undergoing any treatment, you will meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss your goals and general health. The surgeon will then examine the areas that you want to change. They may draw on the area and take pictures for reference.
Once they have an idea of what you want and your health, the surgeon will discuss your options and make treatment recommendations. They will talk through the risks with you, as well as give you information about recovery.
If you decide to continue, then you will have to sign a consent form. This essentially gives permission for the procedure to be performed. It also tells the surgeon that you understand and accept the risks and that you have realistic expectations of the result. You may be asked to make lifestyle changes to improve your health and improve the chance of a successful outcome.
Popular Surgical Body Shaping Treatments
There are many different surgical body shaping procedures to choose from. Two of the most popular types are:
- Lifts and tucks, where excess fat and skin are removed. Common examples of this kind of procedure include a tummy tuck, a facelift, a breast lift, and double chin surgery.
- Liposuction, where fat deposits are permanently suctioned out. It’s especially effective for areas that are unaffected by diet and exercise.
Depending on what kind of procedure you go for, it can last between 45 minutes to several hours. Before the procedure, the surgical team will mark the site and position you on a surgical table so that they can do safety checks. Then, they will administer either local or general anesthesia before cleaning and preparing the skin.
From here, the procedure depends on what you’re having done. Generally, tissue and excess fat will be cut, repositioned, and shaped to achieve the look that you want. Muscles may be tightened as well and any excess skin removed.
Then, the incisions will be closed and bandages applied to the affected areas. Once you come round, the surgeon will check on your health and provide you with advice for aftercare. When you’re ready, you will be discharged.
Popular Non-Surgical Body Shaping Treatments
Non-surgical body shaping treatments all work in similar ways. Essentially, the fat cells are broken down without making any incisions. From there, the body’s lymphatic system will eventually flush them away within several months. The fat cells may reappear over time, but some treatments claim that they’re less likely to develop.
While the treatments have similar results, there are different methods and treatment types to choose from. These include:
- Cold treatments work by freezing and killing fat cells with a suction vacuum, which causes them to crystallize. It can be used on most of the body.
- Heat treatments use lasers that penetrate deeply under the skin, which damages the structure of fat cells and causes them to be broken down by your body.
- Ultrasound treatments use ultrasound to break down fat. It is normally used for the abdomen.
- Radiofrequency treatments heat up the water in your fat cells, destroying them. Hydrate before a treatment.
These treatments can be uncomfortable or painful, but it’s usually manageable. Some people describe it as more of a stinging or burning sensation. The treatments usually only last about 25 minutes.
Risks and Recovery
Every medical procedure comes with a measure of risk, and your surgeon should explain them in more detail beforehand. The surgical options come with the expected risks of any surgery, such as complications with anesthesia. The non-surgical options also have a measure of risk, such as bruising or pain for a while afterward. One rare side effect can cause your fat cells to grow rather than shrink after the treatment.
As well as the risk to your health, there’s also the risk that you aren’t happy with the results. But remember that it will take at least a few months for the results to become more obvious, so don’t expect to be instantly ready to look your best.
The best way to ensure that you have better results is to look after yourself. These body shaping resources can help you to recover more quickly and with less discomfort. If you are concerned about pain or have any other unusual symptoms, then seek medical advice to see what’s going on.