There is perhaps not a person in the world who does not want to have the perfect body and while some are blessed with it, there are those who have to put in a lot of effort to attain the same. Then there are also those people who are stuck with a body, that does not respond to physical exercise or controlled diet. In such situations, there are only surgical methods of bringing the body back into shape.
Today, body contouring has become a very popular method to remove excess fat, especially for people who are unable to lose weight in a natural way. Although, this procedure is becoming extremely popular, there are plenty of people who still have no idea what it is all about.
Let’s start with the most basic question – what is body contouring?
Surgical body contouring is a method by which excess fat and skin that is sagging is removed. At the same time, the supporting tissues that lie underneath are improved, providing the body a tighter and fitter look. This procedure is normally suggested to people who are unable to lose weight via exercise and diet control. It is also the most ideal choice for people who have undergone massive weight loss and now have sagging skin. Normally, after immense weight loss, the skin as well as the tissues tends to lose elasticity, and this is why, surgical intervention is required to bring the body back into shape.
Some of the most common body contouring procedures include:
- Facelift – When there is sagging in the middle of the face, the jowls and the neck
- Arm lift – When there is loose skin in the upper arms or bicep area
- Breast lift – When breasts start sagging post pregnancy or the breasts start to look almost flattened
- Abdomen lift – When there is too much excess skin hanging over the abdomen
- Lower body lift – Any part of the lower body, including the abdomen, outer thighs, buttocks or groin that might seem sagging
- Medial thigh lift – There could be sagging in the inner, outer or even mid-thigh
Here is a quick look at the history of body contouring:
Obesity is almost an epidemic in many parts of the world, especially the United States of America. When the body mass index is higher than 30, a person is considered obese and obesity is quickly becoming a reason for death. Since people are becoming conscious of the fact that being obese is not a sign of good health, they are trying to lose weight and for many, the only option out is surgical removal of fat. However, when large amounts of fat are removed in one go, the skin starts to sag and the muscles lose their tenacity. It was such procedures, that laid the foundation for body contouring, wherein the body could be provided shape and the skin could be pulled up to look tight and firm.
There are certain medical reasons for body contouring too:
When a person undergoes a bariatric surgery, either for weight related reasons or due to diabetes, body contouring often becomes very important. Some of the most common types of bariatric surgeries include stomach stapling, stomach reduction, gastric bypass and lap banding. When the excess fat is removed, there is bound to be some extra skin left behind – there are two options at hand, one of which entails removing the excess skin, during the weight reduction surgery itself. However, most people opt for the contouring surgery later on, because they are able to correct other parts of the body as well.
Here is why some people might want to undergo a body contouring procedure:
There are people, who lose a tremendous amount of weight over a short period of time, and this leaves them with skin that is loose. The reason why this happens is because the skin has expanded over a period of time and it is unable to snap back into shape. Many a times, there is so much skin hanging around, that people can even stumble and fall. There are problems with fitting into clothes, let alone look good in them. More importantly, when the excess skin keeps rubbing against each other, it can lead to irritation and infections. Removal of the excess skin also helps with ease while exercising.
Here are the people who will prove to be the most suitable candidates for body contouring:
- The procedure is not usually recommended for children or teenagers, because the weight loss needs to have stabilised
- Smoking is an absolutely no-no, which means that if you are a smoker, you might not be the ideal candidate
- The individual needs to be healthy and not have any impending medical conditions
- The individual undergoing the procedure needs to have goals that are realistic and is willing to lead a healthy lifestyle in the future
This is what preparing for a body contouring procedure will entail:
Before you can undergo the procedure, there are a few steps that you will have to undergo, including:
- Acquiring a clearance for surgery, from your primary doctor or bariatric surgeon
- Getting certain lab tests, including blood tests
- Adjusting or stopping certain medications, including herbal supplements
- Stopping smoking well in advance
It is incredibly important that you get the procedure done at a clinic that has been licensed and certified. In case the procedure is being performed on an out-patient basis, you will be asked to have someone, who will be able to drive you home and perhaps even spend the night with you.
In the next article, we will look at the procedure, the process of recovery as well as the possible complications and side effects of body contouring.