Have you been thinking about having a body contouring treatment to reduce inches and/or tighten your skin? What is body contouring and how can it help you?
The words “body contouring” or “body sculpting” is a relatively new term to describe reducing or re-shaping specific areas of the body, with or without plastic surgery. While not a substitute for weight loss, these procedures and treatments can reduce or eliminate fat, resulting in a decrease of inches and tighter skin. This creates the appearance of pounds lost in the chosen area. Read below to learn about the different types of body contouring procedures and treatments available and what to be aware of when considering your options.
Destroying Fat Cell
Invasive – For many years liposuction via plastic surgery was the only option to reduce and contour your body, sometimes including skin removal. As we know, plastic surgery involves the use of surgical tools and techniques to reshape or reconstruct various parts of the body. Interestingly, the word “plastic” comes from the Greek word “plastikos”, which means “to mold” or “to shape.”
Ideal Patient: at or near ideal weight, non-smoker, healthy lifestyle (to maintain results)
Recovery – Can include:
- Wearing compression garments for several weeks
- Pain and discomfort
- Swelling and bruising
- Activity restrictions, including time off from work
Risks – Although rare, any surgery involves risks:
- Nerve damage
- Anesthesia risks
- Blood clots
- Unsatisfactory results
Cost – Approximately $5,000 – $10,000+ depending on the area(s) and size of the body area being treated
Results – Patients often achieve significant inch loss and skin tightening in the treatment area.
Destroy Fat Cells – Coolsculpting
Several treatments are now available to permanently remove some fat cells, Coolsculpting (aka fat freezing or cryolipolysis) being the most popular–and most advertised–option.
During a procedure, the skin and underlying fat are vacuumed and squeezed into a device and left in place for up to 35 minutes. The frozen fat cells begin to die and are gradually eliminated via the lymphatic system over the next 2-4 months.
Ideal Patient: at or near ideal weight, healthy lifestyle (to maintain results)
- Short massage in treated area directly after, often uncomfortable or painful
- Can return to normal activities and work same or next day
- Pain & discomfort
- Skin sensitivity
- Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia
Cost: $600-$750 for one small area, $3,000-$8,000+ for larger areas treated twice*
Results – Full results achieved after 3-4 months; a second* or even third series of treatments is often recommended for more noticeable inch loss. Depending on the area treated and age of the client, skin will often look loose or looser following Coolsculpting treatments. Additional procedures using other machines may be needed to tighten and firm the skin, at extra time and expense. If skin is now significantly looser, plastic surgery may be recommended.
Shrinking Fat Cells – Lipo Laser and Radiofrequency
Ideal Patient: at or within 25 pounds of ideal weight, healthy lifestyle (to maintain results)
LipoLaser – Cold lasers open up the pores of the fat cells beneath the skin, enabling the fluid from the fat cells (free fatty acids, glycerol and water) to be naturally flushed out of the body via the lymphatic system. Clients stand on a Whole Body Vibration machine for 10 minutes at the end of each session to begin this process. Smaller fat cells remain, leading to inch loss.
Recovery: Can immediately return to normal activities and work; should stay well hydrated and engage in some cardio exercise within 4 hours of each treatment
Risks: Not advised to those with very dark skin or certain skin conditions in the targeted area(s)
Cost: Average $250-$350 for a series of 5 treatments, depending on treatment size and clinic chosen in Calgary
Results: Clients can achieve an average total inch loss of 5 or more inches on the abdomen after 5 treatments; skin also tightens slightly with each treatment. Continued treatments result in further inch loss & skin tightening.
Radiofrequency – Glycerin is first applied to the skin and then the technician glides an applicator repeatedly over the targetted area. The radiofrequency waves heat up both the skin and fat cells beneath, allowing the fluid from the fat cells (free fatty acids, glycerol and water) to be in a state where they can be flushed out of the body. Dynamic Muscle Activation is then turned on, contracting the muscles and enabling this fluid to be directed into the lymphatic system and naturally eliminated. After 5-7 days smaller fat cells remain, leading to inch loss. The heated skin generates new collagen and elastin, producing tighter, firmer skin.
Recovery: Can immediately return to normal activities and work; should stay well hydrated and engage in some cardio exercise within 24 hours of each treatment
Risks: May not be advised to clients with certain skin conditions aggravated by heat in the treatment area
Cost: Average $125-$375+ per treatment, depending on treatment size and clinic chosen in Calgary
Results: Clients can achieve an average total inch loss of 10 or more inches on the abdomen after 5 treatments. Treatments on thighs result in some inch loss, along with a reduction in cellulite and smoother skin. Continued treatments can result in further inch loss & skin tightening.
Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure to reduce and contour targeted areas of the body. Overall results are very good, keeping in mind the associated risks, costs, and recovery time.
Coolsculpting can be a good option for clients with small fat pockets, or with fat wallets(!) if they desire significant body contouring results. Older clients, or those who already have somewhat loose or saggy skin, may be quite disappointed to see looser skin that results.
In Calgary, LipoLaser and TriLipo Radiofrequency can help clients achieve faster body contouring results at a reasonable cost when compared to Plastic Surgery or Coolsculpting. NuCurves Body Contouring offers both of these treatments.