The banana diet. The two-hour aerobics class. The raw milk fast. The magic detox suit. Weight loss techniques number as the stars. But one shines brighter than the others: body contouring. But what is body contouring exactly? Body contouring is an umbrella term for a wide range of surgeries and procedures intended to reshape, redefine, tighten, and tone the body. Liposuction is perhaps the most well-known—and invasive—body contouring procedure. Liposuction can certainly change your body’s shape, but its results can vary widely. This is, in fact, true of nearly all body contouring procedures, and results can even be short-lived without the right lifestyle adjustments.
The world of body contouring is complex indeed. Think you know everything there is to know about body contouring? Think again. Read on to discover the top ten body contouring myths.
Liposuction is like losing weight.
The very first mistake that patients undergoing a body contouring procedure make is assuming that body contouring techniques are an alternative to weight loss. This is completely false. In fact, the ideal patient for body contouring will have already attained a steady, healthy weight. If you’re looking to jump start your exercise and diet program through body contouring, you had better look elsewhere. Liposuction can’t help with obesity, intra-abdominal fat or excess loose skin.
Body contouring will banish cellulite…forever!
Not true, unfortunately. Cellulite is caused by the herniation of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissues just under the skin. It’s impossible to use liposuction to remove this layer of fat and tissue. In some cases, liposuction may even accentuate the appearance of cellulite. But don’t get discouraged. It’s true that cellulite cannot be cured, but its appearance can be reduced. Though liposuction cannot treat cellulite, other procedures such as VelaShape and Cellulaze can.
Body contouring prevents weight gain.
Nope. Body contouring procedures in and of themselves don’t prevent weight gain. All they simply do is reshape and redefine the body. And though some body contouring procedures remove fat cells in the targeted area, the fat cells that remain can still enlarge and produce weight gain at the treatment site. The bottom line? It’s important to follow a healthy eating and exercise regime to maintain your results.
Fractional laser skin resurfacing tightens the skin.
Not always. Fractional lasers aren’t skin tightening devices. That being said, they can be a good choice for correcting sun damage, discoloration, fine lines and acne scars. Though a small percentage of patients may achieve some skin tightening, this isn’t a predictable benefit. Other lasers can offer more visible results, though. Here’s a rule of thumb: the shorter the recovery time, the less improvement you can expect.
Mesotherapy offers an easy way to lose weight.
It’s not as easy as you might think. Mesotherapy isn’t approved by the FDA, and it can be dangerous and very painful, yielding little to no results. Mesotherapy uses multiple needle injections to deliver small amounts of herbal and vitamin compounds to the middle layers of the skin. Claiming to treat everything from cellulite to sagging skin to excess weight, most of mesotherapy’s reported benefits are completely unfounded. Just to be safe, steer clear of anything mentioning the word mesotherapy.
Non-surgical fat removal doesn’t work.
Guess again! While non-surgical fat removal may not be a replacement for liposuction, there may be some benefit from both external ultrasound and low-level laser treatments. In fact, research has shown that by using focused ultrasound beams, you can remove a modest amount of unwanted fat in certain areas. Keep in mind, though, that diet and exercise are required in order to achieve optimal results using these non-invasive treatments.
Body contouring results quickly disappear.
Maybe, maybe not. The ultimate outcome of a body contouring procedure depends on the patient. If you follow a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and nutritious eating, you will be able to maintain a healthy body weight and a well-contoured figure. In fact, most body contouring treatments recommend that patients follow some sort of exercise and eating regime, and they many even give specific guidelines to follow in order to achieve maximum results.
Body contouring hurts.
Not always. While some traditional body contouring procedures, like liposuction, are invasive and painful, there are plenty of non-invasive body contouring treatments available on the market. VelaShape and Exilis stand as two examples. Both procedures use radiofrequency energy to painlessly tighten the body and reduce fat in targeted areas—and all with little to no downtime involved. If you’re concerned about pain, don’t fret: body contouring offers something for everyone.
Body contouring breaks the bank.
Not necessarily. Because there are so many different types of body contouring procedures, costs vary widely. However, you can find affordable non-invasive body contouring procedures, such as CoolSculpting and VelaShape, for under $1,500. Ultimately, though, treatment costs will depend on the size of the area being treated, the number of sessions needed, and the type of results you are looking for.
Body contouring poses too many risks.
Not so! Risks and complications resulting from body contouring depend entirely on the procedure itself. While invasive procedures such as liposuction have increased risks of complications, non-invasive body contouring procedures such as VelaShape have minimal risks involved. The most common risks and complications include infection, scarring, asymmetry, bleeding, swelling and changes in skin sensation. Talk to your doctor about your medical history before undergoing any cosmetic procedure.
Now you’ve got the lowdown on body contouring. Make sure your decision to body contour is informed and you won’t regret it. But do keep in mind that though body contouring is not a miracle weight loss cure, it can help to redefine and reshape your body. That being said, it is imperative that you follow a healthy exercise and diet regime to maintain your results.