Dr Kohout's Plastic Surgery Blog

The Basics of Body Contouring

Mark Kohout - Monday, March 03, 2014
shutterstock_171339995Body contouring has become popular for people wanting to reclaim their shape after dramatic weight loss, after pregnancy, or for those who simply want to firm and tighten up their figure. The procedure is usually performed to contour the buttocks, thighs, waist, stomach, upper torso as well as the arms. Body contouring procedures may also be referred to as a tummy tuck, liposuction, body sculpting or body lift, depending on which type of body contouring procedure a patient is having.

The aim of body contouring

Apart from improving the appearance and shape of the body by removing and tightening excess skin (caused by childbirth, ageing or dramatic weight loss), patients will also experience an overall improvement in their quality of life for a number of reasons. On top of feeling heavy and uncomfortable, excess skin can lead to back problems, rashes and infections, make it difficult to walk and exercise and can also have a dramatic effect on one’s self-esteem.

Is body contouring right for you?

Every procedure that falls under body contouring is highly individualised. In order to find out if you are a candidate you will need to speak to a qualified plastic surgeon about the procedure(s) you are wanting to have done. They will assess your overall health and be able to work with you to develop a treatment plan that you are both happy with. Depending on the body contouring procedure you are having done and what your general health is like, your surgery may be performed as a day surgery or you may have to stay in hospital overnight/a few days.

After surgery care

Your surgeon will outline for you all of the steps you must take to look after yourself while you are healing. It is common to experience numbness and swelling around the area of operation. As required you will be prescribed pain medication, and you may have to wear a compression garment to support the operation site. Post surgery it’s important that you avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise until you are completely recovered. If you are experiencing anything you are unsure about like shortness of breath or chest pains, consult your doctor immediately. If you follow your surgeon’s postoperative care instructions you should find recovery to be quick and relatively painless, so you can be up and enjoying the ‘new you’ in no time.
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