Body shaping and contouring is perhaps the most important aspect of the cosmetic surgery industry. It involves a number of technologies that beautifully shape different parts of the body to the desired outcome.

Body contouring and shaping can include a variety of surgeries to remove sagging skin or get rid of unwanted hard to shift fat. It can also improve the shape and tone of underlying tissue. Body contouring is usually sought out after a massive weight loss, and when the skin has lost its elasticity. The surgical procedures could normally take 2 to 5 hours depending on how much skin or fat is to be removed, and how much surgery is required for the personal outcome. For a total body lift a tummy tuck, breast lift or reduction, upper arm lift, mid thigh lift and lower body lift may choose to be performed. After body contouring procedures, one can expect a smoother, flatter tummy and more contoured arms, legs, buttocks, chest, and of course less ‘loose’ skin.

There are many procedures that relate to body contouring and shaping, both surgical and non surgical. Here’s some examples.

Surgical procedures:
  • Breast lift – an incision is made in the breast to lift and tighten the breast tissue. The nipple may need repositioning.
  • Arm lift – to remove excess skin and fat under the arm through incision. Commonly referred to as ‘tuckshop lady’ arms.
  • Body implants – can include breasts, and other body areas (ie calfs).
  • Tummy tuck – flattens the abdomen, removes excess skin and fat, and tightens the muscles in the abdominal wall.
  • Thigh lift – removes the excess fat, reshapes the thigh and removes some of the excess skin resulting in a smoother thigh.
  • Buttock lift – can be done with implants, or the use of your own fat to fill out the bottom and naturally improve its shape.
  • Abdominal etching – a form of liposculpting that eliminates excess fat between the abdominal muscles, creating indentations that look like a six-pack or washboard stomach.
  • Body fat transfer – involves own fat cells which may feel and look more natural than a body implant.
  • Body lift – also known as trunkoplasty, improves the appearance of the lower body by removal of excess skin and fat from the upper area of the bottom, lower abdomen, hips and thighs.
  • Butt implants – implants used to increase and reshape the size of the butt.
  • Labiaplasty – an operation to reduce the size of various parts of the vagina.
  • Calf implants – to add shape, bulk or masculinity of the calf using implants.
  • Bra line back lift – a procedure that eliminates back fat rolls while hiding the scar under the bra-line.
  • Bicep and tricep implants – adds masculinity and increases mass to the upper arms using implants.


Non surgical procedures:
  • CoolSculpting – exposure to cold brings about the death of the cells present in the subcutaneous fat tissues with no obvious damage to the overlying skin.
  • Thermage & Titan – uses lasers to heat the body’s natural collagen, that tightens and sculpts the skin tissue.
  • Cellulite treatment – addresses cellulite’s dimpled, orange-peel look by improving skin tone, tightening skin and/or promoting lymphatic drainage.
  • Zerona laser – emits low-level laser energy that stimulates the fat cell, liquefying the fat within.
  • Velasmooth – known for its use of Elos technology which is a combination of radio frequencies, infrared light energy, and external skin manipulation.
  • Radiofrequency body contouring – breaks down fatty cells and stimulates collagen production, which improves skin tone and elasticity using radiofrequency energy.
  • Ultrasonic – uses ultrasound frequencies to break down fat, specifically on the hips, abdomen, thighs and love handles.
  • Injection lipolysis – uses a series of micro-injections to ‘melt away’ small amounts of unwanted fat and removes it from the body to create a more pleasant shape.
  • Laser lipolysis – minimizes localised stubborn fat such as the ‘love handles’, ‘saddle bags’ and double chin while reducing the risks associated with liposuction techniques.
  • Mesotherapy & Lipodissolve – are injectable treatments to contour the body and reduce the appearance of cellulite.


Trish is a plastic surgery blogger. She is passionate about wellbeing, health and beauty, and doesn't mind a little bit of 'help' from the amazing cosmetic and beauty procedures that are available today. Trish spends her days talking to women and men who are looking for suggestions and advice on procedures that are available to them. Cutting through the sales pitch and hype, a down-to-earth response on general information is what you will get.

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