body contouring treatments

What are Body Contouring Treatments?

Body contouring treatments focus on eliminating or reducing excess skin and fat on the body. This treatment is a common cosmetic technique that follows after an individual experiences significant weight loss.

Body contouring treatments aim to reshape and tone parts of the body to give it a more defined and lean look. What’s unique about body contouring is its diversity in treatment methods.

Depending on the severity of excess skin and fat, you can select a non-surgical or surgical body contouring treatment course. Before undergoing treatment with a board-certified plastic surgeon, you will have a consultation to discuss the areas you want to target, your goals, and your preferences.

From there, your plastic surgeon will recommend one of the many body contouring treatment options that best fits your needs. To learn about body contouring in Nashville, TN, or Brentwood, TN, contact The Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Center to schedule a consultation with our double-board certified plastic surgeon today.

Reasons to Consider Body Sculpting

  • Refine body proportions
  • Remove excess skin
  • Reduce stubborn fat
  • Reduce chafing and irritation
  • Look younger
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Feel comfortable in your skin

Your aesthetic goals are very personal and will differ from one person to the next. Whether you seek flatter abs, slimmer thighs, or a sculpted jaw, every approach to treatment will also vary. To reach your body goals, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Robert Garza, to determine the best route to achieve your desired look.

Body Contouring Options

Since everyone’s body contouring needs differ from one another, surgeons have spent years developing a variety of different surgical and non-surgical body contouring options. Now, with the ability to tap into modern and advanced technology, these options have expanded. More and more cutting-edge procedures in body contouring are available in plastic surgery offices and cosmetic centers. A body contouring treatment might suit you, depending on your health, goals, current body shape, and preferences.

Here’s a list of common surgical and non-surgical body contouring treatments:

Surgical Body Contouring

The most common surgical body contouring treatments are liposuction and body lifts. Your surgeon may combine these treatments, depending on your aesthetic goals.

Areas you can treat with surgical body contouring include:


Liposuction is a standard body contouring treatment for those looking to treat and remove more extensive areas of excess fat. This surgical treatment has seen a lot of recent advancements. Years earlier, liposuction was a very aggressive, invasive form of surgery.
Now, with better tools and knowledge, liposuction is minimally invasive and gentler. By removing unwanted fat, surgeons can contour and sculpt the body as they perform the procedure. However, this is not a permanent solution to keep the fat away and the body perfectly contoured. Patients are advised to keep up with healthy eating and daily exercise.

Surgical Lifts

Another common surgical body contouring option is skin lifts. This procedure is best for candidates with substantial excess skin from weight loss, pregnancy, aging, or genetics. Surgical lifts are best when liposuction alone will not achieve the desired results. For the treatment, your surgeon will simply remove the excess skin. They may recommend combining the lift with liposuction for optimal results.

Keep in mind that surgical contouring is not a weight loss solution. You must be close to your goal weight and maintain it before undergoing the procedure.

Non-Surgical Body Contouring

In some cases, non-surgical contouring will be the best treatment option for loose skin and stubborn fat. You may also undergo non-surgical body contouring after surgical treatment if the procedure does not meet your aesthetic goals.
Because it is non-surgical, these body contouring treatments do not require incisions, and there is little downtime. However, it will take time to see results, about three to six months.

Like surgical body contouring, these non-surgical treatments are not weight loss solutions. These treatments also will not improve your physical health. You should be near your goal weight before undergoing treatment.


A new and unique form of body contouring, CoolSculpting is a non-surgical treatment that removes fat cells by freezing them. Once frozen, the fat cells die, and the body naturally sheds them over the course of a couple of weeks. This treatment is preferred by many due to its non-surgical nature, therefore requiring no downtime or recovery time.


SmartLipo is a different form of liposuction that involves heat to improve effectiveness. Typically, surgeons will use lasers to melt fat cells for easier removal. Once the laser treatment is over, surgeons will insert a tiny tube to remove the melted fat cells.


UltraShape is another unique form of body contouring that uses HIFU–high-intensity focused ultrasound–to eliminate excess fat. The energy from the ultrasound sends intense shockwaves that destroy fat cell walls. Once completed, your body will naturally eliminate the broken-down fat.
You may choose to undergo more than one non-surgical contouring session. However, consult with your plastic surgeon first to discuss the best treatment plan for you. Furthermore, results are only permanent if you maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. If you gain weight or stop exercising regularly, your fat cells may swell again. So, you should plan to continue eating a balanced diet and remain active after treatment.

Am I a Good Candidate for Body Sculpting?

For the best results possible, meeting specific criteria that make for a good body contouring candidate is essential. If you don’t meet all the requirements right now, you can steadily work toward becoming a good candidate. Here is what makes a good candidate for a body contouring treatment:

  • Healthy, stable weight: Body contouring is not a weight loss solution. Instead, it aims to remove stubborn fat that won’t go away after consistently eating healthy and exercising. So, you should be at your goal weight for several months before you consider body sculpting.
  • Excess skin or stubborn fat: Once you’ve reached and maintained your goal weight, you may have loose skin from weight loss or pregnancy or still have lingering fat in some areas. Body contouring is the perfect solution for trimming away the remaining excess.
  • Realistic expectations: These procedures may not result in a drastic transformation or physical perfection. Instead, these procedures should enhance your natural appearance and may not last forever as you age and if you gain weight. Additionally, you should have a positive body image and not use body contouring to solve psychological or self-esteem problems.
  • Good overall health: Candidates should be physically and mentally healthy, without underlying health conditions that can hinder recovery. You should also have a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet before and after the procedure.
  • Non-Smokers: Smoking can impair the body’s ability to heal properly and increase the risk of complications. Many surgeons prefer candidates who are non-smokers or who are willing to quit smoking several months before and after surgery.
  • No plans to become pregnant: For women considering procedures that tighten and tone the abdomen, ideally, they have completed their family planning because future pregnancies can potentially reverse the results.

If you’re considering a body contouring treatment, you must have an open and honest discussion with your plastic surgeon. This way, the surgeon can provide personalized recommendations and ensure that your treatment aligns with your goals and expectations. Additionally, candidates should fully understand the procedure’s potential risks and benefits before making a decision.

Please book a consultation with Dr. Robert Garza to learn how we can help you reach your aesthetic goals today!

Contouring Treatment Risks

Body contouring procedures, whether surgical or non-surgical, come with risks and potential side effects that individuals should be aware of before undergoing treatment. However, specific risks can vary depending on the type of procedure, your health, and the surgeon’s skills. Here are some common risks and side effects associated with body contouring:

General Risks and Side Effects

  • Pain and Discomfort: Most body contouring procedures involve some pain and discomfort during the initial recovery period. Pain management strategies are typically prescribed to alleviate this.
  • Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising are common side effects after body contouring surgery. These symptoms usually subside over time but can be significant initially.
  • Scarring: Surgical body contouring procedures involve incisions, which can result in scarring. The extent and visibility of scarring can vary depending on the procedure and individual healing.
  • Infection: There is a risk of infection at the surgical site. Surgeons take precautions to minimize this risk, but it can still occur and may require antibiotic treatment.
  • Hematoma and Seroma: Accumulation of blood (hematoma) or fluid (seroma) under the skin at the surgical site is possible. These may need to be drained by a healthcare professional.
  • Numbness and Sensation Changes: Temporary numbness or changes in sensation in the treated area are common but usually resolve over time. In some cases, permanent changes may occur.
  • Unsatisfactory Results: While surgeons aim to achieve the desired results, complete satisfaction is not guaranteed. Factors such as individual healing and expectations can influence outcomes.

Surgical Body Contouring Risks

  • Anesthesia Risks: General anesthesia carries inherent risks, including allergic reactions and complications. Your anesthesia provider will discuss these risks with you.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism: Surgical patients are at risk of developing blood clots in deep veins (DVT) or having these clots travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Measures such as compression stockings and early mobility are taken to reduce this risk.
  • Poor Wound Healing: Some individuals may experience delayed wound healing, which can lead to wound complications or scarring.

Non-Surgical Body Sculpting Risks

  • Skin Irregularities: With non-surgical treatments like CoolSculpting and laser therapies, there is a risk of skin irregularities, such as uneven fat reduction or changes in skin texture.
  • Temporary Side Effects: Non-surgical procedures can result in temporary side effects such as redness, swelling, itching, or numbness in the treated area.
  • Skin Sensitivity: The treated area may be sensitive to temperature changes or pressure following non-surgical treatments.

Discuss these potential risks and side effects with your chosen surgeon during the consultation process. Surgeons will provide detailed information about how to minimize these risks and ensure a safe and successful outcome. Additionally, following post-operative care instructions and attending follow-up appointments are crucial for reducing the risk of complications and achieving the best results possible.

Learn More About Aesthetic Services in Nashville, TN

Although these are just a few, there are many different body contouring options that fit the needs of every patient. If you are interested in body contouring treatment but unsure which treatment plan is best for you, speak to your doctor or board-certified plastic surgeon. They will be able to provide you with the best course of action for your body contouring needs.
Call Garza Plastic Surgery today for a consultation for aesthetic treatments.