What is body contouring?
Body contouring is a surgical procedure to improve your overall body shape and appearance, generally focusing on contouring the waist, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, chest and arms. Body contouring may include one, but in most cases a combination, of the following procedures:
- Breast surgery (such as breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, breast revision)
- Abdominoplasty (also known as a tummy tuck)
- Brachioplasty (also known as an arm lift)
- Gynaecomastia (also known as a male breast reduction)
- Thigh lift
- Belt lipectomy (also known as a lower body lift)
These procedures can be performed for aesthetic (cosmetic) purposes or for medical/functional reasons, the latter being dependent on strict Medicare eligibility criteria.
When is body contouring desirable?
You may wish to have a body contouring procedure if you’ve been affected by obesity, or skin laxity due to ageing or following pregnancy or weight loss. If your surgery consists of a combination of procedures, the main benefit is you will usually only have one surgery – meaning one hospital stay, one anaesthetic, one recovery – and in some cases, the cost may also be reduced.
This procedure is not a substitute for weight reduction, nor a cure for obesity. It is recommended for people who are in relatively good shape but suffer from loose skin or disproportionate areas of the body that do not respond well to diet or exercise.
If you are considering body contouring (or a mummy makeover) after pregnancy and breastfeeding, we recommend waiting at least one year after your final pregnancy before considering surgery and you must have also finished breastfeeding.
How would body contouring help me?
A consultation with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon is the first step when you are considering any surgical procedure. You should frankly discuss your goals and expectations about looking and feeling better after surgery. You should always keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.
How important are psychological factors in relation to body contouring?
Emotional stability is a primary factor to be considered before any aesthetic surgery is performed. A “new body” does not guarantee a new life or an end to all personal problems. It is mostly the mental attitude of the individual that determines a successful outcome. Body contouring surgery can improve your appearance and renew your self-confidence; the rest is entirely up to you.
How is body contouring performed?
Your plastic surgeon will determine which procedures would be most appropriate, depending on your body type and your overall goals.
To learn more about the surgical procedures used in body contouring, please click here.
The procedures are performed in Perth in a fully-accredited hospital under general anaesthesia and in most situations you will require a few days convalescence in hospital. Your hospital stay will depend on your general health, the extent of the procedure, and your surgeon’s advice.
Are there any side effects of body contouring?
You may experience some swelling or bruising after surgery, although no major complications should be experienced. To prevent any fluid or blood accumulation, thin tubes called a drains may be temporarily placed under the skin while you’re in hospital, particularly if you are having breast surgery as part of your body contouring.
Will the body contouring procedure leave any scars?
Although scars are the inevitable results of any surgery, your surgeon will make every effort to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. As with most scars though, they should fade over time however, there is a variation in healing time and scar formation between individuals. Some patients have a tendency to develop thick scars and you should advise your surgeon if you are aware of this tendency in yourself.
What results can I expect from a body contouring procedure?
The goal of your surgery is to give your body shape a more appealing appearance and make you feel more comfortable. The results will be long lasting if you maintain a healthy lifestyle however, body contouring will not prevent loose skin or excess fat if you lose and gain considerable weight in the future, whether it be through diet or pregnancy. Your surgeon is the best person to determine whether your expectations are achievable.
When can I resume normal activities following a body contouring surgery?
Returning to your normal activities is an individual matter, but most people return to work within two to four weeks, and to more vigorous exercise after six weeks. You may not be allowed to drive for a period of time following your operation, depending on the procedures you have undergone. You will have to wear post-surgical compression garments for up to six weeks to reduce swelling and assist with the healing process.
How much does this procedure cost?
Please contact us online or call us on (08) 9380 0333 and one of our medical secretaries can provide you with more information. Please note that pricing does vary from case to case.
The Australian Foundation for Plastic Surgery (part of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons) is a helpful and reliable source of information online. Their website is an excellent place to research a range of surgical procedures and non-surgical treatments, and view video animations. Click here to visit their website.