Body Contouring


The elements of a great figure are proportion, tone, and contour. It entails smooth curves without bulges and a balance between breasts, waist, hips, buttocks and legs with healthy and toned skin. There have been advances in cosmetic surgery over the past few years which have revolutionized the way we can contour or reshape the breasts, abdomen and other parts of the body.

Body contouring surgery is performed to improve the shape or contour of a person’s body. Liposuction is the traditional method for body contouring, but it has expanded to include procedures that alter and improve the overall shape of a patient’s body. During body contouring procedures, the plastic and reconstructive surgeon reshapes and contours areas of the body where excess skin and fat remain following weight loss or pregnancy. The results are generally dramatic and provide significant functional and aesthetic benefits for the patient.

Body contour surgery should have as its goal a balanced and harmonious sculpting of the human form, treating the body as a whole, and not as isolated parts. Consultation with the patient allows the surgeon the opportunity to come to an understanding of the concerns a patient has, and the ability to offer appropriate procedures to improve them. Each surgery is specifically planned and customized for each individual addressing their particular needs. Body contouring surgery may include liposuction, tummy tuck, body lift, arm lift, and/or breast augmentation, reduction, or lift.

Liposuction remains best suited for small, isolated fat deposits that have only little extra skin. Many individuals turn to liposuction to reduce or eliminate unwanted bulges on their thighs, hips, and abdomen that cannot be eliminated through diet and exercise. The procedure sculpts the body to its proper proportions and many patients find that self-image and self-confidence improve as well. The dramatic results obtained through liposuction can be maintained by adhering to a healthy diet and exercise program.

Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is one of the more popular cosmetic procedures among many individuals. It involves removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen to create a smoother, flatter appearance. By contouring, tightening, and flattening the abdomen, it offers individuals an attractive more physically fit appearance.

Body lift or circumferential abdominoplasty is ideal when skin on the inner and outer thigh appears loose and unattractive. This procedure is done to tighten the loose skin of the thigh, buttock, and abdomen. By stretching the skin the contour is improved and the surface assumes a much smoother appearance. It includes an abdominal, thigh, and buttocks lift done at the same time. Patients are often exhilarated to learn of a body lift. Although the scar is lengthy, it is confined to the waistline and is hidden by conventional underwear or a bikini.

Breast enlargement is ideal for the woman who desires a more curvaceous silhouette; breast augmentation can provide naturally fuller-looking breasts with more lift restoring the balance between chest, hips and waist, giving width and projection. The procedure makes breasts larger, rounder and fuller while providing a natural appearance. Women can have this surgery after their breasts have fully developed. Breast augmentation can help improve a woman's appearance after pregnancy or excessive weight loss.

Breast lift can be incorporated when factors such as pregnancy, nursing and the force of gravity take their toll on a woman's breasts. As the skin loses its elasticity, the breasts often lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag. A breast lift can raise and reshape sagging breasts, provide a fuller more balanced shape, as well as reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. Often, if only a small amount of lift is needed, breast augmentation with implants results in a fuller lifted breast without further surgery. Breast lift can also be combined with a breast augmentation if increased size is desired as well as a lift.

Breast reduction is indicated in patients with very large breasts who may suffer from a variety of symptoms. The weight of the breast tissue itself would cause problems; but many women with large breasts find that this weight causes back strain and discomfort. The bra may even become painful as the straps cut into the shoulders. We work with many patients who suffer from these problems. In fact, some of our happiest patients are breast reduction patients who say that we have improved the quality of their lives.

Arm lift or brachioplasty deals with loose skin and excess fat at the arms which can be a source of great anxiety. Liposuction alone may be successful if you have good skin tone at the arms, but a brachioplasty may be performed if there is a significant amount of excess skin. The surgeon tightens the excess skin of the arm and armpit in the armpit area, leaving a well-concealed scar. Most patients will accept the arm scar in exchange for an improved arm contour.

It is important to know that surgery always has risks, but you can help prevent complications by carefully following your physician's instructions both before and after surgery. Communication with your plastic surgeon is of paramount importance. It is important that you choose a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, that the facility is accredited, and that you undergo anesthesia by a board certified anesthesiologist.

Our surgical center is certified by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF). At El Paso Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Center we are committed to offering our patients long-term value. We are able to offer package prices to our patients which include every aspect of their on-site surgical care. We focus on the highest quality and continuity of care. We have a great deal of experience in the comprehensive treatment of body contour deformities.

Article by
El Paso Plastic Surgeon