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What is Body Contouring?

Body contouring refers to a set of procedures which can remove excess skin or fat from any part of the body such as the abdomen, chin, arms, thighs, flanks, etc. Body contouring procedures are used to remove excess area of stubborn fat or sagging skin, which cannot be reduced through diet and exercise. Body contouring procedures can be surgical or non-surgical and include liposuction,  a lower body lift, mommy makeover, breast lift, abdominoplasty, thigh lift, arm lift, breast augmentation, brazilian butt lift or invasive procedures to remove fat deposit among other cosmetic procedures.  Weight loss and managing a patients weight and expectation is a key element in achieving the best results with body contouring. These procedures are considered cosmetic surgery and should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Body contouring procedures and techniques have improved over the years. In the past, body contouring procedures were surgical and performed solely by plastic surgeons to tighten the skin after massive weight loss, most often seen in bariatric surgery patients. In the past, body contouring was classified as plastic surgery, since liposuction, tummy tucks and arm lifts, were all that was offered. Today, there are many more non-invasive  body contouring procedures which are performed by the dermatologist.  A body contouring procedure means much more now than surgery as there are so many effective non-surgical alternatives.  Body contouring procedures should not be a substitute for weight loss or for healthy eating habits.

Body contouring procedures have become increasing in popularity with the advent of a host of effective non-surgical body contouring treatments. By 2022, body contouring is predicted to be a 1 billion dollar industry.

Who is a good candidate for body contouring?

A good candidate for body contouring is a patient who is at within 10 pounds of their ideal weight.  If you are fluctuating in your weight, it is best to get it under control. You should be in generally good heath and have a localized area of fat which is not responding to diet and exercise. The quality and turgor of your skin should be good and you should have realistic expectations. It is best to consult with an expert like Dr. Michele Green to see if you are a good candidate for body contouring in her NYC office. 

The first part of understanding the body contouring process is a consultation by Dr. Green in our NYC office.  Dr. Green will listen to your concerns and evaluate your aesthetic goals.  She will review your medical history including previous surgeries and hospitalizations. A complete review of your current medications including any alcohol, vaping, or cigarette use. Dr. Green will review your history to see if you are a candidate for these body contouring procedures.

The second part of the consultation is a physical exam to determine the degree of fat that you would like decreased along with your skin quality. Weight and measurements are taken, followed by photographs which are for your private medical records.  These photographs can be examined later during your follow-up visit to help assess the cosmetic results from your body contouring procedure. At the end of the consultation, Dr. Green will help you determine which body contouring procedures may be right for you.

Body Contouring Techniques NYC

Thanks to new technologies, there is an array of body contouring procedures which can all be performed without surgery or downtime. Non-surgical body contouring is referred to as minimally invasive treatments performed or fat removal or to tighten the skin. These procedures such as Coolsculpting® which targets the fat cells in the treated area or treatments such as Thermage FLX® which uses radiofrequency technology to contour and tighten the skin. The field is growing and with the improvement in technology over the years non-surgical body contouring includes more than fat reduction treatments. Treatments have expanded to address cellulite, sagging skin, and skin rejuvenation of many areas of the body including the vagina.

Benefits of non-surgical fat reduction

  • No downtime is required
  • Non-surgical
  • Little or no side effects or down time
  • Long lasting results

Body Contouring Procedures

There are several FDA cleared procedures available, each proven to achieve remarkable results. A consultation with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who is certified and trained on non-surgical body contouring techniques is the best way to learn which non-surgical body contouring treatment is right for you.

Body contouring includes different procedures and techniques to help reshape and rejuvenate almost any part of the body. In the past, plastic surgery was the only answer to these issues. Now, with the advance in technology we can use non-invasive procedures to reduce size of body areas, improve skin laxity, and diminish the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. When it comes to achieving the body of your dreams, when diet and exercise often fail to provide your desired results, body contouring can be the answer.  Body contouring surgery or body sculpting can help you tighten loose skin and reshape your body and improve your shape. Many procedures can be performed without any recovery time.  In NYC there are many treatment options that can help you achieve better body proportions and improve your figure.

LL coolsculpting 10m FRONT 2 MGwatermark

Before & After photo: CoolSculpting, 10 months

Non-surgical fat reduction treatments available

Cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting®)

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive body contouring treatment which uses a process known as cryoliposis to freeze fat cells in the treated area. The applicator is positioned over the treatment area and a light suction gently pulls the area into the applicator as it freezes the fat cells. The fat cells in the treated area crystalize and are then broken down by the body and eliminated through the lymphatic system as waste.

This non-invasive treatment is FDA approved to treat nine different areas on the body such as the submental area (under the chin), bra fat, upper arms, abdomen, love handles, inner and outer thighs, “banana roll” under the buttocks, and the fat above the knees.

Injectable Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) or Injection Lipolysis

Deoxycholic acid is currently the only FDA approved injection which can be used to reduce excess fat from the chin area, effectively eliminating a double chin. Deoxycholic acid occurs naturally in the body and is found in the gut. It can disturb cell membranes in adipocytes destroying the fat cells.  Kybella is injected into the submental area and the fat which causes your  “double chin” is dissolved. The result is a chiseled jawline with no more “double chin”.

ah 33 kybella before after right MGWatermark

Before & After: Male Patient with Kybella treatment

Thermage FLX®

Thermage FLX® is a noninvasive FDA approved face and body skin tightening treatment that utilizes radio-frequency energy to stimulate collagen formation to tighten, smooth, and contour the skin to create an overall younger appearance. Thermage FLX® is approved to treat most body parts including the face, neck, upper arms, buttocks, under eyes, hands, knees and thighs. Thermage FLX® targets the collagen-rich dermis as well as the fiber septae in the subcutaneous adipose tissue layer by bulk-heating and uniformly distributing heat energy to denature and then remodel collagen.  The result is an immediate collagen contraction from the heat as well as a progressive collagen remodeling from the body’s natural immune response to addressing the controlled trauma that the heat from Thermage FLX® creates.

VelaShape III® or Radiofrequency Lipolysis 

VelaShape III® is a non-invasive body contouring treatment. The treatment is a combination of multiple technologies used to achieve reduction in cellulite and circumferential reduction. VelaShape technology includes mechanical massage, radiofrequency, infrared light, and vacuum suction.

The infrared light and bipolar radiofrequency energy warm the dermal and underlying tissues which causes the fat cells to metabolize and break up. The body then naturally eliminates the fat cells and other toxins.

Mechanical massage gently massages the skin. This mechanical massage increases circulation causing lymphatic drainage eliminating toxins and fat cells from the treated area.

The vacuum suction smooths out cellulite by manipulating the fibrous bands in the epidermis. This results in a reduction in the appearance of dimpling in the skin (cellulite).

Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

A Brazilian Butt Lift is a cosmetic procedure to enhance the buttocks.  There are surgical ways to perform a BBL, with liposuction and fat transfer to the buttocks.  More popular, is the non-surgical body contouring BBL through Sculptra injections. Liquid Sculptra is injected into the buttocks, every four weeks for at least 3 to 4 sessions to give you an enhanced buttock, which have become so popular since the Kardashians.

What is the cost of Body Contouring / Body Sculpting NYC?

The cost of body contouring depends on the size of the area being treated and which produce is right for you.  The price ranges for Coolsculpting from $600 to Thermage which is a more expensive procedure.  After your consultation with Dr. Michele Green in her private NYC office, she will go over the best treatment plan tailored for your specific goal and the costs involved in the procedure.

Plastic Surgery

There are a number of invasive cosmetic surgeries, from arm lifts, to tummy tucks, which require a considerable amount of downtime. There are times when non-invasive cosmetic procedure are not enough and plastic surgery is the only way to achieve more drastic results. When considering plastic surgery, it is always best to consult a board certified plastic surgeon  to minimize the risks of surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the risks associated with surgery include infection, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, bleeding and perforation to internal organs, and complications associated with general anesthesia.

Body Contouring Surgery in NYC


Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure which is performed under general, regional, or local anesthesia. Depending on the amount of fat and the areas of the body being treated, most patients prefer the comfort of general anesthesia. The process of liposuction involves making a small incision into the skin and inserting a cannula to remove fat through a process of negative pressure. Some plastic surgeons use the tumescent technique of liposuction, which reduces some of the complications associated with liposuction. Compression garments are worn for two weeks after surgery and bruising is an expected side effect of the procedure. The final results are visible six to 12 months after liposuction.  Liposuction is not a weight loss treatment since there is no long term weight loss associated with liposuction. While the suctioned fat cells are permanently gone, one of the problems with liposuction is that after several months, the fat can get redistributed to other areas of the body, and the overall body fat generally returns to the same level as before liposuction.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area, to create a smother and firmer abdominal profile.  As we age, the body stops producing collagen and elastin, and loses skin elasticity. Major weight loss or pregnancy can also cause excessive skin laxity and extra skin as well.  Compounding this problem, in pregnancy, many patient’s abdominal walls get separated, called a diastasis, which makes the walls weakened and unable to be toned. For those patients whose abdominal muscles have separated, with loose sagging skin, an abdominoplasty would be the best treatment advised.  However, if you are considering another pregnancy, it would be prudent to wait to have this surgery.

What is a Body Lift?

A body includes a surgical body contouring procedure where the abdomen, buttocks, lower back, flanks, and thighs may be surgically lifted.  In general, a body lift removes both the skin and the fat in a given area. Generally, body lift surgery is meant for bariatric patients who had massive weight loss and now have a large amount of loose, sagging skin. Encompassing body lifts, some patients may opt for an arm lift or only a thigh lift.  Some patients who have lost a lot of weight in their chests may opt for a breast lift with breast augmentation or breast reduction, depending on their specific needs.

What is Arm Lift Surgery?

Arm lift surgery, also called brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove the extra fat and skin under the arms.  Some patients call this extra skin “bat wings” due to the skin’s appearance.  As you age, the skin in the arms gets crepey and loose. An excessive amount of weight loss makes this condition worse with sagging, excess skin.  An arm lift surgery extends from the the axillae (arm pit) to the elbow by removing the extra sagging skin. There will be considerable surgical scars as a result of this surgical procedure. This surgical procedure requires general anesthesia and several hours of surgery and weeks of recovery time.

Body Contouring & Weight Loss

For many patients, despite diet and exercise, they cannot have the shape and contours that they want.  While none of these body contouring weight loss devices are weight loss devices, with a healthy lifestyle and continued exercise, both the surgical body contouring and non-surgical treatments can help give you the cosmetic results you deserve.

In all cases, it is important to consult an expert in body contouring to have the best cosmetic results.  Dr. Michele Green is a board certified dermatologist and an innovator in non-surgical body contouring in NYC. To learn more about which non-surgical body contouring option is best suited for you please contact us online today or call 212-535-3088.

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