What Is the Difference Between Body Sculpting and Body Contouring?

Body Sculpting and Body Contouring

Body sculpting and body contouring are often interchangeable terms that describe various cosmetic surgery procedures that reshape the body. The procedures improve the overall body appearance. The extent of the contouring and techniques used depend on the patient’s goals and physical condition. Body sculpting can include nonsurgical and surgical procedures. 


Nonsurgical Body Sculpting 

Nonsurgical body sculpting involves the removal or reduction of stubborn fat. Various body sculpting techniques do not involve surgery. They are noninvasive and help shape or contour the body. 

Body sculpting is ideal for people who have attained their perfect weight but have stubborn fat pockets that resist diet or exercise. Patients usually require several sessions to achieve their perfect body shape. 


Ideal Candidates for Body Sculpting 

Good candidates for body contouring are:

  • Healthy adults

  • Individuals with stabilized weight loss

  • People committed to a healthy lifestyle

  • Nonsmokers. It is especially vital for those who need skin tightening

  • People with no medical conditions that can impair healing


Reasons to Get Body Sculpting

Body changes due to age, weight gain, or loss are the main reasons people choose to get body sculpting. Women choose to get cosmetic procedures after pregnancy and giving birth. Body sculpting can return the body to its pre-pregnancy shape. 

Losing weight can leave an individual feeling healthier, lighter, and more energetic. Unfortunately, gravity can lead to sagging or excess skin. Body sculpting can help tighten the skin and improve the contour. 


Areas Addressed  

Body sculpting or contouring can enhance various parts of the body. The procedures usually target the abdomen, upper arms, back and waist, thighs, face, and neck. The surgeon can recommend the best treatment for each body part. 


Types of Nonsurgical Body Contouring 

Several types of body contouring techniques include:

  • Cryolipolysis that destroys fat using cold temperatures (CoolSculpting)

  • Laser lipolysis involves using lasers to destroy fat (Zerona®)

  • Radiofrequency lipolysis that uses heat and ultrasound waves (truSculpt®)

  • Injection lipolysis that uses deoxycholic acid to target fat cells


Surgical Body Contouring 

Surgical body contouring options help remove excess skin and fat. They include facelifts, neck lifts, chin lifts, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), arm lift, breast lift or augmentation, and liposuction, among others. 

Skin tightening can be done through surgical or nonsurgical procedures. It may involve excess skin removal or laser skin tightening. The amount of excess skin will determine the best treatment. 

Body sculpting and countouring is personal, and no two procedures are identical. During the consultation, the surgeon will discuss the various options available. Nonsurgical techniques are ideal for people who require minimal contouring. 

It is essential to have realistic expectations before you get the procedures. Procedures that eliminate excess fat and extra skin and reshape the body part can help you lose weight. However, they are not weight loss treatments. 

For more information on the difference between body sculpting and body contouring, visit Kenneth Bermudez, MD, at our San Francisco, California office. Call (415) 712-1800 to schedule an appointment today.