The Skinny on Body Contouring

The Skinny on Body Contouring

If you search online for a definitive definition of what body contouring is, you may be surprised as the results. Body contouring procedures alter your shape through various means and are on the rise. Men and women of all ages and backgrounds are exploring the options to improve the shape of their bodies. Treatments may include the elimination of excess skin, excess fat, reshaping of the body and/or skin tightening as well. The procedures range from full physical removal of fat tissue to fat cell shrinkage. Body contouring procedure options have exploded in recent years and the demand for such treatments has grown tremendously as a result. Because the types of treatments available vary in invasiveness you will find options available at cosmetic surgeons, medspas, weight loss centers as well as laser specific treatment centers.

Why Consider Body Contouring

Many consider body contouring procedures due to extreme weight loss, stubborn fatty areas that remain even with healthy eating and exercise, improved clothing fit, hereditary factors and personal desire for a more aesthetically appealing shape. It all comes down to improving confidence and may also jump start a healthier lifestyle. Studies have shown that fat reduction patients report better mood and self concept after such treatments. At Derma Health, our philosophy is beauty from the inside out. We often education patients on the importance of healthy nutrition   body contouring fat reduction liposuction laser treatmentand hydration (drinking lots of pure water!) to maintain skin health…we also know that taking great care of your skin AND body improves your confidence which can positively impact all areas of life from relationships, personal happiness to career.

Our Patient Advocates provide an in-depth, free consultation to help pin-point your areas of concern and develop the best treatment plan to give you the ultimate results you want. The consultation is personal and private. You can be assured that our staff is concerned about you, your health and your goals.

Body Contouring Procedures Address:

  • abdomen
  • torso
  • upper arms
  • chest
  • hips
  • buttocks
  • thighs
  • under chin and more

Body contouring treatments can range from full surgical liposuction to tumescent liposuction, to lasers, radio frequency, ultrasound, fat freezing, body wrap treatments and more. With so many options, it’s easy to be confused. So, what’s the deal?

Let’s start by reviewing the most invasive procedures to the least invasive.



  • Full surgical procedure to physically remove/eliminate fattumescent liposuction abdomen fat transfer body contouring
  • Under general anesthesia
  • Immediate results and improved results over time
  • Significant pain may occur post surgery
  • May have significant recovery time
  • Sutures are required
  • May require compression garments after surgery
  • Body contouring after major weight loss may involve both liposculpture to smooth the contours of the body and removal of excess skin
  • Over 222,000 procedures performed annually (according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons)
  • #2 top plastic surgery procedure annually

“…we’re seeing much more diversity in the areas of the body patients are choosing to address,” said ASPS President David H. Song, MD, MBA, FACS

Tumescent Liposuction

    • The “gold standard” of liposuction techniques
    • Tumescent lipo is a minimally invasive procedure physically removing and eliminating fat
    • Reduced trauma to the body, reduced risk of complications
    • No general anesthesia required
    • Immediate results and improved results over time
    • Uses a lot of injected local anesthesia so the procedure is very comfortable
    • Low to no recovery time, can resume most normal activities the next day
    • Sutures are generally not required however tiny sutures may be necessary to aid in limiting scar tissue and are absorbed by the body.brazilian butt lift fat transfer liposuction body contouring

Fat Transfer (AKA Brazilian Butt Lift or Natural Breast Augmentation)

  • Includes both tumescent liposuction and fat transfer in one procedure (usually to the buttocks or breasts)
  • No general anesthesia
  • Immediate results and improved results over time
  • Low pain and recovery time
  • Common applications of the transfer of fat include what is called the Brazilian Butt Liftand natural breast augmentation

Butt Augmentation (with fat transfer) continues to rise with 14,705 procedures, up 28 percent from 2014 to 2015, per the American Society of Plastic Surgery

Topical Energy Application: Fat Reduction & Elimination Treatments

  • These techniques may employ lasers, radio frequency, ultrasound, vacuum or tissue massaging and may deliver heat or cold energy to change the body’s shape.
  • One of the most popular techniques on the market today due to the non-invasive nature of the procedures, no pain, and no downtime or recovery time.
  • Various options available with various longevity of results. Discuss your specific goals with your provider and the technologies they offer to really understand what treatment will work best to achieve your goals.
  • Can provide immediate results but often requires several sessions to achieve desired results

Over 330,000 procedures were performed in 2016 alone!That’s a 5% increase year over year, per the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

Various Technologies for Non-invasive Body Contouring

  • Laser treatment may deliver gentle heat to penetrate into tissue, to stimulate fat cells to open and release the fat inside. The body’s lymphatic system will naturally eliminate the released fat from the body. The fat cells in the body are shrunken in size. You may experience a warm sensation and redness for a while post treatment.
  • Some technologies utilize heat with vacuum and tissue manipulation. And may smooth cellulite and tighten skin at the same time. Patients may experience a warming of the treated area similar to a warm, deep tissue massage. You may experience a warm sensation and redness for up to several hours after treatment.
  • There are laser, radio frequency or other technology treatments that cause a thermal reaction in the tissue stimulating the body’s natural healing response which builds natural collagen over time. The treatment can reduce fat and cellulite as well as smooth and tighten skin.
  • Other treatments use targeted cold energy (with vacuum technology) to penetrate fatty areas to essentially freeze, crystallize and kill fat cells which are then eliminated naturally from the body. These treatment sessions may take quite a bit of time depending on the number of areas treated. The results are not immediate but occur over time and several sessions are required. A commonly known brand for this type of treatment is CoolSculpting.
  • Another technique combines an external suction type tool and therapeutic massage to break down fat cells, release water retention, and smooth the affected area.


Injectable Fat Elimination (commonly known as Kybella)

  • A relatively new type of fat elimination involves an injectable solution which breaks down fat cells. This material is then eliminated naturally from the body. A common brand specifically designed for under chin fat (double chin) is Kybella. Made of synthetic deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring molecule in the body, it aids in the breakdown and absorption of fat.
  • When injected into the fat beneath the chin, Kybella destroys fat cells, resulting in a noticeable reduction in fullness under the chin.
  • The treatment involves topical numbing of the area and several injections. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes to complete the treatment (not including numbing time)


Wraps for Body Contouring

The term body wrap can be confusing. When wraps began more than a decade ago, primarily in spas they were meant to improve the feel of skin temporarily by applying various herbs or mudpacks to the skin, wrapped in plastic and gently warmed. Although relaxing the wrap treatment was not specifically intended to contour or reduce fat. Today you will find many different types of body wraps and some that claim slimming or cellulite reduction.

There is no consensus on whether this works. The client may experience skin smoothing due to increased moisture, reducing the appearance of cellulite temporarily. You may also experience a pound or two of water weight loss but there is no fat elimination and the results are temporary. Some organizations wrap you in herbs or minerals and then you exercise vigorously for an hour during which time you sweat. Again, be cautious of claims that these types of wraps eliminate fat or take inches off your body. If you choose to try a wrap be certain to ask about the ingredients to ensure you are not allergic or sensitive to any of them. And be careful to hydrate by drinking lots of water, before, during and after a treatment to prevent dehydration.


Derma Health: Body Contouring Options for Everyone

Derma Health offers several options to address your specific goals, unique body composition and your desired comfort level.

Minimally Invasive Fat Elimination and Contouring

At Derma Health, we offer Tumescent Liposuction, liposculpting and fat transfer, performed at our Paradise Valley location. You may have a free consultation at any of our 5 valley locations to determine what options meet your needs. One of the fastest growing procedures performed is the Brazilian Butt Lift. Patients may be unhappy with the shape and size of their buttocks even after exercise, due to weight loss or heredity. This technique removes excess fat from other areas of the body (such as the abdomen, thighs, upper arms, etc.) and re-positions that fat in the buttocks for a lifted, firmer, rounder, and smoother look. Both procedures occur in the same treatment. It provides an immediately attractive and prominent rear end that is a very popular look.

Again, the procedure is minimally invasive with no general anesthesia. To learn more about the Brazilian

Butt Lift performed by Dr. Schuell at Derma Health, click or call to schedule your free consultation.

Non-invasive Fat Elimination and Body Sculpting

Another popular body contouring treatment at Derma Health is the BTL Exilis Ultra. This treatment uses

body contouring laser treatment exilisthe combination of ultrasound and radio frequencies delivered at the same time through a hand piece massaged over the skin in a continuous circular manner. This noninvasive therapy decreases fat in the treatment area while tightening the skin. When you experience problems reducing excess fat or sagging skin in a certain area with exercise and diet alone, BTL Exilis Ultra is the ultimate answer. The hand piece delivers energy to the tissues and it feels like a gentle warming. The area must be warmed to a specific level and held at that level consistently for a period of time. Many body parts can be treated with this technology including, but not limited to, the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, saddlebags, hips, knees, back of the arms, the “bra fat” area and so much more! There is no surgery, no pain and no recovery time. 

Most will require 2-4 treatments delivered on a weekly basis to achieve the desired results. Based on the area treated you may see immediate results but the best results are realized over a 3 month period.

Injectable Fat Elimination

Regarding injectable fat elimination, Derma Health offers Kybella specifically designed to address the submental fullness or fat beneath the chin, also known as a double chin. Whether due to heredity factors or the natural aging process Kybella is an injectable solution that eliminates fat over time. The result is a more streamline and youthful profile. Most will require 4-6 sessions spaced at least 1 month apart for best results. It is a non-invasive way to permanently eliminate fat. After treatment you will experience some swelling, bruising, or numbness under your chin. This is normal and temporary.


How Much Does it Cost?

As you may guess there is wide variation in the costs due to the wide variation in treatment options and areas of the body to be addressed. Basically, the treatments can range from the low hundreds to a few thousand dollars.

At Derma Health we offer financing options to meet your budget needs. Talk to your Patient Advocate about all the options to find one that is right for you!


Where to Begin

You will want to consult with a trusted provider. Derma Health Skin & Laser is the leader for body and skin treatments. With 5 locations in the Phoenix area, we’ve served over 40,000 patients and are a top 1% medspa in the nation. As the #1 medspa in the southwest, we focus on delivering the very best results for each patient. Each clinic is lead by naturopathic physicians that care about you as a whole person and not just a specific treatment. Come in today and experience the Derma Health difference!