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The Difference Between Weight Loss and Body Contouring Explained

Many people try to lose weight by exercising vigorously and adhering to a strict diet. But sometimes all this work fails to remove stubborn deposits of fat. That slim, toned body remains solely in the possession of Hollywood starlets.

When your own efforts fall short, it makes sense to bring in cosmetic and even plastic surgery professionals. The first procedures patients seem to discover are weight loss surgery and coolsculpting. Any more, here at Vancouver Cosmetic Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery, we’re not surprised when patients confuse these two popular procedures. Once you understand the differences as outlined in this post, you can start building your better body plan.

Body Contouring Surgery Is Not Designed for Overall Weight Loss

First and foremost, body contouring procedures, like the tummy tuck or mommy makeover, primarily help patients change their shape, not lose significant weight evenly over the body. Most plastic surgeons will not work with a patient on contouring procedures until they are close to a target weight.

In the tummy tuck, Dr. Pugash first uses liposuction to remove excess fat. Then, he makes an incision across the lower abdomen. He removes the excess skin and fat before stitching up the abdomen.

The mommy makeover can include several of the following procedures: a tummy tuck, a breast lift, a labiaplasty, an arm lift, and/or liposuction. All are intended to create more sleek and trim body contours. Most people choose to undergo body contouring after losing a lot of weight to deal with fat deposits or excess skin. In other words, obese patients with a body mass index of over 30 often choose bariatric weight loss surgery before undertaking their body contouring procedures.

Body contouring surgery does not impact appetite, digestion, or metabolism. Any weight loss that occurs during a contouring procedure will be minimal and will be a direct result of the fat and skin removed. The results of body contouring surgery will last only if the patient maintains good diet and exercise habits.

Weight Loss Surgery Can Not Result in Better Body Proportions

Weight loss surgery is designed for those looking to lose significant weight, often 100 pounds or more from their entire body. Performed by a bariatric rather than a plastic surgeon, weight loss surgery removes much of the stomach through gastric bypass or endoscopic gastric sleeve gastroplasty (the placement of stitches into the stomach through an endoscope, reducing its size and structure). These procedures, along with lap banding and others, drastically reduce the number of calories ingested. The physical reduction of the stomach curbs appetite and helps patients develop new eating habits.

Most weight loss procedures result in a great deal of extra skin due to the loss of underlying fat. Skin removal surgery comes after significant weight loss achieved through bariatric gastric bypass, sleeve or lap banding.

Surgeon Qualifications

Weight loss surgery is usually carried out by a board-certified bariatric surgeon who has extensive experience and a specialization in weight loss surgery.

Body contouring procedures are performed by plastic surgeons who, like Dr. Pugash, are certified by the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. Surgeons should also have a long track record of successful body contouring results. Cosmetic surgeons are not plastic surgeons, and thereby not qualified to perform this level of surgery.

Your Consultation with Dr. Eric Pugash, Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery

Dr. Eric Pugash has more than 30 years’ experience in plastic surgery, with memberships in five different professional plastic surgery organizations including both the American and Canadian societies for plastic surgery.

We’re happy to answer your questions about different types of body sculpting procedures and give recommendations about what might be most effective for your situation.

Contact us today or call 604-522-5199.