Body Contouring Procedures: What to Consider

Body contouring also known as excess fat removal refers to a range of cosmetic procedures designed to reshape and improve the appearance of the body’s contours. It involves various surgical and non-surgical techniques that target specific areas of the body to remove excess fat, tighten sagging skin, and enhance overall body shape.

People consider body contouring for several reasons:

  • Weight Loss: After substantial weight loss, individuals often face the challenge of excess skin that remains unresponsive to traditional weight loss methods. This is where excess skin removal after weight loss becomes a vital focus in body contouring procedures.
  • Post-pregnancy Changes: Pregnancy can lead to changes in a woman’s body, such as stretched abdominal muscles and sagging skin. Body contouring procedures like tummy tucks (Abdominoplasty) can help restore the pre-pregnancy body shape by addressing both excess fat and loose skin.
  • Ageing and Loose Skin: As we age, our skin loses elasticity, leading to sagging in various areas of the body. Body contouring procedures can include techniques for excess skin removal, providing improved physical comfort and overall well-being.
  • Targeted Fat Reduction: Some individuals may have localised areas of stubborn fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.
  • Body Symmetry: Some people may have asymmetrical body contours due to genetics or past surgeries. Body contouring can help address these imbalances.

It is important to note that body contouring surgical procedures are not weight loss solutions. You’ll need to first achieve a healthy and stable weight to be eligible for surgery. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon is crucial to determine the suitability of specific cosmetic body contouring procedures.

Body Contouring Procedures

Many enquire about body contouring. Body contouring is often referred to as a loose skin surgery. It helps to enhance your comfort by addressing specific concerns after weight loss. These procedures are designed to help you achieve your desired body shape through excess skin removal and other adjustments. Body contouring is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, it’s a deeply personal approach to allow you to enjoy the results of your weight loss efforts. Total body contouring may involve combining multiple procedures depending on your specific wants and needs. The recovery timeline post-body contouring varies based on the procedure’s extent. Most can resume normal activities within a few weeks.

Here are some of the most common body contouring procedures available:


body contouring

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that aims to remove stubborn fat deposits from various areas of the body, such as the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, hips, and arms. It is a popular body contouring treatment that helps improve the overall shape and proportion of the body contour. The surgeon makes a small incision and then uses specialised tools to suction out the targeted fat.

Tummy Tuck

body contouring

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a loose skin surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal area while tightening the underlying muscles to create a more toned appearance.

During a tummy tuck, an incision is made along your lower abdomen, usually, from hip to hip. The surgeon will remove your excess skin and fat through this incision, while also tightening the abdominal muscles to create a flatter and more sculpted contour. Your remaining skin will be repositioned and sutured back together.

The recovery period after a tummy tuck typically takes a few weeks. If you undergo breast augmentation and a tummy tuck (Post Pregnancy Procedures) or a body lift by combining multiple surgeries your recovery time may vary. The surgeon may recommend wearing a compression garment to minimise swelling and provide support to the treated area. It is important to follow post-operative instructions and attend follow-up appointments to ensure optimal healing and results.

The results of a tummy tuck can be long-lasting, especially when combined with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet. It’s advisable to maintain a stable weight to preserve the outcome.

Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon is crucial to discuss your overall health and discuss the potential risks, benefits, and realistic outcomes of the procedure.

Arm Lift

body contouring before after photos

An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure used to remove excess skin and fat from your upper arms, resulting in more toned looking arms. This procedure is particularly suitable for individuals who have loose skin in their arms due to factors such as ageing, significant weight loss, or genetic predisposition.

The surgeon will make incisions usually placed on the inside of your upper arms, where they can be easily concealed. The surgeon will remove the excess skin and fat from the arms, this may involve techniques such as liposuction. Your remaining skin is then carefully repositioned and tightened to create a smoother, more contoured appearance.

Following the arm lift surgery, you will be advised to wear compression garments on your arms to minimise swelling, provide support, and enhance the healing process. The recovery period generally lasts about 1 to 2 weeks, during which time you will be encouraged to rest and avoid strenuous activities that may strain your arms. The surgeon may also provide specific instructions on post-operative care, including wound care and pain management.

With proper care and adherence to a healthy lifestyle, the results of an arm lift can be long-lasting. However, it’s important to maintain a stable weight to preserve the results.

Thigh Lift

A thigh lift is a surgical procedure aimed at removing excess skin and fat from your thighs, resulting in a more toned and contoured appearance.

During a thigh lift, the surgeon will typically make incisions in the groin area, where the inner thigh meets the pubic region, down to the knee. The surgeon will remove the excess skin and fat from the arms, this may involve techniques such as liposuction.

The recovery time for a thigh lift can vary depending on individual factors and the extent of the procedure. Generally, patients can expect to return to work within 1 to 2 weeks, although it’s important to follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions for optimal healing. During the recovery period, it is recommended you avoid strenuous activities that may strain your thigh area.

To maintain long-lasting results, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Body Contouring Before After Photos

Below are photos of real patients who have had excess skin removal surgery before and after.

Preparing for Body Contouring Surgery

Preparing for body contouring surgery involves several important steps to ensure a successful and satisfying outcome. One crucial aspect is to have a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon who specialises in loose skin surgery. Here are some key points to consider during the consultation.

Consultation with a Plastic Surgeon

Choose a specialist plastic surgeon: Look for a surgeon who is certified by a recognised board, such as the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). Certification ensures that the surgeon has met rigorous standards and possesses the necessary training and expertise in excess skin removal surgery.

Discuss your medical history and physical condition: You should be prepared to provide a detailed medical history, including any previous surgeries, allergies, current medications, and underlying health conditions. This information helps the surgeon assess your suitability for loose skin surgery and determine the most appropriate approach for your specific needs.

Communicate your goals and expectations: Clearly express your goals and expectations for the surgery. Explain the areas of your body that concern you and the changes you hope to achieve through body contouring. A skilled plastic surgeon will listen attentively and provide professional advice on the feasibility and potential outcomes of the procedure.

Explore available body contouring options: There are various body contouring procedures available, such as liposuction, tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty), arm lift, thigh lift, and more. The surgeon will evaluate your individual case and recommend the most suitable options to address your concerns. They will explain the benefits, risks, and limitations of each procedure, allowing you to make an informed decision.

Ask questions and address concerns: Take advantage of the consultation to ask any questions you may have regarding plastic surgery, the recovery process, scarring after surgery, expected results, and potential risks. It is important to have a clear understanding of the procedure, its potential impact on your body, and the recovery timeline. A reputable plastic surgeon will provide thorough explanations and alleviate any concerns you may have.

Pre-operative Instructions

Pre-operative instructions are crucial to follow before undergoing any surgical procedure, including body contouring surgery. These instructions are provided by your surgeon and are designed to ensure that you are in the best possible physical condition for the surgery and to minimise the risk of complications.

Here are some common pre-operative instructions that may be given:

  • Dietary restrictions: Your surgeon may provide specific dietary guidelines to follow in the days or weeks leading up to your surgery.
  • Medication adjustments: You may be asked to make adjustments to your current medication regimen. Certain medications, such as blood thinners or aspirin, may need to be temporarily stopped or adjusted to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding during surgery.
  • Lifestyle changes: Your surgeon may advise you to make certain lifestyle changes in preparation for the surgery. This may include quitting smoking, as smoking can impair the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

It’s vital to carefully follow all pre-operative instructions provided by your surgeon. Your instructions will are tailored to your specific needs to reduce your risk of complications. By adhering to these guidelines, you can contribute to a smooth surgical experience and enhance your overall outcome. If you have any questions or concerns about the instructions, don’t hesitate to contact your surgeon for clarification.

What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

On the day of your loose skin surgery, there are several important things to expect as you prepare for and undergo the procedure. Here’s a general overview of what you can anticipate.

  1. Arrival and check-in

    It’s essential to arrive at the hospital on time. The staff will guide you through the check-in process, which may involve completing paperwork.

  2. Meeting with the anaesthetist and surgeon

    You will have an opportunity to meet with both the anaesthetist and your surgeon. The anaesthetist will review your medical history, and discuss the type of anaesthesia to be administered. Both the anaesthetist and surgeon will answer any questions or concerns you may have.

  3. Anaesthesia administration

    Once you are ready for the surgery, the anaesthetist will administer the chosen anaesthesia. You will be made comfortable and pain-free during the surgery.

  4. Surgery duration

    The duration of the surgery can vary depending on the type of body contouring procedure you are undergoing and its complexity. Your surgeon will provide you with an estimate of the expected time.

  5. Recovery in a monitored room

    After the surgery, you will be taken to a monitored recovery room where you will be closely monitored. You will be given any necessary medications to control any potential post-operative discomfort.

  6. Discharge and instructions

    You will receive instructions for post-operative care, including wound care, activity restrictions, medication management, and follow-up appointments. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully to optimise your recovery.

Remember, every surgical experience is unique, and the specific details of your day of surgery may vary. It’s important to have open communication with your surgical team and ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have throughout the process. They are there to guide you and ensure your comfort and well-being.

Recovery and Post-operative Care

Recovery and post-operative care play a crucial role in achieving optimal results and minimising complications after body contouring surgery. Some tips to consider during the recovery period are below.

  • Follow post-operative instructions: Guidelines for wound care, medication management, activity restrictions, and any recommended lifestyle modifications. Adhering to these instructions promotes proper healing and reduces the risk of complications. Take prescribed medications as directed. Wear compression garments. Gradual resumption of activities.
  • Attend follow-up appointments: Regular follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon are crucial for monitoring your progress, assessing healing, and addressing any concerns or questions you may have. Attend these appointments as scheduled and communicate openly with your surgeon about your recovery experience.

Remember that recovery times vary depending on the type and extent of the procedure, as well as individual healing characteristics. Be patient with your body’s healing process and allow yourself ample time to recover fully.

Risks and Benefits of Body Contouring

Body contouring surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries certain risks and potential complications. It’s important to be aware of these risks and discuss them with your plastic surgeon before making a decision. Here are some possible risks and complications associated with body contouring: bleeding, infection and general discomfort.

Despite the risks, body contouring procedures offer numerous benefits. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Improved body shape: Body contouring procedures can enhance your body’s shape by removing excess fat and skin, resulting in a more proportionate and toned appearance.
  • Clothing options: Body contouring can allow you to wear clothes that fit better and cmore comfortably, ultimately expanding your wardrobe choices.
  • Long-lasting results: With a healthy lifestyle and weight management, the results of body contouring surgery can be long-lasting.
  • Improved physical comfort: Body contouring procedures can alleviate discomfort caused by excess skin, especially in areas prone to skin irritation or rubbing.

It’s important to have realistic expectations for body contouring surgery. While the procedure can achieve significant improvements to contour body areas, it cannot completely transform your body or guarantee perfection. Understanding the limitations and discussing realistic goals with your surgeon is essential for a satisfactory outcome.


What Does Contouring Do to Your Body?

Body contouring is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess skin and fat from specific areas of the body. This is typically performed to improve your body shape and definition so you can appear more toned.

Body contouring procedures can provide long-lasting results. Once the excess skin and fat are removed, the new contours and improved shape are generally maintained. However, it’s important to note that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, is essential to optimise and sustain the results over time. Weight fluctuations or significant lifestyle changes can impact the long-term outcome.

What Is the Difference Between Body Contouring and Body Sculpting?

Body contouring and body sculpting are both aimed at enhancing body shape, but they differ in their approaches and techniques. Body contouring refers to surgical procedures that remove excess skin and fat to reshape the body. While body sculpting typically refers to non-surgical procedures that reduce fat and improve body shape. Below are the key differences.

Surgical vs. Non-surgical

Body contouring is a surgical procedure that involves invasive techniques such as liposuction, tummy tucks (Abdominoplasty), or body lifts. On the other hand, body sculpting is a non-surgical procedure that utilises non-invasive or minimally invasive techniques like laser, ultrasound, or radiofrequency energy to target and reduce fat cells.

Anaesthesia and Recovery

Body contouring surgeries typically require general anaesthesia, as they involve incisions, tissue removal, and sometimes muscle tightening. Recovery times vary depending on the specific procedure and extent of surgery but can be a few weeks. Body sculpting procedures are generally performed without anaesthesia, and there is little to no recovery time.

Results and Longevity

Body contouring surgeries typically provide more dramatic and long-lasting results compared to body sculpting. Surgical procedures can address loose skin, eliminate larger amounts of fat, and reshape the body in a significant way. Non-surgical body sculpting treatments can achieve noticeable improvements in body contour but may require multiple sessions for optimal results. The longevity of body sculpting results can vary, and maintenance treatments may be required to sustain the desired outcome.

Can I Combine Multiple Body Contouring Procedures?

Yes, it is possible to combine multiple body contouring procedures to achieve comprehensive results. This approach can help address multiple areas of concern for a more comprehensive appearance and reduces the overall recovery time compared to undergoing separate surgeries.

By combining procedures, such as liposuction, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), body lift, breast lift, or arm lift, a plastic surgeon can tailor the treatment to your specific needs and goals. For example, a common combination is a tummy tuck with liposuction to remove excess abdominal skin and fat while contouring the waistline.

However, it’s important to note that combining multiple procedures may increase the duration of the surgery and potentially increase the associated risks. Your surgeon will carefully evaluate your medical history, overall health, and individual circumstances to determine if you are a suitable candidate for combined procedures.

How Long Do Body Contouring Results Last?

The longevity of body contouring results can vary depending on several factors, including the specific procedure performed, individual characteristics, and lifestyle habits. While body contouring procedures can provide significant and long-lasting improvements, it’s important to note that they are not immune to the natural ageing process and other factors that can influence the body over time.

Here are some factors that can affect the longevity of body contouring results:

  • Weight stability: Maintaining a stable weight is crucial for prolonging the results of body contouring procedures. Significant weight fluctuations after the procedure can impact the treated areas and potentially diminish the results.
  • Natural ageing: As we age, the body undergoes natural changes, including skin laxity and a gradual decrease in collagen and elastin production. These factors can affect the longevity of body contouring results.
  • Lifestyle choices: Certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking, excessive sun exposure, and poor dietary choices, can impact the condition of the skin and overall body shape. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following recommended post-operative care instructions can help optimise and extend the results of body contouring procedures.

It’s important to consult with your plastic surgeon to discuss the expected longevity of the results for your specific body contouring procedure. They can provide you with more detailed information based on your individual circumstances and guide you on how to best maintain and prolong the results.

Contact Us

When it comes to surgery, safety should always be your highest priority, that’s why choosing the right surgeon is crucial. You need to ensure that your surgeon is qualified and highly experienced. You should feel comfortable that they understand your goals and can achieve them.

Dr Mark Doyle enjoys a reputation as one of Australia’s best plastic surgeons. He is renowned for his exceptional surgical ability, artistic skills and caring bedside manner. Dr Mark Doyle is dedicated to helping his patients look and feel their best. If you are interested in body contouring Gold Coast or body contouring Brisbane, Dr Doyle offers consultations in both locations.

Dr Mark Doyle, Specialist Plastic Surgeon

  • Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons – FRACS (Plas)
  • 30+ years of cosmetic surgery experience 
  • 15,000+ hours in the operating theatre
  • 10,000+ surgeries performed including 3,000+ body surgeries
  • 200+ positive reviews
  • Extensive expertise in surgical planning and 3D imaging
  • Committed follow-up and 12 months aftercare including scar treatment
  • Helped thousands of happy clients! See for yourself with these Post Pregnancy Procedures Before and Afters (Abdominoplasty and Breast Surgery Procedures).

About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plas) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon

Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.

Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing BreastBodyFace and Nose surgery. Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon with 30+ years of experience. He has completed all required training and only carries out approved surgical practices. There are absolutely NO undertrained doctors or cosmetic doctors acting as surgeons in our clinic.

As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is committed to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.


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*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.