Body Contouring Surgery

Quick Summary
Body Contouring Surgery
Procedure Length
1-3 hours (depending upon extent of procedure)
General or local with IV sedation
Types of Procedures
Breast surgery (implants, lift, reduction), liposuction, tummy tuck, butt enhancement, thigh lift, etc.
Recovery Time
Back to work 2-3 weeks. Strenuous activities 6-8 weeks (depending on extent of procedure)
Pain, bleeding, infection, fluid collection, wound healing, blood clots, etc
Final Appearance
6-12 months depending on extent of procedure
Duration of Results
Long-lasting results with healthy diet and exercise
Average Cost
$3,000-$30,000 (depends on extent of procedure)

What is body contouring surgery?

Body contouring surgery encompasses a variety of surgical procedures with the goal of enhancing the body’s shape and overall appearance. This is achieved through the removal of surplus fat and skin or by firming and elevating sagging skin and tissues. Generally, people who have undergone substantial weight loss, whether through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery, seek these procedures when they’re left with loose skin or stubborn fat that doesn’t easily respond to traditional weight loss methods.

Is it right for you?

A person who’s often a great candidate for body contouring procedures is someone who has experienced significant weight loss, either through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery. They typically have lingering issues like loose, excess skin or stubborn fat deposits in certain areas that just won’t budge with traditional weight loss methods.

Candidates often have the following characteristics:

  1. Stable Weight: Achieved a relatively stable weight after their weight loss, and their weight loss has plateaued.
  2. Good Overall Health: Good overall health and don’t have uncontrolled medical conditions that might pose risks during surgery.
  3. Realistic Expectations: Realistic expectations about the outcomes of the procedure and understand that body contouring can enhance, but not completely transform their appearance.
  4. Non-Smoker: Ideally, candidates are non-smokers or willing to quit smoking before the surgery as smoking can interfere with the healing process.
  5. Positive Mindset: They have a positive mindset and are committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle after the surgery to ensure long-lasting results.

Types of procedure options

There is a wide variety of body contouring procedures from which you may choose, each of which can help cater to your particular aesthetic need. Some of the most commonly performed body contouring procedures include:


Bicep, tricep, butt, calf or breast… regardless of your specific target area, there is an implant option at your service.

  • Bicep and tricep implants offer an exercise-free solution to getting perfectly toned arms. Silicone muscle implants can be custom-matched to your unique considerations and body shape for the most natural results. The surgery typically requires 60 to 90 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis. The implants are most often placed via incisions made in the armpits so as to minimize scarring.
  • Butt implants help add shape to the buttocks. Also referred to as buttock augmentation, butt implants are inserted via a small incision point made along the midline of the buttocks to minimize scarring.
  • Calf implants are a common plastic surgery treatment for men with skinny legs who are unable to develop the toned, muscular calves to match their body. Made of silicone, calf implants are somewhat similar in makeup to those used in silicone breast implantation.
  • Breast implants are the most recognizable and commonly used type of body implants. Made of either saline or silicone, breast implants can be inserted in a number of ways to help minimize scarring and maximize aesthetic value.


Body lift, bra-line back lift, butt lift and breast lift are four commonly performed lift surgeries used to tighten and contour sagging or otherwise aged skin.

  • Body lift in and of itself refers to a slew of lift procedures performed to elicit a total body enhancement. Rather than targeting a specific area of the body, such as the buttocks or breasts, a body lift seeks to tighten a variety of areas at once. A full body lift can be divided into two separate treatments. A lower body lift, also referred to as a belt lipectomy, refers to treatments targeting the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and back. Alternatively, patients may seek an upper body lift which targets the breasts, and chest and back areas.
  • Arm lift: This procedure eliminates excess skin and fat from the upper arms to create a more toned and shapely appearance.
  • Bra-line back lift is a popular plastic surgery treatment targeting sagging back fat associated with age, sun exposure or weight loss The treatment gets its name from the fact that incision points for women are made along the “bra line,” meaning that scarring can be hidden by bras and swimwear.
  • A butt lift procedure is a fat grafting procedure designed to sculpt and tone the buttocks. Also referred to as a Brazilian Butt Lift, the procedure harvests fat deposits from specific areas of the body to be injected into the buttocks, lifting and shaping its appearance.
  • Breast lifts are common cosmetic procedures for women seeking to improve the appearance of sagging breast tissue. It is a common component of mommy makeover treatments due to the post-pregnancy breast sagging that affects many women. The procedure can be performed in a hospital or on an outpatient basis.
  • Thigh lift: A thigh lift addresses sagging skin on the inner and outer thighs, creating a smoother and more contoured leg appearance.


  • Liposuction: This procedure involves the removal of excess fat from specific areas of the body, such as the abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, and neck, to achieve a more defined and proportionate contour.
  • Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty): A surgical procedure that targets the abdominal area by removing excess skin and fat while also tightening the underlying muscles for a flatter and more toned abdomen.
  • Abdominal etching: A type of plastic surgery treatment typically reserved for men (though available for women) that targets the abdominal area with liposuction surgery. Candidates for abdominal etching must be physically fit with a body fat percentage under 20 percent. Liposuction targets fat deposits that settle between the abdominal muscles, helping to accentuate the “six-pack” look that most men strive for.


In addition to the surgical options, there are a series of minimally-invasive body contouring options from which to choose, including Coolsculpting, Thermage and Zerona. These procedures incorporate temperature, radio waves and laser energy to target specific areas of the body for rejuvenation. The non-surgical procedures are newly developed and have been gaining in popularity in recent years as patients seek the most natural of rejuvenating procedures with no scarring. In the case of Zeltiq Coolsculpting, it is essentially liposuction without removing fat.

Cost of body contouring surgery

The following are the average costs for various body contouring procedures.


  • Bicep and tricep implants: $5,000 – $12,000
  • Butt implants: $7,000 – $10,000
  • Calf implants: $4,500 – $8,000
  • Breast Implants: $5,000 – $10,000


  • Body lift surgery: $8,000 – $15,000
  • Bra-line Back Lift:  $5,000 – $10,000
  • Butt Lift: $8,000 – $14,000
  • Breast Lift: $7,500 – $10,000
  • Thigh Lift: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Arm Lift: $5,000 – $8,000


  • Abdominal etching: $4,500 to $9,000
  • Liposuction: $1,500 – $7,500 per area
  • Tummy tuck: $8,000 – $15,000


On average, non-surgical medical procedures can cost as little as $500 or upwards of $6,000 per treatment.