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What Is Body Contouring? (video)

A plastic surgeon explains cosmetic body shaping procedures

A plastic surgeon explains cosmetic body shaping procedures

Salvatore Pacella, MD, a plastic surgeon at Scripps Clinic, explains what body contouring or body sculpting is and how it can help someone achieve their body shape goal after weight loss or pregnancy.


Dr. Pacella describes the different types of body contouring procedures, including liposuction, skin removal and tummy tuck.

Video transcript

What is body contouring?

Body contouring is a great way to resculpt the skin after weight loss or pregnancy. It combines surgery and liposuction to tighten skin and problem areas.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a minimally invasive way to remove fat from the undersurface of the skin.

What is skin removal surgery?

Skin removal surgery is a common procedure in plastic surgery. It involves removing some unwanted or excess skin that may be in the way. For example, it could be excess skin around the eyelid that can obstruct your vision. The procedure involves making a small cut and removing some excess skin. In pregnancy, there may be excess skin that can be removed and tightened, utilizing another procedure called a tummy tuck.

What is the “tummy tuck”?

Tummy tuck is a very common procedure we see in women after pregnancy. It involves a combination of a couple things. The first thing would be removing some excess skin around the lower abdomen that may have been stretched out from pregnancy. The second thing that’s stretched out very commonly is the muscles of the abdomen.


During the tummy tuck, we commonly tighten up those muscles to give you a nice flat tummy afterward. The combination of both of these procedures can really restore the youthful appearance of your abdomen after pregnancy.

What is the recovery period after abdominoplasty or a “tummy tuck”?

The recovery process after abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is very predictable. Most patients are on some pain medications for a couple of days. Most patients take about two weeks off from work, but before we clear you to work out or exercise extensively, it’s about four weeks.

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