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Body Contouring

Liposuction and other procedures to enhance your body shape

A smiling young woman with beautiful legs sits on a tree swing on the beach, representing an enhanced figure after liposuction, tummy tuck or other body contouring.

Liposuction and other procedures to enhance your body shape

Body contouring procedures help reshape and tone areas of the body that have been affected by aging, weight fluctuations or pregnancy. 

Body contouring is a type of plastic surgery that includes a variety of body sculpting and surgical techniques to reshape almost any area of the body. Cosmetic body shaping can reshape, lift, reduce and contour to deliver a wide range of results based on your individual goals and unique body shape. Our plastic surgeons at Scripps Clinic in San Diego can use various body sculpting techniques to tone and enhance your body, including liposuction, tummy tuck and skin reduction surgery.


Also known as suction-assisted lipectomy or lipo, liposuction slims and reshapes the body by removing excess fat deposits and improving body contours and proportion. Liposuction is commonly used to contour and enhance the chest, thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, waist, upper arms, back, cheeks, chin and neck. 

It’s important to note that liposuction should not be used as a weight loss method. Rather, it should complement proper diet and exercise to help tone or sculpt specific areas of the body.

Liposuction before and after photos

This before and after photo shows a man's sculpted results after chest contouring by Dr. Pacella of Scripps Clinic.

Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty is commonly known as “tummy tuck” surgery because it helps patients achieve a flatter, more toned stomach. During an abdominoplasty, the surgeon removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles. The result is a smoother, firmer “tummy” or abdominal profile. 

Even people with a healthy body weight and proportions can develop a protruding abdomen or a loose or sagging midsection. Many women request this procedure when their abdominal area has excess skin or stretch marks from pregnancy or weight fluctuations. 

A tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. The positive results of a tummy tuck procedure can be greatly diminished by significant changes in your weight after surgery.

Tummy tuck before and after photos

This before and after photo shows a woman's toned results after a tummy tuck by Dr. Pacella of Scripps Clinic.

Mommy makeovers

Pregnancy can bring unwanted changes to a woman’s body, including sagging breasts, stretch marks and excess fat around the tummy and hips. The “mommy makeover” is a popular option for women who are unable to improve their appearance through diet and exercise alone. 

A mommy makeover is a set of cosmetic procedures customized to your needs. Most patients concentrate on three main areas: the breast, stomach and hips. Patients often choose to combine a breast procedure, such as breast augmentation and/or breast lift, with a body procedure, such as a tummy tuck and/or liposuction. These procedures can be done in one or two stages, depending on the areas you would like to address.

You’re a good candidate for a mommy makeover if you’re in good overall health and do not plan to have any more babies in the future. Talk to one of our plastic surgeons at Scripps Clinic about the best combination of procedures for your unique shape and goals.

Skin reduction after weight loss

Some people who have lost a significant amount of weight — such as after bariatric surgery — find they can’t get rid of loose, excess skin regardless of how much they exercise. Surgical body contouring following major weight loss removes excess skin and fat while improving the shape of the supporting tissue. The goal of this procedure is to tighten and enhance proportions and body contours.

Why choose Scripps Clinic Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

When you’re considering plastic surgery, you want to be sure to choose a plastic surgery center that meets the highest standards for safety and quality.

Scripps Clinic plastic surgeons:

  • Are board certified in plastic surgery
  • Have years of experience in the artistry of plastic surgery
  • Partner with board-certified anesthesiologists

In addition, we perform all procedures in a hospital or approved ambulatory surgery setting for added sterility and infection prevention, as well as maximum safety.

The decision to have cosmetic surgery is very personal. It’s important to ask questions and talk with your plastic surgeon to:

  • Decide if this procedure is right for you
  • Find out what results you can realistically achieve 
  • Explore the benefits and risks 

Find Scripps Clinic locations for plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery.