How to Choose Between Surgical Body Contouring vs. Non-Surgical Body Contouring

Do you dream of having a picture-perfect body? Body contouring is an increasingly popular option to shape your body into an aesthetically-pleasing form after dramatic weight loss, pregnancy, or other conditions.

There are two core options in body contouring, surgical and non-surgical. Read on to get more perspective on choosing the right way forward.

What are Surgical and Non-Surgical Body Contouring?

Body contouring is a general term applied to surgical and non-surgical procedures to help achieve a desired aesthetic. Learn more about the two different options below.

 Surgical Body Contouring

Surgical body contouring achieves the desired body shape through surgical options, where patients must consult with physicians and schedule operations. Available procedures are typically completed in one session with a recovery period that can range in length.

The surgical options for body contouring include procedures that directly address the fat deposits, with more predictable results in getting the shape you want. Most of the time, surgical body contouring involves procedures like:

Non-Surgical Body Contouring

Non-surgical body contouring, as defined in the title, are less invasive procedures that aim to sculpt bodies to a desired aesthetic without the need to be put under for surgery. Typical methods include freezing fat cells in the body or destroying them in targeted areas.

The non-surgical procedures for body contouring are usually done in multiple sessions. They include cryolipolysis, laser treatments, and ‘red light therapy.’ The core benefits include discreet treatments, few side effects, and no scarring from surgery.

So what are the factors driving non-surgical and surgical options for body contouring?

What Should I Consider When Choosing Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Body Contouring?

Everybody is different and has varied levels of comfort when choosing between surgical or non-surgical options for body contouring. See below to understand the critical factors in determining your preferred choice.

Desired Results

The way results get achieved in both non-surgical and surgical options is different. The former is a slower process, bringing the body shape desired in stages rather than seeing more instant results.

The latter see faster results, with a more accurate outcome of the body shape wanted. If speed, accuracy, and longevity are the preference, surgical options remain better, but they also have disadvantages.

Recovery Periods

Surgical treatments require significant recovery periods that can take patients out of action for weeks. Non-surgical procedures usually have little or no recovery time, allowing patients to get on with life generally as they contour their bodies.

If recovery periods are disruptive to your life, non-surgical options may be the way.

Available Treatments

Surgical body contouring has existed for a more extended period, meaning that more treatments are available with immediate results. Non-surgical procedures are relatively newer, meaning fewer have been tried, tested, and approved.

Discussing surgery with a professional is your best bet if you want body contouring with more trusted, extensive options.


There’s no question that surgical body contouring is the more invasive way to achieve the desired look. Non-surgical options have become prominent because they are non-invasive and don’t leave any scarring or risk any future side effects.

While surgical options generally make small incisions and leave well-concealed scars, some patients aren’t intrigued by the idea of body blemishes. The choice is to prefer more immediate, accurate results with scarring or a slower process with no visible incisions.


It’s almost guaranteed that patients undergoing surgical body contouring will experience pain in their recovery periods, potentially for some time post-procedure. Non-surgical treatments typically offer relatively pain-free experiences, minimizing discomfort while body shaping.

An excellent plastic surgeon will try to keep post-procedure pain at a minimum, with the worst discomfort disappearing after a few days with medication. However, it will occur should the patient prefer the fast, dramatic body sculpting results.

Cost of Surgery

The costs of surgical and non-surgical body contouring can be challenging to compare. Prospective patients will see that the surgical options will immediately be more expensive, given the specialist procedures involved.

However, considering that non-surgical options come in stages, it’s not uncommon to see the final amount for treatment being close to surgery. It’s worth researching the total cost of both while researching your choice.

So with these factors in mind, how do you choose the best option?

How Do I Choose Between Surgical and Non-Surgical Body Contouring?

Reviewing all the factors you need to consider can overwhelm you when deciding which body contouring suits you best. Professionals like Dr. Baumholtz can help weigh your decision and address your concerns by scheduling a consultation.

Baumholtz Plastic Surgery can review your circumstances and wanted aesthetic, recommending the best action to achieve your desired look.

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