Liposuction vs Body Contouring: What’s Right for You? By Joseph M. Brown, MD, FACS on May 12, 2022

If you’re preparing for a summer at the beach, it’s easy to get bogged down by the beach bod ideal. In truth, you should love your body no matter what. But it’s also okay if you really want to make a few changes to improve how you feel daily. So let's look at liposuction vs body contouring.

Liposuction vs Body Contouring: What’s Right for You?

You may have spent this whole year improving your diet and exercise routine only to still see stubborn areas of fat that just won’t go away. Have you decided to say “sayonara” to those little pockets? You may then end up probably stuck deciding between traditional liposuction and non-surgical body contouring.


In order to help you make an educated decision, we have put together this guide. It can give you an idea of the advantages that come with each type of procedure before you commit to getting cosmetic surgery in Tampa, FL.

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction works as a surgical procedure that physically removes small fat deposits from the body. The procedure can be done practically anywhere. But it most commonly helps patients target their abdomen, thighs, and waist.


To be clear, liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure. At the very most, your plastic surgeon may be able to remove as much as 11 pounds of fat, but the amount may be lower depending on your individual case and the targeted location.

How Does Liposuction Work?

Liposuction is only designed to remove small amounts of fat in each targeted area. In order to achieve this, a small incision is made near the target area. Incision sites are carefully chosen to minimize the risk of visible scarring.


Once the incision is open a long suction tube called a cannula is inserted into the opening. Your surgeon will then selectively remove areas of fat, carefully shaping your contours to appear as natural as possible.

When a safe amount of fat has been removed, your surgeon will remove the cannula. The incision is cleaned and closed. Then you’re on your way. Your liposuction in Tampa will heal fairly quickly with proper care, but you will want to protect your scars from direct sunlight to avoid making them more visible.

What Is Non-Surgical Body Contouring?

Body contouring is a great option if you want very subtle results with no downtime. There are a number of different treatments to choose from, so you will want to discuss goals and preferences with your plastic surgeon.


Many body contouring technologies use laser technology to penetrate skin and melt the underlying fat cells. Some are only applied to the surface. But other body contouring methods do require very small incisions for the insertion of a cannula.

The Benefits of Body Contouring

Non-surgical body contouring is a great option if summer is coming up fast and you won’t have time to heal from liposuction. You will need to keep in mind just a few things.

  • Non-surgical body contouring will not remove as much fat as liposuction.
  • Certain types of non-surgical body contouring may require a series of sessions.
  • It can take up to a few weeks for you to see your complete results as the melted fat cells are carried out of the body.

Despite these caveats, you can still get great results with non-surgical body contouring as long as you plan a month or two ahead.

Choosing Lipo or Body Contouring

The truth is that liposuction and body contouring are both great options. Choosing one over the other remains a personal choice. It tends to end up driven by your budget, comfort with surgery, and healing time frame.


To learn more about your options, talk to your board-certified plastic surgeon.

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Dr. Joseph Brown

Plastic Surgery

A board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Joseph M. Brown strives to provide patients with transformative, yet natural results in a safe and comfortable environment. When you choose him as your provider, he will develop a patient-doctor relationship based on honesty, trust, and a clear understanding of a common goal. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
  • Florida Medical Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Surgeons

To get started, request an appointment using our form or call (813) 258-2425.

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