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Body Contouring


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Body contouring and shaping includes various techniques to help reshape and rejuvenate almost any area of the body.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breast. A woman may decide to have this procedure for a variety of reasons, including:

To enhance her body contour if she feels her breast size is too small. To correct a reduction in breast size after pregnancy. To balance a difference in breast size. As a reconstructive technique following breast surgery.

By inserting an implant behind each breast, surgeons are able to increase a woman’s bust size by one or more bra cup sizes. While silicone gel-filled implants are available only to women participating in approved studies, saline-filled implants are available to breast augmentation patients. Most procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.

The method of inserting and positioning the implant will depend on the patient’s anatomy and the surgeon’s recommendations. The incision can be made either in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola, or in the armpit. Working through the incision, the surgeon will lift the breast tissue and skin to create a pocket, either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath the chest wall muscle. The implants are then centered beneath the nipples.

Breast Lift

Pregnancy, nursing and gravity affect a woman’s breasts over time. The skin may lose its elasticity causing the breasts to lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag. With a breast lift, however, a woman’s breasts may be brought back to their original beauty.

The best breast lift results are experienced by women with small, sagging breasts. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the result may not last as long for women with larger breasts. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis and normally takes from two to four hours. Techniques vary, but a common one involves an anchor-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast. The incision outlines the area from which breast skin will be removed and defines the new location for the nipple. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved to the higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast.

Breast Reduction

Besides discomfort, women with very large breasts may experience a variety of medical problems caused by the excessive weight. These can include neck and back pain, skin irritation, skeletal deformities and breathing problems. A breast reduction procedure removes fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breasts making them smaller, lighter and firmer. The goal of breast reduction surgery is to give the woman smaller, better-shaped breasts in proportion to the rest of her body.

Breast reduction is usually performed as an inpatient procedure in a hospital with the surgery generally taking two to four hours. Techniques vary, but the most common one involves an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, extends downward and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. The surgeon removes excess glandular tissue, fat and skin and then moves the nipple and areola into their new positions. He or she then brings the skin from both sides of the breast down and around the areola, shaping the new contour of the breast. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat from the armpit area. Such surgery usually requires an overnight hospital visit.


Liposuction is a technique to remove unwanted fat deposits. The best candidates are of normal weight but have pockets of excess fat. Liposuction can be performed on the abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, chin, neck, cheeks, and upper arms. Liposuction is usually performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure generally takes from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the area and amount being suctioned. To begin the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision just large enough to allow the insertion of a hollow tube called a cannula. The opposite end of the cannula is attached to a machine that creates a strong vacuum. The surgeon manipulates the cannula deep within the fat layers under the skin, breaking up the fat and suctioning it out.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. But regardless or effort, sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals. Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include heredity, multiple pregnancies, prior surgery, significant fluctuations in weight or congenital spine abnormalities that affect posture.

In general, a tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin, and in some cases restores weakened or separated muscles. this creates an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer, often enhancing your body image and confidence.

Life After Bariatric Surgery

You have lost the weight and have enjoyed shopping for new clothes but maybe you’re still not comfortable with the way you look and feel. Because your skin has been stretched and cannot conform to your reduced body size, it may now hang loosely from your arms, abdomen, neck and other parts of your body making you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, and dieting and exercising hasn’t helped. There may be other reasons for you to consider body contouring or other plastic surgery: Perhaps your new active lifestyle requires more freedom of movement. Perhaps you want your clothes to fit better. Perhaps you just want to feel better. Those are all valid reasons to seek plastic surgery.

If you’ve already had weight loss surgery, we understand that making a decision about additional surgery can be difficult. Our staff takes the time to listen to your concerns, and presents you with options to help meet your goals.

Common Surgical Procedures:

Arms (brachioplasty)
Sagging skin in the upper arm can be removed with surgery and you can have a nice contour of the arm almost immediately. The scar runs along the inner upper arm to the elbow and cannot be seen from the side or the back but may be seen when your arm is up in the air. Many patients who would never show their arms before this procedure are quite comfortable wearing sleeveless clothes despite the scar.

The average recovery time is one to two weeks and many patients combine this procedure with others, such as a tummy tuck or thigh lift.

Body contouring
Body contouring combines the elements of a tummy tuck, thigh lift and buttocks lift to reshape the entire lower body. Body contouring can improve dimpled or uneven soft tissue (cellulite), excess fat and tissue, and sagging body contours. Body contouring surgery works best when your weight loss has leveled and you’ve been at a stable weight for a minimum of three months.

Breast reshaping
The goal of breast reshaping surgery is to achieve better size and proportion and this can be accomplished through breast reduction, breast lift and breast implants. In patients who have lost weight, a breast lift and implant may be performed simultaneously, and can usually be done during the same operation. Recovery time is usually one to four weeks, depending on the type of surgery.

Face and neck
Loose skin on the neck and face can be corrected with a variety of face and neck lift procedures. The common feature of these procedures is that the scar is hidden along the front of the ear and in the hair. This procedure may be done as same day surgery or with an overnight stay.

Liposuction is a technique that uses suction tubes to remove excess fat. The tubes are typically placed through small abdominal incisions. Because this procedure does not tighten skin, weight loss patients usually have it in conjunction with other plastic surgery procedures.

Male gynecomastia
Obesity in men often leads to breast enlargement that can be treated with a combination of liposuction and skin removal. The recovery time is about a week.

Thighs and buttock
This procedure removes excess hanging skin from the inner and/or outer thighs – both lifting and tightening for a slimmer, more compact appearance. Often the outer thighs are lifted during the same operation as a tummy tuck with one continuous scar along the belt line.

Tummy tuck
Formally called abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck can range from liposuction and loose skin removal to major tightening of the stomach muscles, and is the most common procedure performed after weight loss. The surgery can last from one to four hours and often requires an overnight stay in the hospital. Patients are able to return to work within two to four weeks depending on their job function but heavy lifting should be avoided for six weeks.

Gynecomastia/Male Pectoral Surgery
Gynecomastia affects an estimated 40 to 60% of men and gives them the appearance of having women-like breasts. The corrective procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts. In extreme cases, excess skin can be removed and will result in a flatter, firmer and more contoured chest. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis and normally takes about 90 minutes. In a typical procedure, an incision is made through which the surgeon can cut away excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast. In some instances, liposuction may be used as well.

Plastic, aesthetic, and reconstructive surgery at the University of Miami Health System is one of the only academic plastic surgery programs in Florida, and our comprehensive training and advanced technical skills enable us to deliver the best result to you. Our faculty have the knowledge and skill of both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. You can feel confident knowing that highly trained experts are providing your body contouring.

Who is a Candidate?

If you wish to change the look or shape of some part of your body, we may be able to help with this service.

What to Expect

If your surgeon has requested that you bring special garments with you to the hospital, please bring those on the day of your procedure. Body contouring is performed under general anesthesia (fully asleep). This procedure typically requires staying one to two nights in the hospital and recovery usually takes two to six weeks – depending on the extent of your body contouring.

Why Choose UHealth?

Highly-trained specialists to perform your surgery. Offering the latest in leading-edge research and technology, our plastic surgeons treat many patients who have been referred by doctors from across the country as well as around the globe. Members of our plastic and reconstructive team are experts in a variety of complex procedures and represent a wide range of medical skills and training.

Unparalleled health care for the South Florida community. The University of Miami Health System delivers leading-edge patient care by the region’s best doctors, powered by the groundbreaking research of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

The future of medicine is happening now. From diagnosis to treatment and follow-up, physicians work in teams to diagnose and treat each patient, using the latest technology and innovative approaches in their field. UHealth patients can participate in clinical trials and benefit from the most recent discoveries that are fast-tracked from the laboratory to the bedside.

Greater access to UHealth specialists. With more than 30 clinical sites across South Florida, UHealth patients are able to receive the excellence of academic health care without leaving the area.

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