What is Non-Surgical Body Contouring: Breaking Down Your Options

With traditional exercise and dieting, targeting where you lose weight directly is impossible. How your body stores excess caloric energy and uses it will differ from the next person. For some, the body naturally stores any caloric excess in the belly, while for others, it might be the bust, thighs, buttocks, or several other areas. Much of this has to do with genetics. Other options exist while you cannot directly target where you burn fat during exercise. Non-surgical body contouring helps you target stubborn fat surplus areas in ways no amount of dieting and training can do. But what is non-surgical body contouring, and how can you take advantage of the available options? Here is an overview of famous body contouring methods and when each might be used.

What is Non-Surgical Body Contouring?

Body contouring is broken down into surgical and non-surgical. Surgical methods include liposuction, tummy tucks, and other procedures where you undergo some surgical procedure. Surgical techniques are often recommended if there is a substantial amount of fat you’re looking to shed or if you’re interested in combining procedures. For example, many women follow their pregnancy by scheduling breast augmentation surgery and a tummy tuck to help restore their body to pre-pregnancy shape.

A non-surgical body contouring procedure does not require you to be put under complete anesthetics (although, from time to time, some numbing agents might be available if you have a low pain tolerance).

If you wonder what non-surgical body contouring is and how it works, here is the correct answer. Non-surgical body contouring works from outside the body to target stubborn areas around the body. In some way or another, most of these methods will kill fat cells, which causes the body to process the dead fat cells. There is no scaring left behind, and because it can take weeks (or even a few months) to realize the final results, it can mimic that of natural weight loss. This way, if you don’t want to tell people that you underwent a non-surgical body contouring procedure, you don’t have to (with surgical procedures, there’s often a dramatic removal of fat cells at once).


This has become one of the most popular forms of non-surgical body contouring in the United States. A small, wand-like device is placed over the target area during the procedure. A technician moves the wand slowly to ensure the entire target area is covered. During CoolSculpting, the fat cells under your skin will be frozen. In a sense, the fat cells will experience frostbite, which prevents oxygen, blood, and other nutrients from reaching the frozen cells. Eventually, the fat cells will die off due to not receiving blood and oxygen. Once dead, your body will process the dead cells and push them out of the body.

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to experience the final result of CoolSculpting. Several sessions of Coolsclupting are often required. Knowing exactly how your body will react to the procedure is impossible. Some people’s fat cells die off quickly, while others are more stubborn and require additional sessions.


While a similar name to CoolSculpting, the desired effect is different. Whereas CoolSculpting freezes the fat tissue, CoolTone stimulates muscles. The procedure forces targeted muscles to flex rapidly over several minutes. The rapid flexing of the muscles helps stimulate muscle fibers, which assists in toning and tightening muscles. While you’re not going to bulk up or put on significant muscle mass, it can help give you a lean, tight muscle appearance. CoolTone is often combined with CoolSculpting. By combining the two procedures, you can rid yourself of fat and tighten targeted muscles, all at the same time.

Kybella Injection

This is another method of body contouring that targets fat cells. Unlike CoolSculpting, which freezes the fat cells, Kybella uses a synthetic acid your body produces naturally to kill targeted fat cells. Your digestive system has an acid that breaks down food. Kybella is a synthetic version of this acid. When injected into targeted areas, the fat cells will die off. Then, once dead, the body will process the dead cells.

Kybella works faster than CoolSculpting, although it is usually used for smaller target areas. Areas where Kybella can have great results are under the jaw and around the chin (although it can also be used in other areas of the body).

Vanquish and SculptSure

Think of this as the heated version of CoolSculpting. Instead of freezing the cells, Vanquish heats the cells to destroy them. It is a newer technology, but it has proven effective in killing unwanted fat cells. Plus, because the heat kills off cells faster than freezing them, you may see final results in a shorter period than with CoolSculpting. However, the best option for you often depends on the target area and what your body is more likely to respond to. Some see faster results with CoolSculpting, while others respond better to Vanquish (a radio frequency designed to heat the fat cells).

Vanquish is a radio frequency, and SculptSure is laser technology. These treatments are an exact method for removing fat cells and are usually used for particular targeted areas. This is best used for individuals around their ideal weight and needing extra help.

Determine Which Non-Surgical Body Contouring Option is Right For You

An in-person consultation is the best way to determine if surgical or non-surgical options are best. During the consultation at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, your doctor will review your current situation and desired goals. From there, it becomes possible to identify desirable body contouring solutions. So, if you’re ready to address stubborn areas around your body that don’t want to tighten and tone, call the Charlotte Plastic Surgery staff and schedule your consultation today.