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

With traditional exercise and dieting, it’s not possible to directly target where you lose weight. The way your body both 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. While you cannot directly target where you burn fat during exercise, there are other options. Non-surgical body contouring helps you target stubborn fat surplus areas in ways no amount of dieting and exercise can do. But what is non-surgical body contouring, and how can you take advantage of the available options? Here is an overview of popular 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 kind of surgical procedure. Surgical methods 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 back 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 is non-surgical body contouring and how it works, here is the right answer to it. 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 eventually. 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. During the procedure, a small, wand-like device is placed over the target area. A technician moves the wand about slowly to make sure 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. Often several sessions are required, as it is not possible to know exactly how your body will react to the procedure (some people’s fat cells die off easily, while others are a bit more stubborn and require additional sessions).


While a similar name as 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 produces 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, such as under the jaw and around the chin (although it can be used in other areas of the body as well).

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. It is a very precise method for removing fat cells and is usually used for particular targeted areas. This is best used for individuals who are right around their ideal weight and just need that little extra help.

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

The best way to determine what is non-surgical body contouring and whether this or a surgical option is right for you is to schedule an in-person consultation with the staff at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. During the consultation, your doctor will go over the current situation as well as your desired goals. From there, it becomes possible to identify desirable body contouring solutions for you. So, if you’re ready to take the next step in addressing stubborn areas around your body that just don’t want to tighten and tone, give the staff at Charlotte Plastic Surgery a call and schedule your consultation today.