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Body Contouring: Types, Benefits and Recovery

Excessive sagging skin and fat after considerable weight loss—whether via weight loss surgery or lifestyle changes—can be unsettling for many individuals. It can impact one’s self-esteem and body image, potentially hindering their full enjoyment of their weight loss success. 


In some instances, this excess skin may also lead to physical discomfort due to chafing and skin irritation, further adding to an individual’s frustration. Fortunately, body contouring offers an effective solution for a more contoured and proportionate body shape that boosts self-confidence. 

Excess skin and reduced skin elasticity after considerable weight loss are not uncommon. It may occur because the skin and tissues have been stretched for an extended period due to the excess weight. 

This may lead to a loss of collagen and elastin fibers that facilitate skin firmness and the ability to snap back into place. 

As a result, the skin may lack the required proteins to return to its original shape. Thus causing it to hang loosely on the body. This lack of elasticity can be particularly noticeable in areas where fat was once stored in abundance, such as the abdomen, thighs, and arms.

Body contouring is a specialised cosmetic procedure that’s designed to reshape and augment the appearance of one’s body after significant weight loss. 

In practice, it encompasses eliminating excess sagging skin and fat whilst enhancing the shape of the underlying support tissue. 

Body contouring isn’t a weight loss solution. Its core function is to help shape the body and address areas where weight loss alone may not be effective or where excess skin remains after weight loss. 

Body contouring vs body sculpting

Body contouring and body sculpting are both cosmetic procedures that enhance body shape and appearance. However, they differ in their approaches and techniques.

Body contouring primarily focuses on reducing fat, improving overall body shape and tightening skin through non-invasive treatments.

In contrast, body sculpting encompasses a broader range of methods—both invasive and non-invasive techniques—to reshape and tone various body parts, including muscles that may not respond to diet and exercise alone.

Who is the best candidate for body contouring?

The most ideal candidates for body contouring procedures typically include individuals who meet specific criteria to ensure optimal results and safety. For example:

  1. Individuals are very close to their target weight and have maintained it for several months before considering body contouring.
  2. Individuals who have loose skin from weight loss, pregnancy, or lingering fat in certain areas.
  3. Individuals who are physically and mentally healthy, without underlying health conditions that could hinder recovery.
  4. Individuals who are non-smokers.
  5. Individuals with no immediate plans for pregnancy.

best candidate for body contouring

Types of body contouring treatments

There are several types of body contouring treatments, both surgical and non-surgical, that aim to reshape and improve the appearance of the body:

Non-surgical body contouring procedures

Non-invasive body contouring procedures offer a safer and more convenient alternative to invasive surgical procedures for fat removal and body shaping. For example:


Capsule non-invasive body contouring involves the patient swallowing a balloon folded inside a vegetarian capsule. Once ingested, this capsule, such as the Elipse Gastric Balloon, the balloon is filled with fluid in the stomach, simulating a feeling of fullness and reducing food intake.

The balloon self-empties and is naturally excreted from the body after approximately four months. Capsule treatments are generally safer than invasive procedures since they do not require incisions or anaesthesia. Thereby minimising the risk of infection and recovery time.

Biomagnetic Technology

Biomagnetic contouring treatment seeks to achieve lipolysis by harnessing a low-frequency magnetic field. The magnetic field penetrates deeply into the body, inducing muscle contractions similar to those experienced during physical exercise.

As a non-invasive body contouring procedure, it avoids the complications associated with surgical interventions, such as scarring and long recovery periods.


Radiofrequency (RF) body contouring exploits energy waves to heat the deep layers of the skin. Thus stimulating collagen production and tightening tissues.

This method is safer than invasive surgery because it involves no cuts or stitches. It thus appreciably reduces the risk of infection and minimises downtime.


CoolSculpting is a specialised, non-invasive fat reduction treatment that exploits controlled cooling to freeze and exterminate stubborn fat cells.

It is safer than invasive procedures like liposuction because it does not involve incisions or anaesthesia. This results in fewer side effects and an expedited recovery.

Laser Treatment

Laser body contouring leverages laser energy to penetrate the skin and target fat cells, promoting their breakdown and elimination. The leading types of state-of-the-art laser treatments available in Malaysia include:

Sylfirm X at Clique Clinic

Laser techniques are significantly less risky than invasive contouring procedures, as they avoid the need for incisions. Thus, they reduce the potential for complications and shorten recovery time.

Fat Freezing

Fat freezing, similar to coolsculpting, uses cryolipolysis to ‘exterminate’ fat cells by exposing them to extremely cold temperatures. Thereby leading to gradual fat reduction in treated areas.

This non-invasive approach is significantly safer than traditional liposuction as it doesn’t involve surgery. Thus, minimising risks such as infection and significant downtime.

High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic Technology (HIFEM)

HIFEM technology stimulates muscle contractions to enhance muscle tone and burn fat. It is a pain-free alternative with no recovery period.

HIFEM + Radiofrequency

This advanced body contouring technology (like EMSculpt Neo Treatment) synergistically combines High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic (HIFEM) technology with Radiofrequency (RF) to deliver comprehensive treatment in just a 30-minute session.

The procedure induces powerful muscle contractions far beyond that which can be achieved via voluntary exercise alone. Concurrently, RF technology heats one’s underlying skin tissues, enhancing fat cell metabolism and promoting apoptosis, which leads to permanent fat loss.

Multi-Directional Stimulation (MDS) Technique

The MDS technique (like Trusculpt Flex)  leverages multi-directional waves to stimulate muscle contractions and improve muscle tone whilst reducing fat and the potential for adverse effects. The treatment covers treatment areas like the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks.

Heat-Based Radiofrequency and Targeted Acoustic Pressure Energy

This contouring technique (like EMTONE cellulite treatment)  employs heat-based radiofrequency to target causes of cellulite, alongside acoustic pressure to augment the treatment’s effectiveness.

In practice, this contouring treatment aims to activate a biological response that aids in tightening and shrinking the treated areas. It smooths out the skin’s texture and eliminates unwanted bumps and lumps.

This technique is a safer skin rejuvenation alternative to comparable invasive procedures, as it does not involve surgical cuts or prolonged recovery periods.


Body contouring with fillers (like Radiesse Plus fillers) involves injecting substances like hyaluronic acid to add volume and shape to specific body areas.

This contouring treatment stimulates the natural collagen production beneath the skin, softening wrinkles and promoting the development of new collagen for lifting and tightening effects.

Body contouring surgeries

The most common invasive body contouring surgeries often used in combination with each other for optimal results include:

  • Abdominoplasty: Also called a tummy tuck, it entails removing excess skin and fat from one’s abdomen to accomplish a smoother and firmer abdominal profile.
  • Breast Rejuvenation: This specialised procedure includes various techniques like breast lifts, augmentation, or reduction to augment the appearance and shape of the breasts.
  • Brachioplasty: Often referenced as an arm lift, this procedure seeks to remove excess skin and fat from the upper arms to accomplish a more toned and defined arm contour.
  • Buttock Lift: This procedure involves lifting and reshaping the buttocks by eliminating excess skin and fat to accomplish a more lifted and youthful appearance.
  • Circumferential Body Lift: This comprehensive procedure targets excess skin and fat around the entire body. It is often performed after considerable weight loss to improve body contour and shape.
  • Inner Thigh Lift: This surgery principally focuses on removing excess skin and fat from one’s inner thighs to tighten and ‘contour’ the area to accomplish a more sculpted leg appearance.
  • Panniculectomy: This procedure Specifically addresses the removal of the pannus, the hanging apron of skin and fat that can develop in the lower abdominal area after significant weight loss.
  • Liposuction: This popular fat removal procedure involves ‘suctioning out’ excess fat from targeted areas to improve body contours and proportions. It is typically utilised in conjunction with other body contouring surgeries for optimal results.

Benefits of body contouring

Some of the key benefits of body contouring include:

  1. It results in permanent fat reduction across treated areas as long as a healthy weight is maintained. 
  2. Body contouring allows the targeting of several areas at once, including the abdomen, flanks, back, arms, thighs and more.
  3. Non-surgical body contouring procedures allow patients to return to their day-to-day activities immediately with no recovery time needed.
  4. Body contouring may help tighten loose skin and enhance its natural elasticity for a more toned and youthful appearance.
  5. Body contouring may reduce stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to dieting and exercise alone.
  6. By improving body shape and reducing problem areas, body contouring can help boost one’s self-confidence and body image.

Read: How much can you change your body in 2 months?

Where to get body contouring treatment in Malaysia?

When considering non-invasive body contouring treatments in Malaysia, it is crucial to visit a specialist clinic like Clique Clinic to ensure optimal results and minimise risks. Staffed with experienced professionals who have undergone extensive training in the latest body contouring technologies, Clique Clinic also maintains state-of-the-art equipment.

For example, the clinic employs advanced FDA-approved technologies like EMSculpt and SculpSure, which have been clinically proven to appreciably reduce stubborn fat, tone muscles, and improve skin elasticity. 



The average treatment duration for non-invasive body contouring procedures can be anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes— depending on the size and thickness of the fat layer. For example, SculpSure may take as little as 25 minutes per session. 

No, body contouring procedures do not directly cause weight gain. Rather, these procedures are curated to remove excess skin and fat to enhance body shape and contour after significant weight loss.

After undergoing body contouring procedures, it’s mission-critical to adopt a healthy diet to support recovery and optimise results. In fact, foods rich in fiber are recommended to aid digestion and prevent constipation post-procedure. 

Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid or limit foods high in sugar to support the healing process and prevent potential complications. 

It typically takes about 6-12 weeks to start observing appreciable results from body contouring treatments. Results are normally progressive, with improvement throughout the treatment course and even after completing the sessions. 


However, do note that the duration for visible results may vary based on the individual’s body, the specific treatment areas, and the frequency of treatments. In fact, despite non-surgical options offering less downtime, they usually dictate multiple sessions to achieve the desired results.

Yes, one can exercise after body contouring procedures. However, specific guidelines must be followed to ensure a safe and effective recovery. 

For example, one may be required to wait at least six weeks before partaking in any vigorous physical activity to allow for proper healing and minimise any risk of complications. 

If you carelessly gain weight after undergoing body contouring procedures, your previous results may be compromised. In simple terms, the excess fat and skin you worked hard to remove could return.

While body contouring removes or shrinks fat cells in targeted areas, the remaining fat cells in your body may still grow and lead to weight gain if proper lifestyle habits are not maintained. Suffice it to say, significant weight fluctuations after body contouring may cause the skin to stretch again, potentially leading to the recurrence of excess skin.

Before undergoing body contouring procedures, do not:

  1. Eat a large meal prior to treatment on the abdominal area: 
  2. Keep body piercings on treatment areas.
  3. Forget to hydrate regularly, for example, two days before, the day of, and four days after your procedure. 
  4. Forget to shave the areas that will be treated before the procedure.
  5. Eat foods with high amounts of sugar post-treatment.

The results of body contouring are most effective and long-lasting when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise to maintain a stable weight. These actions ensure the best possible contouring outcomes and prevent future weight fluctuation.

Overall, it’s imperative to understand that body contouring treatments are not a substitute for traditional weight loss methods like diet and exercise.

The frequency of body contouring treatments largely depends on an individual’s goals and the specific procedure being deployed. For example, for optimal results with SculpSure body contouring, it’s recommended to undergo multiple treatments to continue seeing improvement throughout the treatment course.

SculpSure results are often visible around six weeks, with relatively satisfactory results seen at 12 weeks. For better results, the same area can be re-treated at six weeks.

When undergoing body contouring procedures, the fat cells in the targeted areas are either ‘damaged’ or ‘eliminated’ from the body over time once the body’s natural inflammatory response is triggered. 

Subsequently, the lymphatic system gradually removes the damaged fat cells—breaking them down and processing them as waste. This waste is then eliminated from the body through natural processes like urine. 

Body contouring procedures are not primarily intended for weight loss but rather for sculpting and reshaping one’s body by targeting specific areas of fat. This means that any weight loss is usually modest, as patients may experience a reduction in inches in clothing size.

So, significant weight loss should not be the sought deliverable, but rather a slimmer appearance and improved body contours.

Body contouring treatments can indeed help tighten the skin. Treatments that exploit advanced technologies such as ultrasound, radiofrequency, and controlled cooling can target stubborn fat cells whilst simultaneously stimulating collagen and elastin production in the skin. 

These procedures effectively tighten and firm the skin by promoting collagen and elastin synthesis. Thereby, leading to a more toned and youthful appearance.

Body contouring procedures are generally considered permanent in terms of the fat and skin that are removed or altered during the treatment. The results of body contouring procedures are typically long-lasting, principally when combined with a healthy lifestyle and weight maintenance. 


However, significant weight fluctuations after body contouring can impact the results achieved, as gaining weight can alter the improvements made through the procedures. 

Furthermore, candidates should have realistic expectations, understanding that body contouring enhances natural appearance and may not result in drastic transformations.


Non-invasive body contouring modalities are revolutionising the field of cosmetic dermatology by offering safe and effective solutions to optimise the cosmesis of the human body. 

Non-invasive body contouring procedures not only provide a safer and less invasive body-sculpting option—but also offer benefits such as shorter recovery times, decreased bruising, and more skin tightening compared to traditional surgical techniques. 

Overall, the increasing popularity of non-invasive body contouring modalities reflects a growing demand for innovative treatments that deliver noticeable results while prioritising patient safety and comfort. This makes them a preferred choice for those looking to achieve aesthetic improvements with efficiency and effectiveness whilst enjoying the benefits of their weight loss journey.

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