Surgical vs. Non-surgical Body Contouring: Deciding What’s Right for You 

With a world full of ever-growing body contouring solutions, it is important to have a good understanding of what options are available to you to best achieve the results you are looking for. With procedures ranging from non-invasive, to minimally invasive, to surgical, knowing the benefits and limitations of each will help you to make an informed decision based on your unique goals and preferences. 

Non-surgical Options at Beachwood | Westlake Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa 


One popular, non-invasive alternative to liposuction is CoolSculpting®, a procedure that offers fat reduction without surgery. CoolSculpting® uses a precisely controlled cooling method called Cryolipolysis™ to target, cool, and eliminate fat cells without damage to the surrounding tissue. After a 1-hour treatment, the fat cells will crystallize, and the body will break down these cells and naturally eliminate them over the next 2 – 4 months. Once your body destroys these fat cells, they are destroyed forever. This procedure is best for anyone looking to target specific areas of fat.  


An option for someone who is looking to tone rather than target fat reduction is Emsculpt. Emsculpt is a non-surgical office procedure used to increase muscle definition by stimulating muscles using high intensity focused electromagnetic waves. EmSculpt induces strong muscle contractions in targeted areas during a 30-minute treatment which is equivalent to doing 20,000 sit-ups! The FDA approved Emsculpt’s use on the abdominal muscles and gluteal muscles. However, we can now use this non-surgical treatment on the arms, biceps, triceps, and calves too. 

Morpheus8® and Profound RF 

For someone who is looking for skin tightening rather than fat reduction, a good option may be with a radiofrequency microneedling treatment such as Profound RF or Morpheus8®. Morpheus8® and Profound RF are both innovative treatments that utilize radiofrequency (RF) technology to address various skin concerns and promote skin rejuvenation. However, there are some notable differences between the two. Morpheus8® combines microneedling with RF energy to deliver controlled fractional thermal energy deep into the skin, stimulating collagen production and improving texture, tone, and firmness. Profound RF is a similar, non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment that utilizes a handheld device to deliver precise RF energy into the skin. It primarily targets sagging skin and wrinkles, activating the production of elastin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid for significant skin tightening and lifting effects. Both treatments have proven to be effective in skin rejuvenation, but the choice between them ultimately depends on specific individual goals and the areas to be treated. While with Profound RF we can target the lower face, neck and body, Morpheus8® is customizable, and we are able to treat the full face, chest, neck and body. Consulting with one of our qualified medical professionals is recommended to determine the most suitable option for each patient. 

Surgical Options at Beachwood | Westlake Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa  


Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which suction is used to remove excess fat deposits from specific areas of the body. Liposuction is best for someone who maintains an average or slightly above average weight, as it is not a full-body weight-loss method. This procedure is far less invasive than abdominoplasty and is best for addressing small pockets of unwanted fat. Although liposuction treatment is permanent, your body can regrow fat in the same places it was removed. 


Abdominoplasty is the most common procedure performed to remove loose skin on the lower abdomen. The two basic goals of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are to remove excess skin and tighten weakened abdominal muscles. During an abdominoplasty procedure, the underlying muscle is tightened by stitching the connective sheath covering the muscle, which gathers the loose area together. The sutures go on top of the Rectus Abdominis, or washboard ab muscles, to flatten the abdomen and emphasize an hourglass shape. Unlike liposuction, which only removes unwanted fat, abdominoplasty also removes excess skin. It is important to note that Abdominoplasty is not an alternative to weight loss. To achieve a flat abdomen, patients must be close to their ideal body weight. 

Deciding which Procedure is Right for You 

Even with a good understanding of the types of procedures available to you, it can still feel like a challenge to know which is best for your body. If you are looking into body contouring, we recommend setting up a consultation with one of the medical professionals at our Beachwood or Westlake locations as they can provide you with the best recommendations to achieve the results you are looking for.