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Fat Removal vs. Body Contouring: Similarities & Differences Explained

Body Contouring

June 23, 2023

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best version of yourself. In fact, that’s what we’re all about here at the Centre for Pure Skin and the Centre for Plastic Surgery. For some, that brings with it a desire to change their physical appearance by sculpting their bodies and enhancing their contours. This can be achieved by body contouring and/or fat removal, which are like cousins because they share some similarities, but are also different.

Ultimately, you’ll need a consultation to determine which procedure is right for you, but to help you understand your options, we’re breaking down the similarities and differences of body contouring and fat removal as well as the related procedures we offer.

What is Body Contouring?

Body contouring, also called body sculpting, is a comprehensive approach to re-shape the body, typically through surgical or non-surgical procedures. It targets specific areas to improve body proportions, eliminate excess skin, and create a more toned and defined physique. Body contouring can be performed on various body parts, including the abdomen, arms, thighs, buttocks, and breasts.

Common Body Contouring Procedures


Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat deposits from specific areas to create a more contoured body. It involves making small incisions, inserting a cannula, and suctioning out the unwanted fat. Liposuction is an effective method for reducing stubborn fat pockets that are unresponsive to diet and exercise.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that targets the abdomen to remove excess skin and fat while tightening the abdominal muscles. It is an ideal solution for individuals with loose skin and weakened abdominal muscles, often resulting from significant weight loss or pregnancy.

Thigh Lift (Thighplasty)

Designed to reshape and lift sagging skin and tissues in the thighs, a thigh lift creates a more toned and youthful appearance. It typically involves the removal of excess skin and fat, resulting in improved contours and firmer skin texture.

What is Fat Removal?

Fat removal, on the other hand, is a more specific term that refers to the elimination of excess fat cells from targeted areas of the body. It primarily focuses on reducing localized fat deposits and improving body shape. While body contouring procedures often incorporate fat removal techniques, the term "fat removal" generally encompasses both surgical and non-surgical methods.


Liposuction, as mentioned earlier, is a popular fat removal procedure that suctions out unwanted fat cells using a wand-like device called a cannula. It is effective for treating areas such as the abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, and chin.


As a non-surgical fat reduction treatment, CoolSculpting destroys fat cells by freezing them away. It’s non-invasive, with minimal downtime, making it an attractive option for those seeking a less invasive fat reduction procedure.

Similarities Between Body Contouring and Fat Removal

  • Both procedures aim to enhance body aesthetics by reducing excess fat and improving body contours.
  • Both can be used to address stubborn fat deposits that do not respond to diet and exercise alone.
  • Both surgical and non-surgical options are available for both body contouring and fat removal, allowing individuals to choose the most suitable method based on their needs and preferences.
  • Both procedures can boost self-confidence and improve body image.

Differences Between Body Contouring and Fat Removal

Body contouring encompasses a broader range of procedures that may involve not only fat removal but also skin tightening and muscle enhancement.
Body contouring often involves surgical interventions, while fat removal can include both surgical and non-surgical methods.
Fat removal specifically targets the reduction of excess fat cells, while body contouring may involve the removal of excess skin and tissue in addition to fat removal.

Interested in Body Contouring or Fat Removal?

Whether you’re leaning toward a surgical or non-surgical option, speaking with one of our qualified skincare providers or board-certified plastic surgeons is crucial to determining the most appropriate approach for achieving your aesthetic goals. If you’re interested in making those goals a reality, schedule a consultation