Body Contouring

Changing the body's appearance is often more involved than just eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly. Even the strictest regimens are sometimes not enough to eliminate fatty tissues stored in the body. For many people, pregnancy or weight loss results in stretched skin that cannot return to its original smooth state.

In Rapid City, Black Hills Plastic Surgery offers many safe, effective procedures for men and women in South Dakota, Western Nebraska, North Dakota, and Eastern Montana performed by our board-certified plastic surgeons.

Body Contouring Options:

Tummy Tuck

When diet and exercise are not enough, this procedure repairs stretched abdominal muscles and removes excess skin and fat for a fit look both in and out of clothing.


Achieve a smooth, toned body contour by removing isolated pockets of fat from areas like the hips, thighs, and chin. If you're seeking a more sculpted body, liposuction can provide a slimming solution.

Body Lift

Comprehensive procedure for those with sagging skin due to weight loss, particularly following bariatric procedures.

Arm Lift

Get rid of loose, hanging skin and fat to reveal sculpted, more attractive arms.

Thigh Lift

After pregnancy or weight loss, skin on the thighs can sag. This procedure removes and tightens the skin for a smoother, more toned appearance.


A revolutionary non-surgical contouring treatment that freezes stubborn fat, which then is naturally eliminated from your body. No needles, no special diets, no supplements, no surgery. And most importantly, no downtime.

If you don’t see the procedure you’re looking for, just give us a call. You can also read more below and explore our interactive patient education center.

Tummy Tuck

Sometimes simply dieting and exercising are not enough to take care of waistline problems. In such cases, you may wish to consider a tummy tuck (technically called abdominoplasty). This procedure surgically removes excess skin and fatty deposits from the abdomen, and also repositions abdomen muscles into a tighter formation.

The ultimate goal for women and men getting a tummy tuck at Black Hills Plastic Surgery is to gain a flatter and tighter stomach. This procedure is also helpful in remedying the vertical separation of abdomen muscles known as diastasis, which can occur following pregnancy.

Reasons for considering a tummy tuck:

  • Inability of dieting and exercise to improve the abdomen area
  • Excessive accumulation of skin following weight loss
  • Loss of skin elasticity or diastases (loose abdomen muscles) due to pregnancy
  • Unsightly skin and fat deposits
  • Weakened and separated abdominal muscles

For many patients, liposuction can be performed at the time of their tummy tuck procedure to help them attain a smooth, firm abdominal look. Other cosmetic surgery procedures at Black Hills Plastic Surgery, such as a breast reduction or breast augmentation (enlargement) can be included for more complete results.

General Procedure

Abdominoplasty surgery lasts anywhere from 1 to 5 hours, depending on the desired look and your unique physiology. To begin the procedure, an incision is made just above the pubic bone area. This incision goes horizontally across the lower abdomen and sometimes around to the back.

The skin is then stretched away from the muscle tissue, and excess skin is removed. The abdomen muscle tissue is tightened to provide a firmly contoured stomach and well-defined waistline. Finally, the incision is closed and the skin is stitched back into place. Sometimes the procedure requires an additional incision around the navel in order to provide the best results.


Our post-operative instructions generally call for plenty of rest and limited movement to speed up the healing process and recovery time. As the body recuperates, you can expect some swelling, pain, and discomfort. Medication can be prescribed to relieve any pain caused by the procedure.

Your stitches will be removed shortly after the surgery, depending on the procedure(s) involved. Normal activities can generally be resumed within two weeks. It may take up to a year for your body to completely adapt to the new abdominal configuration. With proper diet and exercise, the striking results of the surgery will be long lasting.


Liposuction (or lipoplasty) is a body-sculpting procedure to remove fat that is unresponsive to dieting and exercise. This procedure can be applied to nearly any area of the body and is commonly used on multiple areas during an operation.

At Black Hills Plastic Surgery in Rapid City, SD, our board-certified plastic surgeons use liposuction to give our patients a slimmer and better-proportioned figure. Our patients choose liposuction to reduce love handles, saddlebags, a double chin, a bulge around the waistline or other unsightly fatty deposits in order to develop a better shape and create a more beautiful body.

Women and men can get liposuction to create a more proportioned figure by eliminating pockets of fat from many areas of the body including:

  • Chin and neckline
  • Back
  • Upper arms
  • Stomach and waistline
  • Hips and buttocks
  • Thighs and knees
  • Calves and ankles

Liposuction is not a replacement for proper exercise and diet. Instead, liposuction is a reduction procedure for stubborn areas where fat accumulates.

Used in combination with several areas of the body, liposuction can provide a well-proportioned body appearance. Ideal surgical candidates are those who are already in good physical condition but have stubborn areas that do not respond to diet and exercise.

If you are considering liposuction at Black Hills Plastic Surgery, you may also benefit from a tummy tuck procedure, which helps sculpt the abdominal area by tightening muscles and removing excess fat and skin.

General Procedure

Liposuctioncan take place under general anesthesia with the patient asleep or under local anesthesia where the area is numbed and the patient remains awake. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to vacuum out the fatty tissue beneath the skin. The surgeon determines the amount of fat to be removed by massaging the skin and squeezing the tissue.

After eliminating the excess fat, the incisions are closed by applying a compression dressing or bandage to the area to prevent bleeding, reduce swelling, and support the affected area. Sometimes, liposuction may be used during another plastic surgery procedure, such as breast reduction, at Black Hills Plastic Surgery in Rapid City, SD.

Several different types of liposuction, such as tumescent or ultrasound liposuction, have developed as a result of recent advancements in new technologies. Together, you and your surgeon can discuss which method(s) are best during the initial consultation visit.

Liposuction can last from 30 minutes to several hours depending upon the amount of fat to be removed. Liposuction surgery is an excellent procedure that can benefit those who want to remove unattractive fatty deposits.


At Black Hills Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons use the newest liposuction techniques to allow for a faster recovery. The length of the recovery will depend on how extensive your liposuction procedure is.

Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. You may need to wear a support garment for several weeks after the surgery, depending upon which area(s) are selected to utilize the liposuction procedure.

Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with liposuction, which can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, you can minimize the risk for potential problems by carefully following the directions given to you after surgery in our Rapid City, SD office.

Body Lift

Significant weight loss following weight reduction surgery, dieting, and exercise can result in excess skin and tissue that cannot “shrink” to be in proportion with the new body size. Skin that was overstretched from weight gain may not have enough elasticity to adapt and contour to your new body size due to the loss of volume associated with the weight reduction. Instead, loose sagging skin and skin folds may develop.

A full body lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure performed at Black Hills Plastic Surgery that removes excess tissue to create a body contour that is appropriate for the new body size.

Reasons to consider a body lift:

  • Remove excess, overstretched skin after weight loss
  • Create a new shape to match your new body size

General Procedure

Body lift is a specialized procedure tailored to your specific needs. It generally includes a tummy tuck with additional tissue removed from the back or lateral thighs.

This surgery is performed under general anesthesia and usually takes several hours. During your consultation at Black Hills Plastic Surgery, the board-certified plastic surgeon will design an individual plan for your specific body contouring needs.


Following a full body lift procedure, temporary drainage tubes may be placed beneath the skin to help reduce swelling and any fluid collection to help speed your recovery. You may wear an elastic bandage or compression garment while you heal.

Black Hills Plastic Surgery will give you instructions for after care at home. It is common to have temporary movement or lifting restrictions early in your recovery period.

Arm Lift

An arm lift (brachioplasty) is a cosmetic surgery procedure available at Black Hills Plastic Surgery in Rapid City, SD. The goal is to remove fat and/or sagging skin under the upper arm to create a firmer, toned appearance.

The upper arms can become droopy or flabby-looking because of increasing age, weight changes, and heredity. An arm lift is appropriate for people who, despite exercise, may still be bothered by loose hanging skin between their armpit and elbow. With healthy living, the results of an arm lift are relatively permanent.

Reasons to consider an arm lift:

  • Remove fat and/or sagging skin under the arm
  • Remove loose hanging skin between the armpit and elbow

General Procedure

Arm liftprocedures are performed in our accredited plastic surgery center in Rapid City, SD. It can be an outpatient procedure or require a short hospital stay, depending on the extent and areas of treatment. The necessary anesthesia will be chosen in concert with your doctor and anesthesia provider. You should plan to have someone drive you home and stay with you for the first night.

One of our board-certified plastic surgeons will make an incision between your elbow and armpit, on the inner side or back of the arm. The length of the incision will depend on the extent of the treatment you will be receiving.

Fatty deposits are removed surgically, with liposuction, or both. Sutures are placed inside the arm tissue to tighten and reshape it. The incision is closed with sutures. In some cases, temporary drainage tubes are placed under the skin to help prevent fluids from collecting under the skin.

At the end of the procedure, the upper arm is bandaged and may be wrapped in a compression garment to help reduce swelling.


Following arm liftsurgery, you may initially experience some bruising and swelling. You will be provided with specific aftercare instructions and should avoid excessive motion or force while you are healing. As your swelling resolves, your new look is immediately apparent and will continue to improve. You can help maintain your new toned arms by maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Thigh Lift

A thigh and buttock lift (thighplasty) at Black Hills Plastic Surgery in Rapid City, SD is used to remove excess tissue and fat following substantial weight loss.

After weight reduction surgery or diet and exercise, skin in the thigh and buttock area may have lost elasticity and may not be able to conform to the new smaller body shape. Instead, skin folds, sagging skin, and irregularities in the skin surface may appear. A thigh and buttock lift improves the contour of the body and creates firmer-appearing skin.

Reasons to consider a thigh lift:

  • Remove excess fat following substantial weight loss
  • Improve your body shape with firmer skin

General Procedure

A thigh and buttock lift is performed on an outpatient basis in our accredited plastic surgery center, using general anesthesia. You should have someone drive you home and stay with you for at least the first night.

Our board-certified plastic surgeons will use a pre-determined incision pattern. If at all possible, incisions are made in the natural skin folds or where clothing may conceal them. However, for more extensive procedures, the length and location of incisions will vary.

For example, a procedure that lifts the entire thigh and buttocks (circumferential lower-body lift) uses extensive incisions in the buttock crease, groin, and hip, whereas some inner thigh lifts require only short incisions.

After the incision is made, excess fat and tissue is removed surgically. Liposuction may be used to enhance the results by removing localized areas of fatty deposits. At the end of the procedure, temporary drainage tubes may be inserted to remove excess fluid and promote healing. The incisions are closed with sutures and gently wrapped with bandages.


After a thigh lift, you will receive medication for post-procedure pain and specific instructions for wound care. You will wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling while you heal. Your surgeon will gradually increase your activity level.

It may take about a month for swelling to improve and bruising to fade. Most people can return to strenuous activities in about one to three months.


Say goodbye to stubborn fat! CoolSculpting® is a revolutionary non-surgical treatment that uses freezing technology to destroy fat cells in all the right places. No more muffin tops. No more love handles. Results can be seen within three weeks of treatments, and the treatment continues to work from up to six months. Best of all, it’s FDA-approved.

You may want to consider CoolScultping if you have recently lost a lot of weight and still have some areas of stubborn fat. CoolScultping can be done on many parts of the body – hips, waist, even your chin!

General Procedure

A gel pad and applicator are used to freeze the fat you want to get rid of. The device uses a vacuum to grab the bulge and deliver controlled cooling to the fat, which can be a little uncomfortable at first. Within 5 to 10 minutes, the area will become numb and you can relax for the rest of the time. For most people, the entire treatment takes about an hour. You can bring a book to read.


You may notice some redness, soreness, or minor bruising on your body after treatment. It is not unusual to have tingling or numbness in the treated area as well. Rest assured, these signs will go away completely on their own within a few hours. Your body will continue flushing fat cells for 4-6 months, so your results will become gradually noticeable starting a few weeks after treatment.

Getting Started

Feel free to call us with questions about our body contouring procedures at (605) 343-7208 or request an appointment online anytime. Our expert plastic surgeons look forward to seeing you in Rapid City, SD very soon.

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Black Hills Plastic Surgery