Liposuction is commonly used to remove excess fat from the abdominal area. With more and more people, especially men, wanting to show off their abdominal muscles, a new technique called Abdominal Etching has evolved. This procedure creates a tighter abdominal area with defined muscle, giving patients muscular appearance they want. Unlike Tummy Tuck surgery, where the loose abdominal muscles are tightened to give a flat look, the abdominal etching involves selective fat removal around abdomen muscles. By using special Liposuction equipment to contour and reshape the abdominal fat pad, it can provide patients with a flatter stomach and a 6- or 8-pack abdomen pattern.
Q: How does Abdominal etching surgery give rise to a six-pack abdomen look?
A: It selectively removes a small amount of fat around person’s natural muscle contours of the abdomen and by thinning of the abdominal skin, highlights the definition of underlying muscles. The procedure is ideally suited for persons who are ‘in shape’ already and have only one to two centimeters of fat under the abdominal skin. It is not indicated for patients with larger fat deposits, who want to reduce the size of their abdomen significantly or achieve weight reduction with Liposuction. Persons with stretched out abdomen should first undergo an Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck procedure to tighten the muscles. If a person does not have defined muscles under the abdominal skin, it will not show abdominal definition after etching procedure.
Q: How is Abdominal-etching surgery planned?
A: Before the procedure, the surgeon makes accurate markings of the patient's abdominal muscle in standing position. These markings act as a guide for selective removal of fat in order to highlight the patient's muscular details.
Q: What type of anesthesia is used for this surgery?
A: This procedure is done as a day care procedure and does not need hospital admission. It is done under local anesthesia with sedation or under full general anesthesia. The entire procedure takes about one hour.
Q: How is Abdominal Etching surgery performed?
A: The Plastic surgeon makes many small cuts inside the belly button or other hidden areas of the abdomen so that the resulting scars are least visible. A thin hollow tube (cannula) of liposuction equipment is inserted through these cuts and excess fat is removed from the abdomen to reduce fat. Then the fat is removed selectively along the marking lines to create a ‘six-pack abdomen’ look.
Q: How is the postoperative recovery after surgery for six-pack abdomen?
A: After the removal of a required amount of fat, the patient is observed for a few hours and is sent home in the evening. There could be side effects including mild pain, swelling or bruising which improve in the next few days. Antibiotics and painkillers are given for 3-4 days along with compression garment for four to six weeks. Within three to six months, the patient can start appreciating the final results of this procedure.