Abdominal Etching

Abdominal etching is the most unique, body contouring request as it is reserved for high definition liposuction surgical plans ONLY. The contouring and etching of the abdomen using VASER liposuction technology consist of eliminating fat from the abdomen comprehensibly to achieve a chiseled or lean result.

Surpassing traditional liposuctions' limitation to deep fat removal, VASER liposuction is the only modality that allows the surgeons to remove the deep as well as the superficial fat. Removal of the superficial and deep layers of fat of the abdomen results in defining the underlying muscles that allow for sculpting/etching of the abdomen.

Abdominal etching requires hollowing out the semi lunaris, linea alba, and inscription gulleys that result in defining the rectus muscles otherwise known as the 4 or 6 packs. Highly skilled surgeons are expert sculptors as they maintain an appreciation of the muscle anatomy and can contour the abdomen to your unique capacity.

For jaw-dropping abdominal etching results, artistry, a detailed surgical plan, and precise execution is required.


  • Procedure: Ultimate elimination of excess fat and redundant skin that may have accumulated over the abdomen that includes etching of the abdominal muscles.
  • Length: 2 to 3 hours dependent on the amount of excess fat and whether skin tightening is required.
  • Anesthesia: General anesthesia.
  • Place of Treatment: Outpatient surgical suite or hospital operating room.

Side Effects:

1) Early swelling will be observed from 1 week to 1 month once compression garments are not worn continuously. Prolonged swelling up to 3 months may occur infrequently if the patient has poor lymphatic drainage or poor nutrition.  Lymphatic drainage will minimize the risk of prolonged swelling. In addition, nutrition optimization with 150mg/day of protein intake will also minimize swelling.

2) Seroma is the name of accumulated plasma fluid and oils in the most dependent pockets (around your pubic region) can occur as you become more upright following surgery. Seromas are avoided with strict adherence to wearing the provided, customized compression garments.  Typically, seromas will be identified and drained during your aggressive serial lymphatic messages over the first 10 days after surgery.


Although skin compromise may occur following abdominal etching, most cases are observed in patients with diabetes or those with immune deficiency. Diabetes and nutritional deficiencies are largely to blame for the difficult healing of these patients.

Both the medical condition and nutritional deficiencies can be corrected prior to surgery. In addition, Nitro paste is used in the operating room to stimulate increased blood flow to any areas that may demonstrate early signs of vascular compromise, thus mitigating any major skin compromise.

Recovery: The recovery for high definition liposuction abdominal etching may be variable requiring as little as 1 to 2 weeks depending on your pain tolerance and whether you required skin excision to tighten loose skin. Patients who return to the gym no later than 2 to 3 weeks following surgery will observe the increased definition of the abdominal muscles.

Duration of Results: Patients are universally pleased with their abdominal etching outcomes since the transformations are inspiring. Patients will preserve their results as long as they keep an active lifestyle and maintain their weight.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Abdominal etching refers to the extreme removal of fat, such that the underlying muscle anatomy becomes visible. An artistic eye and sculpting abilities will limit the quality of results attained.  Muscles that are etched include the rectus muscles, external oblique muscles, and the serratus muscle.

You are a good candidate for abdominal etching if you want to have a "super hero" looking abdomen. Patients are assessed for amount of excess fat and degree of skin redundancy. Fat removal is performed with VASER technology which is the most intricate part of this surgery and requires detailed sculpting. Patients with minimal to moderate skin redundancy will require supplemental Renuvion skin tightening procedure. Patients with moderate to severe skin redundancy may require a synchronous mini tummy tuck and/or reverse tummy tuck procedure.

There are numerous items that you need to plan for when considering abdominal etching surgery. First, you need to start building your abdominal muscles: these include the rectus, the serratus, and external oblique muscles. This can be done with performing crunches, sit ups, and abdominal rotational resistance exercises. Remember that you are desiring a six pack, so the stronger you abdominal muscles the more they will shine following comprehensive removal of fat.

Immediately following your abdominal etching surgery you will realize a "six" pack if you are a man or "four" pack if you are a woman. You will observe this spectacular transformation as early as one day following your surgery when you are unveiled at our center to have your first lymphatic message. Starting at one week and until 1 month following surgery you may notice some loss of definition especially as you start to take your compression garment off. However, at 2 to 3 months following surgery, you will appreciate your etched out abdomen in its full glory !

Your abdominal etching surgery will be performed at out surgical facility.

Abdominal etching patients have range of recovery spanning from 1 week to 3 weeks depending on the extent of fat removed and degree of skin redundancy. For patients requiring minimal to moderate fat removal and who have excellent skin texture, 1 week of recovery if typical. If patients have moderate to severe fat or if they require skin tightening with a mini excision, then a 2 to 3 week recovery may be required. Patient recovery periods discussed above include date of return to work and full physical activity.

Patient-Specific Questions:

Abdominal etching via high definition liposuction results in accurate and meticulous removal of fat from around the abdominal muscles. What your six pack will look like is dependent on your actual muscle anatomy. In fact, the key to creating natural appearing muscles is to literally etch out what is there; interestingly, the muscles on each side of your abdomen may be differently shaped and positioned.

The ninja turtle look is an operated fake looking result of the abdominal region which occurs when a surgeon attempts to create his/her own impression of what the abdominal muscles should look like. This results in fake, and squared off rectus muscles that look awkward.  The important lesson is that the artistry in abdominal etching involves the accuracy of carving out the muscle shapes that are naturally there and not trying to recreate symmetric but artificial looking muscle bellies.

The patients that expedite their recovery and resolution of swelling are patients that maintain a low salt diet and who return to the gym as early as 1 to 2 weeks following surgery. Both anaerobic (weight lifting) and aerobic exercises seem to minimize postoperative swelling and allow you to appreciate your final abdominal packs earlier. In general all swelling will resolve by three months but this phase can be shortened with increased physical activity.

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