Abdominal etching is a micro liposuction technique that works to remove excess fat from between the abdominal muscles. It leaves behind a series of indentations that look similar to “six-pack” abs, giving patients a tighter, firmer and better defined stomach appearance. Since the ideal etching candidate has only a small amount of abdominal fat, it is most commonly performed on male athletes and models who wish to improve muscle detail. It is a popular form of liposuction for men, but is also performed on women seeking the same type of lean look.
The procedure involves the use of liposuction techniques (and can be performed alongside traditional abdominoplasty), but differs in several ways. The primary goal of etching is to enhance the appearance of the abdominal musculature through superficial liposuction. On the other hand, abdominoplasty looks to tighten the abdominal wall muscles, excise extra skin and remove larger amounts of overall fat. Instead of removing pockets of fat from the stomach area, etching works to deepen the natural grooves of the abdominal muscles.
For these reasons, abdominal etching is best suited to patients who are already physically fit. They should have fairly small amounts of fat obscuring the definition of the stomach muscles. For men, those with a total body fat percentage in excess of 18% are usually not candidates and for women, it should not exceed 25%. As a result, it is best suited for patients who are fitness models, bodybuilders and athletes.
THE BENEFITS OF ABDOMINAL ETCHING LIPOSUCTION FOR FITNESS MODELS, BODY BUILDERS AND ATHLETES
The abdominal etching procedure offers a number of substantial benefits and is thus more than just body fat reduction. Not only does it offer better abdominal muscle definition, it also offers a less intensive form of surgery than many other treatment options. It is relatively quick to recover from and leaves behind only minimal scarring.
THE ABDOMINAL ETCHING LIPOSUCTION PROCEDURE
We may ask the patient to contract their stomach muscles so he can properly mark the indentations to be treated during surgery. Once the surgery itself begins, we remove fat from the grooves that run between the abdominal muscles. In some cases, he will combine this process with liposuction of the love handles, flanks and stomach itself. The incisions required are very small and are hidden to reduce the visibility of any scarring.
After surgery, patients should expect to experience some swelling, bruising and pain. These effects are managed through medication. We will provide a fitted compression garment that works to reduce swelling and must be worn for three to six weeks. Patients will also receive detailed instructions regarding how to minimize injury or complications during recovery. Some activities will be restricted for the first 2 weeks (like going to the gym). Patients will be able to shower the second day after surgery.
The benefits of the procedure become fully visible within six months. Patients will often notice some changes earlier than this, though.
ABDOMINAL ETCHING RISKS
Abdominal etching liposuction is a safe procedure, but, like any surgery, it carries the risk of potential complications and side effects. These include an adverse reaction to general anesthesia, a temporary loss of abdominal skin sensation and excessive scarring. The treatment may also lead to the development of post-operative infections or pulmonary emboli (blood clots that can affect the lungs within the first 72 hours).
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