ab etching

Liposuction is one of the most highly requested cosmetic procedures in the United States, with thousands of patients having the treatment performed annually. A type of liposuction procedure called Abdominal Etching aims to sculpt and enhance the patient’s waistline and abdomen and create an appearance of a “six-pack” on the surface through the extraction of fat deposits around the belly button.

Ab Etching has gained popularity over the years, especially among patients who have been unsuccessful with their attempts to achieve the ideal look for their abdominal area through diet and exercise. Several advancements have been made in the field of cosmetics that have produced new technologies to carry out this procedure that can ensure quality and consistent results.

Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons at Memorial Plastic Surgery, led by Dr. Patrick Hsu and Dr. Kendall Roehl is equipped with the latest technology and possesses years of experience in dealing with all types of liposuction treatments including abdominal etching.

Dr. Hsu's patient who had Liposuction 360 with 4D hi-def lipo to her abdomen.

What is Abdominal Etching?

Commonly mistaken to serve the same goal as abdominal liposuction, patients who are recommended to undergo abdominal etching are those who only have a minimal amount of body fat deposits that need to be extracted. Unlike abdominal liposuction, only a certain amount of body fat is removed through this procedure in order to accentuate the muscles for the “six-pack” look that patients expect.

Candidates for Abdominal Etching

There are numerous factors to consider when determining the ideal candidate for abdominal etching. Ideally, patients living an active lifestyle who are less than 30% above their ideal body weight are most recommended to undergo the procedure.

Patients may not be recommended for abdominal etching if they:

  • Have pre-existing medical conditions that could interfere with the healing process
  • Have blood-related disorders
  • Have too much body fat or be classified as “obese.”

Patient safety is one of our utmost concerns at Memorial Plastic Surgery, and every patient who wishes to get abdominal etching is carefully evaluated to determine if they are fit to undergo the procedure. We meet every patient through an initial consultation to do an examination of their health and discuss the steps of the procedure. Patients who are not qualified are also presented with alternative treatment options that can help bring them closer to their goals without the expense of their health.

How Much is Abdominal Etching?

There are additional factors that will be taken into consideration before being provided with the final cost of abdominal etching in Houston.

Factors to consider include:

  • Facility fees
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Hospital garments to be used
  • Surgeon’s fee, which varies per doctor

The final cost of the treatment will be provided after the patient’s initial consultation with the doctor who will be in charge of the procedure.

Abdominal etching is considered an elective procedure. So, it is not covered by health insurance.

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How is Abdominal Etching Done?

Abdominal etching is usually performed using 4D Lipo or Vaser liposuction to dislodge the fat with heat from ultrasound waves. Here’s a closer look at the process:

  1. Before proceeding with the surgery, the doctor in charge will have to mark certain areas that are being sculpted.
  2. You will then be taken to the operating room and will be given anesthesia.
  3. Small stab incisions will be used to perform Vaser liposuction, and the fat cells will be melted and suctioned strategically to achieve the abs’ desired contours.
  4. After the extraction, the doctor would then close the small stab incisions with stitches and a compression garment will be applied.

Difference Between Liposuction and Abdominal Etching

Abdominal etching is a specific method of liposuction that focuses on localized fat deposits in the abdomen area only. Liposuction, on the other hand, is the general term for the removal of fat in various areas of the body.

Stomach liposuction removes subcutaneous fat or visceral fat that is firmly embedded inside the abdominal cavity. It does not include the sculpting of abs, which is the overall goal that most patients of ab etching are trying to achieve.

Below is a table that goes into further details on the difference between the two procedures:

Techniques Treatment Areas Expected Results Qualifications
  • Abdomen
  • Upper arm
  • Buttocks
  • Calves and ankles
  • Chest and back
  • Hips and thighs
  • Chin and neck
Traditional liposuction removes the fat from the specific areas without putting much emphasis on molding a toned appearance. General qualifications for liposuction include:

  • Individuals within 30% of your ideal weight
  • Having firm, elastic skin, and good muscle tone
  • Nonsmokers
  • People who do not have a life-threatening illness
Abdominal Etching
  • Abdomen
Abdominal etching eradicates excess fat between the muscles of the stomach for a tight and toned shape, revealing sculpted abs at the end of the procedure. General qualifications for abdominal etching include:

  • Individuals less than 30% above their ideal body weight
  • Having firm, elastic skin
  • Nonsmokers
  • People who do not have any blood-related health

Recovery & Results

Abdominal Etching is considered to be an outpatient procedure and takes between two and five hours to complete, depending on whether concomitant procedures are performed. It’s highly recommended by doctors to take one day of complete rest before most patients can slowly re-introduce and start doing everyday activities. The doctor in charge will provide aftercare instructions and guidelines to ensure that the patient doesn’t run into any complications and have a smooth recovery.

Below is a timeline on what to expect during the recovery period:

The use of compression garments 3 – 6 weeks
The use of foam dressing 1 week
Swelling and bruising 6 – 8 weeks
Showering 1 day
Work 1 week
Driving & household chores 2 – 4 weeks
Swelling and bruising 6 – 8 weeks

Our surgeons schedule follow-up consultations to keep track of each patient’s recovery and do a further evaluation to see if there is any need to make adjustments to the patient’s routine to help with the progress.

The final result of an abdominal etch can typically be seen 3-6 months following the procedure.

FAQs of Abdominal Etching

Is abdominal etching permanent?

The results may be permanent as long as you maintain your weight through dieting and exercising. After your surgery is completed, you’ll be advised on the best ways to prevent abdominal fat deposits from coming back.
Request Your ConsultationYou can request a consultation online or if you have any questions please call the office 713-633-4411.

*The content and images on this page are provided with the sole intention of educating potential patients on the procedure discussed above. Results vary per individual and are dependent on our doctor’s consultation prior to the procedure. We strongly recommend undergoing a formal consultation with a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon prior to scheduling and undergoing any surgical or non-surgical treatment.