Dr. Hootan Daneshmand
Abdominal Etching in Bakersfield, CA
Abdominal Etching Surgeon
Maybe you’ve been incorporating a healthy diet and exercise regimen into your daily life for years now with hopes of getting a toned abdomen. However, despite all your hard work, you haven’t gotten those washboard abs that you want so badly. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, because a healthy lifestyle is truly a science and everyone’s bodies are dramatically different. Two people can eat and work out the same way, and only one of them could end up with really defined abdominal muscles. If you’ve done everything right in the health and fitness department and you’re still lacking those six pack abs, then an abdominal etching procedure may be a good investment for you.
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Daneshmand has more than 30 years of experience in performing all sorts of body contouring procedures. He is truly the surgeon to trust with your carefully sculpted six pack abs. Call 949-359-8397 to schedule an appointment.
What is Abdominal Etching?
Abdominal etching (ab etching) is a type of liposuction that can give you six pack abs. Some people also call this procedure “liposculpture.” You can do liposculpture all over the body, not just the stomach. These procedures are designed to suction out tiny pockets of unwanted fat in order to make your underlying muscles look far more prominent.
Abdominal Etching vs. Liposuction
Did you know that traditional liposuction procedures are some of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States? In fact, plastic surgeons performed more than 211,000 liposuction procedures in 2020 alone according to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
So what is the difference between traditional liposuction and abdominal etching? The two body contouring procedures are similar in that fat cells are removed. The main difference lies in how much fat is removed. For example, if you asked your plastic surgeon for traditional abdominal liposuction, they would remove just enough fat cells to make your abdominal area look slimmer. This could result in approximately 5 pounds of fat removal.
Meanwhile, if you asked for an abdominal etching procedure, your surgeon would remove just enough fat cells to make your abdominal muscles “pop.” Most of the time, this type of body contouring procedure removes very little amounts of fat (less than 5 pounds) in order to achieve the patient’s desired abdominal appearance.
Who is a Good Candidate for Abdominal Etching?
An ideal candidate for ab etching includes someone who:
- Doesn’t exceed 30% of their ideal body weight
- Practices a healthy diet and exercise regimen which has given them some preexisting muscle definition
- Doesn’t smoke
- Doesn’t have major medical conditions that would interact poorly with general anesthesia
- Has appropriate skin elasticity
- Isn’t pregnant or planning to be pregnant in the future
It’s important to note that this procedure is not a weight loss solution. While it does remove excess fat, it’s not near enough fat removal to create a significant weight loss. The main goal of ab etching is to accentuate pre-existing muscle tone, especially if following a healthy lifestyle has not created defined six pack abs.
How to Prepare for an Ab Etching Procedure
Your plastic surgeon will ask you to prepare for this surgical procedure like you would for most other types of procedures. They will first analyze your medical history to ensure that your body is healthy enough to ensure not only surgery, but anesthesia.
You must avoid alcohol, blood thinning medications (like ibuprofen and aspirin), smoking, and even some vitamins and herbs 2 to 4 weeks before your surgery. Be sure to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions in order to prevent complications.
How is Abdominal Etching Performed?
There are a few different types of liposculpture that your surgeon may use depending on your desired results.
- Power-Assisted Liposculpture (PAL): A surgeon will use a vibrating tool during this surgical technique in order to break down fat cells and remove them easier.
- Laser-Assisted Liposculpture (LAL): This surgical technique melts fat with the help of a small laser.
- Ultrasound-Assisted Liposculpture (UAL): The third type of liposculpture uses ultrasonic energy to liquify localized fat underneath the skin. Then, the surgeon will remove the liquified fat through a small tube.
Ab etching is performed as an outpatient procedure. In most cases, the procedure lasts for an hour. Your surgeon will begin by making marks on your abdominal area. Then, an anesthesiologist will administer local or general anesthesia.
Your surgeon will then make a few small incisions around the treatment area in order to remove fat through a small tube, called a cannula. Sometimes, surgeons make one of the incisions through the belly button for the sake of minimizing scarring. Once the fat removal process is complete, your surgeon will stitch up your incisions and apply dressings. Additionally, your surgeon will likely dress you in a compression garment in order to reduce swelling.
Abdominal Etching Risks
Because ab etching is a fairly minimally invasive procedure, it has far less risks and complications compared to a tummy tuck, for example. Risks include:
- Damage to the surrounding tissues, nerves, and blood vessels
- Pain and soreness
- Negative reactions to anesthesia
- A bumpy, asymmetrical looking stomach
- Seroma, which is fluid accumulation
- Discolored skin
- Losing your ab etching results due to weight gain
Abdominal Etching Recovery Time
You may experience general soreness and swelling for 4 to 6 weeks. In that time period, you must follow all of your surgeon’s aftercare instructions to prevent infection and promote quick healing.
You will likely have to wear a compression garment for the majority of your healing time until the swelling subsides. You will also have to clean your incisions daily and avoid intense exercise for several weeks. You still have to get in some light movement while you’re healing for the sake of blood circulation. A few short walks around your home or even your backyard is all the movement you need until your surgeon clears you for more intense exercise.
You may not see the full results of your body contouring procedure for at least 2 to 5 months, because that’s how long it takes for the swelling to go down. In this time frame, you should definitely begin to see how much more defined your abdominal muscles are compared to how they used to be.
Will I Be Happy With the Results of My Abdominal Etching Procedure?
Most patients (98%) involved in this 2019 study about ab etching were very satisfied with their results 27 months post-op. Additionally, the ab etching procedure listed on RealSelf – a site where patients and doctors discuss their experiences with various types of plastic surgery – has a 96% “worth it” rating.
However, it’s important to remember that your satisfaction will heavily depend on your surgeon’s experience and your realistic expectations.
Does Ab Etching Create Permanent Results?
Even though fat cells are permanently removed during this cosmetic procedure, the results in and of themselves are not permanent. So if you gain weight in your abdomen, you can lose your ab etching results because the remaining fat cells in the treatment area can just grow. Your body can also create new fat cells in the abdominal area, but this is unlikely. That’s why it’s so important to be at or close to your ideal weight at the time of your surgery. That way, your abdominal muscles will “pop” for as long as possible.
How Much Does Abdominal Etching Cost?
The average cost of abdominal etching in the U.S. is $7,650 in 2022 according to abdominal etching patients on RealSelf.
Other Liposculpture Treatment Areas
Patients can remove fatty tissue from a variety of different body parts through liposculpture. Other common liposuction treatment areas – besides just the stomach – include the:
- Love handles
- Double chin
If you’re considering any type of liposuction procedure, be sure to see a board-certified plastic surgeon – such as Dr. Daneshmand – for the best results.