What is Ab Etching?

The elusive six pack can be hard to reach, even for the most devout fitness enthusiasts. Here to solve that problem is ab etching, the cosmetic procedure than can carve out your abdominal area and create the illusion of six pack abs. Celebrities like Cardi B. have popularized the procedure, which can give your body an extra boost after liposuction, creating both an hourglass shape and a fit looking core.

Below is a detailed guide on how ab etching is performed and who can benefit from the procedure:

How is Ab Etching Performed?
Ab etching, also known as six-pack liposculpture, is the process of accentuating existing abdominal muscles by removing sections of the layer of fat on top of the muscles. The surgeon will mark up the patient’s body where their abs are located, allowing them to skillfully remove fat in a way that gives the illusion of a six pack, or whatever accentuation the patient desires without the rigorous workouts. Incisions can typically be made at the belly button so that they are totally discreet.

Usually the procedure is combined with liposuction or a tummy tuck to give an even more refined, toned look. A narrow tube known as a cannula is inserted under the skin to extract fat along the abdominal area. Only a few incisions are made, and they are typically very small and hardly noticeable.

What is the Difference Between Ab Etching and Liposuction?
Liposuction is a popular procedure that sculpts areas of the body with excess fat, streamlining, slimming and contouring the body. It is currently one of the most utilized ways to get rid of stubborn fat and it is praised by celebrities like Cardi B., Chrissy Teigan, Nene Leakes and others. Known for producing natural looking results that can last a lifetime, it’s no wonder it’s the go-to plastic surgery for men and women of all walks of life. When done in the hands of an experienced surgeon, liposuction can produce significant results and mold the body to your desired shape. It is not a tool for weight loss, as the amount of fat removed during the surgery is relatively small. But the difference in the body’s aesthetics after the procedure can be significant. Liposuction is ideal for those who are already close to their idea body weight but have stubborn pockets of fat that do not go away with diet and exercise alone.

Ab etching on the other hand, is meant for individuals who already have a healthy diet, regular exercise routine, and a fairly muscular stomach. Abdominal etching can help you etch out a washboard stomach without the rigorous workouts. The results of abdominal etching are permanent and don’t ever need to be redone as long as the procedure is done properly the first time around and the patient remains in relatively good shape. If a patient just wants a flatter midsection, traditional liposuction might be the better option.

Who is a Good Candidate for Ab Etching?
Ideal candidates for ab etching have a body mass index (BMI) under 30. Patients’ BMI should be lower than 30 to ensure the patient isn’t too bulky in the abdominal area, which would prevent ideal results from the procedure. Additionally, ideal candidates for ab etching already have well-toned underlying abdominal muscles. Ideal candidates should have a good understanding of what the procedure entails and realistic expectations for their results.

What are the Potential Side Effects and Complications of Ab Etching?
Because ab etching is a form of liposuction, the types of side effects and complications that can arise are like those of lipo. Liposuction is widely considered to be the safest form of fat removal, so as long as patients follow all post-op and pre-op instructions and have the procedure done by an experienced surgeon, the risk of side effects is quite low.

Prolonged swelling and bruising are the most common complications that can result from ab etching. Aside from these side effects, bleeding, infection, anesthesia complications, irregular contour or pigment in the skin, damage to tissues, poor wound healing and rippling skin are other less common risks that can result from the procedure.

How Long is Recovery After Ab Etching?
Full recovery after ab etching takes several months, as there will likely be some residual swelling and bruising around the abdominal region. Final results usually take about six months to settle in, but initial improvements from the procedure can usually be seen right away.

Since the incisions are minimal with abdominal etching, recovery from the procedure is short and only involves minimal pain. As for your time off work and getting back into the gym, patients can typically return to work and normal activities within a week after the procedure. Of course, any heavy lifting and strenuous activity should be avoided. Swimming and light workouts can be resumed in five days, but other forms of exercise should be avoided for one month. If you have decided to get ab etching in conjunction with another procedure, your recovery time and post-op instruction will likely increase.