Ab etching: Everything you should know about six-pack abs surgery

There is a particular body goal and expectation everyone dreams of having. For men, if asked what their ideal body is, six packs, chiseled abs, and biceps would always top the list. While some men strive to get six-pack abs by engaging in gym activities such as sit-ups and planks, some go the dieting route for this aesthetic goal. However, these processes take too long for little to no visible results. 

This article shall discuss the process of abdominal etching to achieve six-pack abs, the pros, and cons attributed to it, as well as its recovery and results. 

Abdominal Etching

Abdominal Etching is a fast route for people struggling with different types of diet and exercises to get abs and are left with little to no results. 

History shows that abdominal etching (or Ab Etch) or abdominal sculpting surgery started with a triple board-certified Houston plastic surgeon, Henry Mentz, in the early 1990s. This specialized liposuction procedure, also known as the “washboard abs” look, is designed for men to create a leaner, chiseled, muscular definition in the male abdominal area. 

Since this procedure’s inception, dozens of articles have been published, and Dr. Mentz has presented it to plastic surgeons worldwide. Due to its wide acceptance, Mentz also teaches a popular course on the specialized 3-dimensional lipo contouring technique at the annual American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery meeting. 

Abdominal Etching

Steps in preparing for Ab Etching

  • Avoid alcohol 

Suppose you are preparing to go for Ab etching surgery. In that case, you should avoid alcohol a few days before and after the surgery because alcohol can hinder the body’s response to blood clotting and cause excessive bleeding during and probably after. 

  • Avoid smoking

Nicotine is one of the substances that is known to block blood vessels. And this can affect not only surgery but also affects recovery. 

  • Avoid thinning blood medication

Some medications can cause blood thinning, thereby increasing the chance of blood loss during surgery. Examples of these medications that should be avoided for two weeks before Ab etching surgery are ibuprofen and aspirin. 

  • Have a companion

For the abdominal etching procedure, you will be placed on anesthesia. This implies that you may need help returning home since you will be ready to leave the same day. You can book a ride home or have someone near you drive you back home. 

Steps in preparing for Ab Etching

Ab Etching Procedure

Dr. Mentz’s ab etching procedure takes, on average, an hour with him or any other liposuction specialist you must have consulted. 

  • The first step of six-pack ab surgery includes your doctor marking the areas where the ab will be sculpted. If you want six packs or less than that, this is where you decide as your doctor makes the lines. 
  • Once you are satisfied with the drawing of your abs, you move next to the bed, where you will be placed under local or general anesthesia as recommended and discussed between you and your doctor. Then, a foam dressing that matches the abs drawing on your tummy would be applied. 
  • Due to the anesthesia in your system, your tummy becomes numb, giving the doctor the go-ahead to begin the process. The doctor will go ahead to make ports

Once the ports are open, your doctor will get access to the fat deposits and drain them with a scalpel and cannula pump. The ports are left open till the end of the surgery to drain fat, blood, and fluid from your tummy, thereby making the underlying muscles visible.

          Using the markings made on your tummy earlier, the linea alba and the recurs muscles will be outlined. 

  • After this, the incisions are then closed and stitched. A compression garment would then be applied to the midsection on top of the foam dressing before the surgery. This is to foster fast healing and unveil your six packs as soon as possible. 
  • Following these procedures, you will have to keep the compression garment on to reduce any bruising and swelling that may occur as a result of the process. Your doctor may assign a nurse to help with your medications and dressings. 

With your doctor’s advice, you should be ready to get back to work in a week, as the swelling and bruising are expected to diminish by that time and, by two weeks, completely gone. 

Ab etching results

After the Ab etching surgery, you will experience swellings in the areas where the surgery was performed. Once this swelling subsides, your abdominal muscles will look more defined and pronounced, giving you the chiseled sculpted abs you’ve always desired. 

You should, however, avoid physically demanding jobs during the healing period. 

Before and after pictures

You can check out the gallery of Ab satisfying etchings from before and after surgery from Dr. Henry ab etching gallery. You can choose whether to proceed with the procedure or try other means. 

Who should perform Ab Etching surgery

No one can handle ab etching surgery. If you want to get the surgery, the foremost step is for you to look for a licensed and board-certified cosmetic surgeon to take the surgery. With this, you will rest assured you are safe in the hands of the practitioner performing your surgery. 

If you need to learn how to reach any certified surgeon, search for ‘abdominal etching near me to get through to one. 

Who can go through Ab Etching

Just as with every surgical procedure, Ab etching also has risks of complications. Anyone planning to go for an etching surgery should be someone who doesn’t drink, smoke, isn’t on blood thinning medications, and hasn’t obesity(below 30 BMI) and life-threatening health conditions. 

Benefits of Ab Etching

The benefits of undergoing abs etching for six packs include;

  • Quick and comfortable recovery
  • It is minimally invasive
  • Removes abdominal fats within a short time
  • Tightens abdominal skin
  • Little to no scarring
  • Minimal pain and discomfort
  • Long-lasting results
  • Low risk

Effects of Ab Etching

Ab etching is considered a low-risk cosmetic procedure. However, some side effects come with it. They are;

  • Anesthesia headache
  • Swelling
  • Fluid Accumulation
  • Rough skin after healing
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Irregular healing
  • Skin discoloration
  • Nerve and blood vessels damage
  • Complications from excessive loss of blood


How much is a six-pack abs surgery?

You are expected to cover the cost of your Ab etching because it is elective cosmetic surgery. Depending on your location and health provider, these surgery costs can range from $3,000 to $10,000.

How does abdominal etching work?

Fat deposits covering your abdominal muscles are taken away to narrow your midsection. After this process, swelling occurs in the area. As the swelling subsides and the area heals, it leaves a visibly toned six-pack ab permanently. 

Is the abdominal etching result permanent?

Unlike some cosmetic surgery that has to be done quite a several times for an effective result, Ab etching is a permanent procedure. This means that once it’s done once, the results are visible forever. However, it is advisable to maintain a healthy lifestyle afterward. 

Is abdominal etching painful?

The specialist performing your surgery is expected to administer anesthesia before the beginning of the process. And so, you won’t feel any pain whatsoever. However, once the process is complete, you may experience mild discomfort, swelling, and bruising that will go away as time goes on and you heal. 

Does Ab etching leave scars?

Just as with other surgical procedures, Ab etching also leaves some scars. However, the wounds are not visible because the incisions on the body are usually tiny. 

What is the difference between abdominal etching and traditional liposuction?

Traditional liposuction is quite similar to abdominal etching, but there’s a difference. Traditional liposuction removes stubborn unwanted fats from different body parts. At the same time, abdominal etching precisely sculpts abdominal fats to show a natural six-pack as desired by the person undergoing surgery. 

The results of abdominal etching are usually more visible and pronounced than traditional liposuction. Another difference is how costly and convenient abdominal etching is. 

How long does it take to recover from six-pack surgery?

For an Ab etching surgery without complications, you should be able to return to work after two weeks unless your job requires you to stand for a long time. However, recovery may vary from person to person. 

Final words

The invention of cosmetic surgeries has made it possible to live your desired aesthetic lifestyle. One of them is Ab etching. Men who are looking to have chiseled 6packs, as well as women who want something of sorts, can go through an Ab etching cosmetic procedure. 

However, it would help if you consulted a certified surgeon specialized in the area to discuss the procedure, implications, cost, and everything you need to know about the surgery. 

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