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Abdominal etching is a type of liposuction procedure. Liposuction is the second most popular cosmetic procedure

Like traditional liposuction, abdominal etching uses a suction technique to remove fat deposits from underneath your skin. What makes abdominal etching unique are the results that it aims to achieve.

Instead of removing fat from your midsection with the simple goal of a slimmer appearance, abdominal etching removes fat deposits in an advanced and strategic way. This type of liposuction molds and shapes your abdominal wall so that your ab muscles look more prominent.

Ideal candidate

As with any surgical procedure, abdominal etching carries a risk of complications. The ideal candidate for abdominal etching is a healthy person who doesn’t smoke, has no life threatening health conditions, and doesn’t have obesity.

Abdominal etching works best for people who are less than 30 percent over their ideal body weight, with healthy muscle and skin tone. Your age and your skin’s elasticity should also be considered when being realistic about the results of abdominal etching.

People who undergo any type of liposuction must be healthy enough to safely go under anesthesia.

How does abdominal etching work?

Abdominal etching works similarly to traditional liposuction, but there’s one important distinction. The fat deposits that cover your abdominal muscles are carefully carved off your body, using small incisions usually based around your belly button.

When done carefully, this technique can deepen the natural grooves in your body and make your ab muscles appear much more prominent.

Fat deposits may also be taken from the sides overlying your oblique abdominal muscles to narrow your midsection. When the swelling subsides and the area heals, you should see a visibly toned midsection.

Procedure for abdominal etching

Your abdominal etching procedure will take about an hour, on average.

  1. While you’re standing up, your doctor will mark the areas that are being sculpted and enhanced. This may feel a bit like your abs are being drawn on. Once you’re both satisfied with the intended result, you’ll be ready to lie down and prepare for surgery.
  2. A foam dressing that matches the drawing on your body will then be applied to your body. You’ll be put under general or local anesthesia, depending on your preference and your doctor’s recommendation.
  3. The skin on your belly will be numb as the doctor makes incisions, called ports, to access and remove the fat deposits. This process will be done using a scalpel and a cannula pump (an instrument that drains fluid or fat deposits). The ports will be open until the end of the surgery to drain fat, fluid, and blood from your body.
  4. Your incisions are then closed and dressed. A compression garment is applied to your midsection to ensure that the belly begins to heal. The foam dressing that was applied before surgery stays on under the compression garment.
  5. After the fat is removed and the anesthesia wears off, you’ll need to keep the compression garment on until your doctor gives you the go-ahead to remove it, typically 4 to 6 weeks.

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