Abdominal Etching – Before and After Photos, Videos, Cost, Results

Some people are just genetically not meant to have a six pack – no amount of cardio, crunches, weights, etc. will give them the six pack they desire. However, thanks to a new plastic surgery procedure called abdominal etching, it is now possible for almost any man to achieve a six pack.

While most people associate cosmetic or plastic surgery with women,  men also want to look and feel more youthful. Plastic surgery for men is a booming business and, in particular, male liposuction has become very popular.

Abdominal Etching by Dr. Mentz

Invented by plastic surgeon Henry A. Mentz III in the early 1990s, abdominal etching, or ab etching, is a liposcultpure technique. Unlike traditional methods of liposuction where the surgeon removes even layers of fat from an area to avoid indentations, abdominal etching essentially does the opposite and these indentations are the goal of the procedure. Fat is removed from selected areas and left alone in others. This causes the skin to indent along the underlying muscles and creates the more muscular look of those rippled 6-pack abs most men desire.

How Does the Procedure Work?

Abdominal etching is usually performed in a doctor’s office or an outpatient surgical center under mild sedation or general anesthesia, and your surgeon will most likely do it with the laser or ultrasound-assisted liposuction techniques.

First, your surgeon will have you flex your muscles so he/she can see and mark your abdominal muscles to know where the indentations should be. Then you will receive an injection of a tumescent solution to reduce pain and blood loss.

After this, the surgeon will make several tiny incisions in your abdominal area through which he/she will insert a small suction cannula to remove the fat. The incisions are very tiny and are usually hidden in the belly button or in your natural body creases to minimize scarring. The fat that remains will be sculpted to give a more pronounced definition to your abdominal muscles to create the six pack.

The laser and ultrasonic methods can be very precise and most surgeons feel this gives them better control. The surgeon can target and liquefy the fat, minimizing risks of injury to the blood vessels, nerves and surrounding tissue. The risk of bleeding, bruising and pain is reduced and, in the case of the ultrasonic version, there are also some skin-tightening capabilities.

If you are in great physical shape and have good skin tone, the surgeon will most likely complete the procedure in about two hours.

Abdominal Etching Before and After

Abdominal Etching Before and After

Am I a Good Candidate for Abdominal Etching?

The procedure is not suitable for everyone and works best on people who are relatively thin and have good muscle structure. If you don’t have already good muscle definition under your skin, there won’t be anything for abdominal etching to accentuate or enhance.

In fact, the best candidates are already in great physical shape with strong abs and only small pockets of annoying fat that refuse to respond to exercise or dietary changes. Some people cannot achieve the washboard abs look simply by working out, lifting weights, and eating a lean diet. Genetics and metabolism play a large part in how our bodies behave and look. Sometimes pockets of fat have to be surgically removed.

Abdominal etching is not a weight loss procedure. If you have a large abdomen or are significantly overweight, the procedure is not for you. You may also not be a good candidate if you’ve recently lost a large amount of weight because you may have too much excess skin for the surgery to be successful.

Are There Any Risks?

Every surgical procedure has a risk of potential complications so be sure to discuss everything with your doctor before surgery.

Although complications are not frequent, you may experience pain, bleeding, excessive scarring or infection after abdominal etching. Your surgeon will be able to take care of these situations but they may add to your recovery time.

Diabetics have an increased risk of infection and wound healing complications but abdominal etching can be performed with proper care.

Will I Recover Quickly?

You should be ready to go home within a few hours following surgery. Your doctor will provide a compression garment for you to wear for up to six weeks after surgery to reduce swelling. There will also be some other restrictions, such as to refrain from lifting in excess of 10 pounds, but you can usually return to work within 3 to 5 days. You can expect to get back to your normal day-to-day activities and exercise regimen after about three weeks.

Keep in mind that you may not be able to see the full results of your abdominal etching for several months. It will be important for you to maintain your healthy weight and continue to exercise after your recovery or you may not be able to maintain the positive results of the surgery.

What Does Abdominal Etching Cost?

Abdominal etching can range from $4,000 to $10,000, depending on your geographic location and the training and expertise of your surgeon. If the procedure is performed in your doctor’s office, it will typically be less expensive than if done in an outpatient surgical facility. Additional expenses would include general anesthesia and medications.


To sum things up, if you fit the requirements for the ideal candidate and always wanted the satisfaction of having well-defined abs, abdominal etching may be for you. Plastic surgeons indicate that 75% to 80% of their patients who undergo the surgery are pleased with the results.

Be sure to discuss all of your options with your doctor so you can have a complete understanding of the procedure, if it can help you, and what results you might expect after surgery.

On the topic of doctors, be sure to choose one wisely. Do your research and find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has adequate training and expertise in abdominal etching. You owe it to yourself if you want to have a good surgical outcome.

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