Liposculpture: Get Six-Pack Abs Without Working Out
Let’s face it, fellas: We all want our abs to look like Zac Efron’s in Neighbors, but we also know movie studios pay guys like him to spend weeks in the gym doing zillions of crunches while subsisting only on protein shakes and red meat. This is not exactly an option for us mere mortals. In fact, stars who’ve majorly bulked up for a role — Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Chris Evans (Captain America), and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) — have complained or even hesitated to take roles because of the physically and psychologically grueling diets and exercise routines required to get into superhero shape. So the question is: Is all that business worth the swoon-worthy abs?
Even if you had time for daily 4-hour gym sessions, you still might not become the Adonis you picture in your head. Don’t get discouraged, though! Those amazing abs might be there, they’re just hiding under a lingering layer of fat. So is there a way to cheat the gym (and the agony) to get the look you want? And is that even fair?
The answer to the first question is yes (We won’t touch the second question). There’s a little cosmetic procedure called abdominal etching via liposculpture (91% Worth It Rating) — aka the aptly named “suction six-pack.” But what is it exactly? And how do you know if you’re a good candidate? Here are five things that you need to know if you’re considering ab etching.
1. What is the suction six-pack?
Ab etching is a liposculpture technique, which falls under the liposuction umbrella (Fun fact: Liposuction was the fourth most popular cosmetic surgery in the U.aws oS. in 2013). Simply put, it is a procedure that thins your layer of stomach fat. Ab etching happens right beneath the skin and involves sucking out the fat around your abdominal muscular structure and then sculpting abs along their natural contours. It’s an invasive procedure that takes about one to two hours on the operating table with “final” results seen anywhere from 3 - 6 months post-op.
MORE: How Exactly Does Abdominal Etching Work?
Many doctors will say that ab etching is more of an art than traditional liposuction, but not all are in agreement about how natural the end results look — even when compared to a procedure that uses implants (See: Justin Jedlica, the human Ken doll).
Other liposculpture info:
Average cost: Average cost for liposculpture is about $4750
Recovery period: It’s a wide range of a few weeks to a few months.
2. How do you know if you’re a good candidate for ab etching?
Mostly, you’re someone who doesn’t want to feel embarrassed the next time you rip your shirt off to go swimming, or to go streaking across a baseball field. (We won’t judge if you like to streak at public sporting events.) BUT there’s really only a small percentage of the American population who could be a fit for the procedure. The ideal candidate is a healthy (read: in-shape) person with a little excess abdominal fat (per Arizona plastic surgeon Dr. Aldo Guerra, we’re talking only “1 or 2 centimeters of pinchable belly fat”).
And if you’ve got more than a little belly fat, liposuction (91% Worth It Rating) is an option.
3. What are possible complications with ab etching?
You probably know this, but while liposculpture may give you the look of abs of steel, these new found abs will not function in the same way as if you had earned them doing countless sit-ups and planks. In other words, don’t put yourself into any feats of ab strength competitions post-op. This is why athletes and bodybuilders aren’t a good fit for the surgery — they don’t have the luxury of just looking ripped, they actually have to use their abs to perform.
Beyond this, there are a few other things to worry about on top of the normal trifecta of infection, swelling, and scarring. For instance, Chicago plastic surgeon
Dr. Otto Placik warns, “With the slightest bit of weight gain, the remaining normal fat can grow a somewhat grotesque appearance with irregularities.”
New York plastic surgeon Dr. Elan Singer also has his hesitations: “Even in the best of hands, [abdominal etching] looks manufactured and most often appears uneven with contour irregularities.” Food for thought!
4. Think of all the things you could be doing with the time you would’ve spent at the gym.
Liposculpture essentially gives you the chance to pay for washboard abs rather than going to the gym, whether that’s a good thing or not, we’ll let YOU decide. Of course, gym memberships aren’t free either, so you’re probably already paying for abs — without actually seeing results. People shell out big bucks for weight-loss programs based on amazing “before and after” photos, but those pics aren’t always as authentic as they seem.
5. More men get plastic surgery than you think! (Seriously.)
We’ve seen that more and more men are going under the knife in order to get their bodies back and stay competitive in the workplace. So the next time you see a guy at the gym with impossible abs, keep in mind that he might have had a little help obtaining them. That's not something you need to worry about though. In the words of Drake, "Just do you."
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