Washboard Abs - Does Abdominal Etching Work?

In houston a doctor has a treatment for washboard abs called abdominal etching. It sounds like it's a special technique using liposuction. Is this only offered in houston? do you recommend it. If not, would any other procedure work to get a more defined ab?

Doctor Answers 5

Washboard Abs - Abdominal Etching Liposuction

High Def lipo, Abdominal Etching, Differential Liposuction etc are all liposuction techniques in which the amount of fat removed from the muscles is NOT of the same thickness and therefore enhances the visibility of the underlyiong musculature. In MY opinion. while a skilled Plastic surgeon can remove fat from skin an simulate the presence of ripped muscles, the appearance looks fake and done. Similar to wearing a roman military chest piece which had idealized, exaggerated non-moving male "muscles" to intimidate the enemy. You will get a much better more natural result, if you did work out and the Plastic surgeon unveiled YOUR real muscles by selectively DIFFERENTIALLY removed fat along the muscle borders accentuating your own anatomy.

There are skilled, artistic and forward thinking Plastic surgeons in most large cities in the Western world. Do your research and you will find one.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Vaser hi def lipo 4d

I appreciate your question.

Vaser assisted liposuction utilizes ultrasound to emulsify or melt felt prior to removal. It is also used to etch or define the muscles and normal anatomy to enhance the results. I use a specialized technique to remove the deeper fat areas and sculpt the superficial fat, so that one can achieve the goal of having not only a flatter stomach but also a more defined and curvaceous body if wanted.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.  Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery and high definition body contouring.


Best of luck!


Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Vaser 4D Lipoplasty and Abdominal Etching in Beverly Hills

Hi and thanks for the question. Vader 4D high-definition lipoplasty can be utilized to augment the natural abdominal wall muscular. It is a very distinct procedure from conventional liposuction. In this procedure, lipo contouring is performed based on your native anatomy, in doing so, augmenting your natural anatomic features ( six pack, latissimus dorsi, deltoids, calves ).  The procedure has a very artistic component to it. In the right individuals ( thinner patients, with good muscle tone, good skin tone, and thin layer or localized layer of fat), remarkable results can be achieved, in the right hands. This procedure is indeed performed outside of Houston. My suggestion would be to find a plastic surgeon with a plethora of experience in body contouring utilizing the Vaser. 

Best wishes,

Dr. Vallecillos 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Abdominal Etching

Fat is removed from the grooves that run between the abdominal muscles, so further weight loss will only accentuate the results. In some cases, other areas will be treated, such as the love handles, flanks and stomach itself. The incisions required are very small and are hidden to reduce the visibility of any scarring.

You should have a total body fat percentage that's lower than 18% are usually not candidates for successful results.

I offer it at my practice in Toronto, Ontario, so you can find it outside of Houston.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Yes, Etching works and is taught at the ASAPS conference for aesthetic plastic surgeons.

Yes, many plastic surgeons perform etching, high def, 3D and other forms of differential liposuction named because slightly more fat is left above the muscle belly and more is removed over the tendenous portion. Liposuction was originally a surgery for debulking and reducing and has become a surgery that involves careful contouring and shaping to enhance the natural form. Many plactic surgeons do this kind of suction now and it can unveil and augment your natural contours depending on your goals. Modified abdominal etching includes thinning the abdominal fat pad, etching in the linea albe (the vertical crease above the belly button), etching the linea semilunaris (the soft lateral or outside edge of the rectus muscle). Full abdominal etching also adds the horizontal transverse inscriptions that make the six pack. Here are some tips for abdominal etching :
  1.  Keep your incision scars low so that it is hidden in the smallest bathing suit
  2. Have your surgeon use Xeralto or Lovenox to reduce your risk of blood clots
  3. Use incrimental compression garments during and after surgery to reduce risk of leg blood clots
  4. The surgeon places the marks when you are standing and abdominal muscles are flexed
  5. I prefer power assisted liposuction but there are a few talented surgeons using Vaser
  6. Your surgeon gently shape your abdominal flap to create a more athletic appearance and muscular contour
  7. Etching is aggressive fat removal to enhance six pack grooves
  8. Foam padding is used in the etched areas to improve the early results
  9. Begin post operative massage one to two weeks after surgery to speed recovery
  10. Begin with a board certified plastic surgeon and visit several offices
  11. Choose a surgeon with good experience, doing more than 100 per year
  12. Internet discussions do not replace the advice of your physician

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.