Doctor’s Trivia: Abdominal Etching


Would you like to have Ryan Reynolds abs? Who doesn’t? Although being slender looks good, well defined muscles look even better. The desire of having a six pack without having to do 500 crunches everyday has risen curiosity about abdominal etching amongst men and women. But, what is this procedure about? Is it suitable for everybody? What are the effects?

Nothing better than an expert to answer these questions: Dr. Castañeda is an experienced plastic surgeon in male procedures like chest implants, lipo and more at VIDA Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. This month we interviewed him about a growing popular procedure: abdominal etching.

What is abdominal etching?

Dr.: Abdominal etching is a simple procedure. It involves liposuction and lipoesculpture, which basically means recreate or reproduce the normal lines and forms of the abdominal muscles, it’s like a fine lipoesculpture, more detailed and defined to emphasize the edge of the natural or worked on muscles that already exist on the body. The procedure itself it’s little invasive, it’s a minor surgery done in 90 minutes

 How is this different from liposuction?

Dr. : Liposuction is a procedure performed to sculpt the body, is the technique to suck fat trough a small canula, while a liposculpture is sculpting the body in the fat deposits that the body has trough liposuction.

Abdominal etching it’s a sculpting focused on the abdomen and muscles underneath it, above the natural lines that the muscular insertions of the lines and the obliques have, we do more liposuction so the lines go deeper. It’s to enhance the natural lines patients already have.

If I decide to have it done, for how long do I have to stay at the hospital?

Dr. For patients that live nearby can probably go home on the same way, but if you are flying, the best thing to do is to stay a couple of nights at our Recovery Boutique and then fly home.

Are the results permanent?

Dr. The result for any liposuction varies depending on the patient’s habits. A lot of people think that a liposuction will replace a diet or will help them recover from years of bad habits, and this isn’t really true. Liposuction will help us give the body new proportions. Once this is achieved, there is still some fat so if we keep the same bad habits as always, then the results won’t last.

If we have a healthy eating regime and constant exercise routine then the results will last a long time. I always tell my patients to take it as a restart, if you already invested time, money, pain, make some changes and keep the results!


Is abdominal etching meant for someone that already exercises?

In a big part yes, there are people who are dedicated to look good like models and bodybuilders and when they go to a competition or have a photo shoot a lot of the times they kill themselves a couple of weeks prior to reduce the levels of body fat or they went through a dehydration to look more defined , then here is where the abdominal etching gives you this advantage because you will be eliminating the excess fat to those ducts in the abdominal muscles so they are more noticeable and they standout.

 Why is it so hard to eliminate the fat from the abdomen in a natural way?

Dr. Because genetically they are fat deposits in the body that are already programmed as a reservoir, then in case of being hungry the body will have where to subtract calories which is in most of cases the fat around the waist and abdomen.

 Abdominal etching only defines the six pack or all the abdominal area?

Dr. The lines of the obliques are defined as well, and that’s precisely the idea, treat the whole torso and not just the middle part of the abdomen. Liposuction is normally done in the abdomen, waist and sometimes in the pubic area. In a regular basis there are various areas worked on at the same time, because otherwise the results will look disproportionate.

Abdominal etching can be combined with Thermage (radiofrequency) because it helps tightens the skin without surgery. Thermage is good for areas where there is a little loose skin but not enough to justify a tummy tuck or cutting skin in a certain area, so it can be a good combination to enhance the result of the abdominal etching.

Can women do abdominal etching?

Dr. They can, it’s rare because normally women don’t ask for that type of look, what we do is emphasize the vertical lines but doing the horizontal lines isn’t that common. We have female patients that are bodybuilders so this procedure gives them certain advantage.

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How much is the recovery time?

Dr. This will depend of the amount of liposuction that was done. If it was a light liposuction at least 3 to 4 weeks of initial recovery time to go back to do some light activities like walking or yoga. To do an exhaustive routine like a marathon or triathlon it can be up to 6 weeks.

Why this procedure has increased its popularity? Because it produces sexy results. Let’s admit it. A well define six pack abdomen is sexy. If you are tired of spending hours and hours at the gym without getting the muscular definition you want, maybe it’s time to explore the options of a lipoesculpture or an abdominal etching.

If you wish to know more about this procedure or confirm that you are a good candidate ask for a virtual consultation in this link or calling at 619-610-1667 toll free from the U.S. and from Mexico (664) 608-6460.

Dr. Carlos Castaneda

Dr. Carlos Castañeda is our board-certified body contouring specialist at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Body Contouring, Body Reshaping, Liposculpture, Breast Surgery, Gynecomastia & more. He is certified by the Mexican Council of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, an active member of the Mexican Association of Reconstructive Plastic & Aesthetic Surgery and a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.