Six-packs define the muscles present on the abdominal wall. It is deemed to increase one’s masculine attractiveness and make them seem fitter. However, achieving and maintaining a six-pack abdomen can be a strenuous and constant effort for many. Abdominal etching is an easier method for six-pack abdomen creation. This procedure is an elective cosmetic surgery that tactfully removes excess adipose tissue and defines the muscles in the abdominal wall creating the impression of a six-pack.
Abdominal etching is not meant for weight loss or to reach an ideal BMI. Eligible individuals are required to have a healthy lifestyle along with exercise being within 30% of their ideal BMI. This is crucial as the effects will display itself more prominently and last longer only if the patient continues a healthy lifestyle. The effects of this procedure can reverse if the patient drastically gains weight.
- Expectations – during the consultancy, the patient is prompted to express their desired expectations with the surgeon and discuss its possibilities. Showing pictures of desired results is more helpful in reaching a consensus.
- Medical history – the physician will ask the patient about their past-medical history as well as family history to ensure that they are eligible to undergo the surgery. Patients with blood disorders are advised not to undergo this procedure as they are at higher risk.
- Photography – a professional will take before and after pictures in different angles to record the change made due to the procedure. The patient may also be provided with a photoshopped picture before the surgery to have realistic expectations.
- Smoking – the patient is strictly advised to avoid smoking a week before the procedure as it can affect the surgery and healing process.
- Medications – after reviewing the patient’s medical history, the physician may ask the patient to stop consumption of certain medicines. They include – aspirin, immunosuppressants, anti-inflammatory medicine, herbal capsules, blood thinners and other anti-coagulants.
- Care – the patient will be asked to arrange for driven transport as they cannot drive post-surgery. It is also advisable to have someone at home to help a few days during recovery.
Abdominoplasty removes fat around the muscles in the abdominal wall to create a contoured and seamless six-pack. Six-pack abdomen creation is typically performed under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia depending on the recommendation of the physician.
Initial steps before sedation involve the surgeon marking the area where the abs are going to show. Once the patient is happy with the placement of their to-be abs, the area marked is covered using a foam sheet.
The surgical process of abdominoplasty begins by creating small, tactical incisions near the target area and inserting a small thin tube known as the cannula. The instrument is moved in a specific motion and using gentle suction, the excess fat around the muscle is removed. Once the desired results are achieved, the surgeon closes the incision using sutures. The patient may be required to wear a compression garment while the foam sheet remains under the dressing.
Though the process is similar to that of liposuction, abdominoplasty is a more intricate procedure that provides defined and enhanced results in comparison to the latter.
Risks & recovery
- Downtime – the patient can resume normal activities in 5 to 10 days, depending on the volume removed.
- Activities – there should be minimal abdominal-torso movement for the first few days into recovery. Swimming, gymming or any strenuous exercise should be avoided until prompted by the surgeon.
- Scarring – There may be minimal visible scarring.
- Sensation – there may be partial loss of sensation after complete healing. This can cause temporary or permanent numbness around the treated area.
- General risks – surgical procedures may cause redness, bruising, bleeding, scarring and infection.
- Rest – the patient is advised to take complete rest to promote fast healing.
- Ice & compression – the wound should be compressed with an ice pack to reduce swelling.
- Elevation – the patient is advised to sleep in an upright and elevated position. This reduces swelling and avoids any tugging or pulling.
- Smoking – the patient is strictly advised to avoid smoking for up to two weeks post-treatment. Smoking can interfere with blood flow and can cause problems with healing.
- Alcohol – the patient is advised to avoid alcohol consumption for a few days as it can counteract with medications prescribed for aftercare.
- Medicines – the surgeon may prescribe painkillers and antibiotics. They can be a combination of tablets as well as topical treatments. These medicines need to be used promptly as prescribed by the physician.