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What is Abdominal Etching?

abdominal etching

Have you ever noticed that no matter how hard you work out, or how healthy of a diet you eat, there’s that little bit of belly fat that refuses to go away?

If so, you’re not alone. Millions of healthy, active people have a small percentage of body fat that simply won’t disappear. There are a wide variety of causes as to why this can happen:

  • You’re doing the wrong exercises.
  • You don’t exercise enough.
  • Your diet isn’t healthy enough.
  • Your genetics don’t support having a natural 6-pack or perfectly flat stomach.

The good news is that now anyone can get the sculpted abs of their dreams by undergoing a minor surgical procedure called abdominal etching. We’re going to look at what this new surgery is all about, what does the procedure entail, and whether or not it’s safe.

What is Abdominal Etching?

Abdominal etching gained national attention when the rapper Drake posted a shirtless photo of his 6-pack abs to Instagram. He received thousands of compliments; however, one of his good friends made a joke that claimed he got his 6-pack through surgery, not a healthy diet, and working out.

While Drake denies getting the surgery, all of the publicity has caused many people to take an interest in abdominal etching and learn more about it and whether or not it’s safe.  

Abdominal etching is the process of using one’s own body fat to create the look of a 6-pack on their abs. It’s performed via a liposuction procedure in which the surgeon will “sculpt” the abdomen wall such that males will get the coveted 6-pack and females will get the three lines that are indicative of someone with zero belly fat.

Who is it for?

The ideal candidate for abdominal etching is someone who is physically fit with already pronounced abdominal muscles. They only have a few minor areas of belly fat that refuse to go away no matter how hard they work out or eat healthy.

Abdominal etching is not for someone who eats a poor diet, doesn’t exercise, and has a lot of body or abdominal fat. This is because if liposuction is used to remove the fat, it will eventually return unless a healthy diet and regular exercise routine are maintained.

Is the Surgery Safe?

Like all plastic surgery procedures, there are a few risks involved. Abdominal etching requires an incision to be made in the body so that the surgeon can insert the liposuction device to perform the procedure.

Infections and other surgical complications can potentially occur in any surgery where incisions are made. However, that doesn’t mean the procedure isn’t safe.

A study was performed on both men and women who had gotten the abdominal etching procedure performed. It found that there were no significant complications, and the average patient satisfaction rate was around 98%.

There were some minor complications such as contour irregularities (12% of the study participants), hyperpigmentation (2%), and seromas (10%). Patients were followed-up with for an average of 27 months after the procedure was performed.

The biggest surprise of the study was that the vast majority of study participants retained their results for upwards of six years! Of course, they had to exercise and eat a healthy diet to maintain the results.

Is Abdominal Etching Worth It?

Whether or not it’s worth it is really up to the individual person.

How badly do you want that 6-pack?

Are you willing to undergo a rigorous maintenance routine to keep it?

For some people, fitness is life, and a little bit of belly fat is unacceptable and can cause them to want to undergo the procedure. After all, they are in top physical condition, they eat a proper diet, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have the rock-hard body they worked so hard to achieve.

If you do decide to undergo the procedure, you’ll also need to maintain an extremely healthy diet and rigorous exercise routine. Otherwise, all of that unhealthy brown fat that was sucked out via the liposuction can and will return. 

It should also be noted that in the above study, patients worked very closely with nutritionists and personal training professionals to keep their new physiques. If you can’t get rid of the body fat on your own, it means that you’re genetically pre-disposed to it. The only way to keep it away after undergoing the abdominal etching procedure is to work out extremely hard and eat healthy.

Ultimately, there is a lot of maintenance involved in keeping away that little bit of belly fat that your genetics have caused to exist. If you have the money, you’re willing to undergo the surgical procedure, and are ready to work hard to maintain the results, then abdominal etching might be right for you.


If you’re fit and healthy and can’t seem to lose that extra bit of belly fat, you might be an ideal candidate for this amazing procedure. If you’d like a consultation to see if abdominal etching is right for you, give us a call at (214) 965-9885.

Dr. Adams is one of the premiere Board-Certified plastic surgeons in the U.S. and will sit down with you and listen to your concerns and go over possible solutions.

If you want that perfectly flat tummy or 6-pack, give us a call to learn more about this fantastic procedure which can transform your stomach and last for years to come if maintained properly.


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