Abdominal Etching

Northern Virginia- Fairfax and Manassas

By: George Bitar, M.D. and Larry Lickstein, M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

Abdominal Etching | Fairfax and Manassas, VA


Wouldn’t it be nice to go to the gym or the beach and show off a nice chiseled abdomen even if the endless hours at the gym have not paid off? For patients who diet and exercise, have good skin and muscle tone, but have a few extra pounds in the abdomen that are stubborn, a six-pack abdomen, or abdominal etching, may be the answer. This is one of the specialty liposuction procedures that we offer, where we can create a nicely sculpted abdomen, for the appropriate patient, in an hour with liposuction, alone. No implants are needed, and the patients usually think the results are spectacular.

Preparing for Surgery

An initial consultation is set-up where we discuss the six-pack abdomen procedure, and whether you are a good candidate for the surgery. Your medical history is reviewed, and you will be asked to see your medical doctor for a physical check-up and a few labs to make sure you can undergo the surgery safely. You are given the opportunity to be seen by your own doctor to give the green light for surgery. You are asked to stop smoking, if you are a smoker, two weeks before and two weeks after surgery, for the surgery to be performed safely, and for you to have optimal results. You are given the opportunity to talk to patients who have had the same surgery you are considering. We will see you shortly after the surgery (in a day or two usually). You are seen regularly after your surgery. You are always welcome to come back for follow-up, even years after your surgery, free of charge.

The Six-Pack Abdomen Procedure

The procedure is relatively simple and straightforward. A patient, who is deemed a good candidate for this procedure, is given antibiotics, and anesthetized in the operating room. The abdomen is injected with tumescent solution to give some pain relief and decrease the bleeding during surgery. Then small incisions are made around the abdomen and liposuction is performed to accentuate the “ripples” of the abdominal muscles. When sufficient fat is removed, and the appropriate contours are achieved, the incisions are closed and the patient is awakened. A word of caution is that this procedure will create temporary swelling and bruising in the pubic area that resolves in about a week. The results when the healing is complete, which usually takes six months to a year, look very natural and fit.

How We Minimize Complications of Six-Pack Abdomen:

At the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, we take pride in making sure we provide for our patients the best surgical experience possible , anticipating problems or set-backs, and addressing them before they happen. This is a process that includes the pre-operative preparation, the actual surgery, and the after care.

General Complications
General complications can occur with any surgery. Cosmetic surgery is usually a safe surgery performed on healthy patients and, as all surgeries go, is with low risk. What we do to even lower the risk of complications is to operate at a first class hospital with board certified anesthesiologists and nurses. To avoid post-operative complications, we advocate early mobilization –patients seen in our office one or two days after surgery- and active participation in their own post-operative care. When we create a partnership, the results invariably improve.

Before surgery, our patients are tested to make sure they don’t have any common bleeding disorders by their own physicians, and by lab tests. Bleeding with any form of liposuction is rare. Before performing the six-pack abdomen procedure, we inject tumescent solution that will constrict the blood vessels and minimize the bleeding. In my practice the rate of significant bleeding has been minimal.

The most important step in avoiding infections/wounds, in our opinion, is to perform the surgery at a first-rate surgical facility with board certified anesthesiologists and nurses.  Patients are given the appropriate intravenous antibiotics coverage throughout the surgery. During the surgery, the skin surface of the patient is cleaned properly. After the procedure, our patients are prescribed a one-week course of antibiotics to minimize infection. As a result of these extra precautions, our rate of infection after the six-pack abdomen procedure is extremely rare. Since with the liposuction there is no skin removal or tissue manipulation, other than suctioning fat out of the body, open wounds are extremely rare.

Nerve Injury
We exercise caution around the nerves in the body and avoid aggressive liposuction, minimizing nerve injury. Temporary loss of sensation from a “stunned” nerve or a bruised nerve may occur in the time period after surgery, but sensation in the vast majority of cases returns within a few weeks.

Post-operative Care

Our office will provide you with a detailed post-operative instruction sheet that will be individualized to your needs. We usually see patients the day after surgery in one of our offices to make sure that everything is O.K., and that you are healing as planned. Multiple visits in the year after the procedure will ensure the best outcome possible.

Related Articles:

Trade a Keg for a Sick Pack
“Have you ever stood in front of a mirror wishing you had a six-pack abdomen and sucked your tummy in? Even talked funny while doing that? Well – read on!”

For more information about this procedure call our office and speak to our friendly staff member at 703-206-0506.

Information on this web site is for information only. Do not use the information to diagnose or treat your plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery problems. Please contact your plastic surgeon with all questions and concerns.

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