Body Contouring Abdominal Etching Procedure At The Maercks Institute

Rian A. Maercks, M.D., P.A., American Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, is an artist and a leading aesthetic, craniofacial, and reconstructive plastic surgeon, based in Miami, Florida. His private practice, The Maercks Institute, is located in the beautiful Design District and is fully equipped with a tastefully designed office and an AAAHC qualified operating room. Dr. Maercks has spoken on many panels and given numerous lectures, domestically and internationally, regarding his unique breast augmentation procedure, which has brought in a large number of patients from all over the world. Haute Beauty expert Dr. Maercks discusses abdominal etching as an excellent option to sculpt the abdomen in order to make the six-pack area more prominent.

abdominal etchingPhoto Credit: ShutterstockHow abdominal etching works

Abdominal etching, also known as “six-pack lipocontouring” or “lipo etching,” is a body contouring procedure that not only removes fat but also sculpts the abdomen in order to make the six-pack area more prominent. This procedure essentially carves away fat in a strategic manner to deepen the natural grooves of the abdominal wall via small incisions (typically placed around the navel). To further contour the body, fat can also be removed from the sides to slim and tone the midsection. This procedure is ideal for those who keep a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and already have a fairly muscular stomach.

Abdominal etching procedure details

Avoid taking any blood-thinning medications for two weeks before your body contouring abdominal etching procedure, and stop smoking for two months prior. Be sure to arrange a ride home from your appointment. Before the procedure begins, your abdomen will be marked to help guide Dr. Maercks.

These incisions are very carefully made and placed so that even if a scar forms, it will be barely visible once healed. As the liposuction process removes the fat that’s covering the abdominal muscles, Dr. Maercks will use a specialized cannula to remove fat along the abdominal muscle lines in order to reveal the natural six-pack underneath. Once the procedure is complete, the incisions are closed and the patient is wrapped with a compression garment. The procedure takes 1 to 3 hours.

abdominal etchingPhoto Credit: Courtesy of Dr. MaercksGood candidates for abdominal etching

The best candidates for abdominal etching are those who:

• Are having trouble achieving the six-pack they want
• Are athletic, exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet
• Already have pronounced abdominal muscles
• Are less than 30% over their ideal body weight
• Have healthy muscle and skin tone
• Are non-smokers
• Have realistic expectations for what abdominal etching can accomplish


The majority of abdominal etching patients are able to return to work one week following the procedure; however, they must wear the compression garment for 4 to 6 weeks. Abdominal etching doesn’t affect the muscle layers, but there may be some bruising and swelling, and/or discomfort. It is recommended that you avoid exercise altogether for five days, and avoid high-intensity exercise for one month. Other side effects may include skin discoloration, bumpy skin, irregular healing, fluid accumulation, headaches, nerve and blood vessel damage, and/or discharge coming from the incisions. If the pus is green or yellow, or if you develop a fever, please contact our office.


It usually takes 3 to 6 months for final results from this body sculpting procedure to become apparent. As the swelling subsides, your new six-pack will become more and more visible, and as you continue your regular diet and exercise regimen, your body will conform to your new shape. As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle, your abdominal etching results will be long-lasting.

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