Abdominal Etching

Research paper by Robert A. Ersek, A.V. Salisbury

Indexed on: 01 Sep '97Published on: 01 Sep '97Published in: Aesthetic Plastic Surgery


The development of blunt liposuction by Illouz [1] in 1978 ushered in a new era in body sculpting. For the first time it had become possible to dependably remove large amounts of subcutaneous fat and decrease saddlebags and bulges to provide a smoother contour. Refinements in liposuction techniques have made it possible to dramatically resculpt the subsurface plane and improve body contour virtually from head to toe [2–4]. Mark Gilliland first performed abdominal etching by removing specific grooves of subcutaneous fat to accentuate the appearance of the abdominal musculature [5–8]. We have developed a new cannula for precision etching. This technique has been used in 25 patients with good results and has resulted in only one complication, which was the result of placing one of the horizontal etching lines at the level of the umbilicus. This created an unseemly fold that is best avoided.