Semin Plast Surg 2002; 16(2): 163-174
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-32256
Copyright © 2002 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662

Is There an Abdominal Lipoplasty for All Seasons?

Mark D. Gilliland
  • Department of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
17 June 2002 (online)


The goal of traditional liposuction is to create a smooth, flatter abdomen by leaving a 1-cm thickness of superficial fat. A certain degree of undercorrection is advocated to avoid irregularities. The success of this procedure is evident because 70 to 80% of abdominal deformities are treated by liposuction alone. However, traditional liposuction may be suboptimal in physically fit patients because this uniform thickness obliterates subtle muscular undulations. Athletic individuals work hard to create muscular definition and frequently feel these muscles are smothered in fat. Abdominal liposculpture (abdominal etching and modified abdominal etching) offer an alternative treatment with vertical and horizontal detailing of abdominal muscles to enhance natural ridges and indentations. This article reviews the indications, techniques available, results, and potential pitfalls in optimizing lipoplasty of the abdomen.