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Abdominal etching is a surgery that can remove fat and help improve the definition of your abs. It can be performed after a tummy tuck, or at the same time as liposuction. This surgery is best for people who already have well-defined abdominal muscles, but are still struggling with that last bit of belly fat. It is not recommended for people who still have a great deal of weight to lose, or who do not have well-developed abdominal muscles.

The surgery usually lasts about an hour, and can be performed on an outpatient basis at a Walnut Creek area surgical center. Some doctors prefer to use general anesthesia, while others prefer local anesthesia. The doctor will first trace the lines of the abdomen with pen to create a guide. Then, several small incisions are made around the navel. Liposuction procedures are used to remove excess fat along the lines of the muscles in the abdomen to increase definition. There may or may not be sutures on the incision sites.

As with any surgery, there are risks to abdominal sculpting. Risks include infection, scarring, bleeding, swelling and nerve damage. If the fat is not removed correctly, there is a possibility of uneven results, but finding a highly qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon limits these risks.

Recovery does take some time. You will be instructed to wear special compression garments for several weeks. These control swelling, and help shape your belly. During recovery, you will experience some mild pain, swelling and bruising. Most people are able to go back to work about a week after surgery. For the first week or two, take it easy. Avoid lifting and any other strenuous activity.