Can Abdominal and Pectoral Etching Be Done At The Same Time As Abdominal Liposuction and Gynecomastia Reduction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff online regarding abdominal and pectoral etching that brings out the corresponding muscles.  Is this something you can do along with the liposuction/gynecomastia procedure I am undergoing?  Thanks.

A: Pectoral and abdominal liposculpture (to be differentiated from volumetric liposuction reduction) are fine cannula liposuction techniques that can be done as a stand alone procedure or combined with overall chest and abdominal liposuction. They are designed to try and highlight the natural underlying musculature which everyone has. In the abdomen it is known as etching where linear liposuction is done along the linea alba vertically and horizontally along the tendinous inscription lines to hopefully create more of a six- or eight-pack look. In the chest, the lateral pectoral triangle is aggressively reduced along the lateral pectoral muscle border up into the axilla as well as fat injections done into the lower pectoral muscle border hopefully creating a more defined pectoral outline. The success of these manuevers is highly dependent on the patient’s natural fat anatomy and work best in individuals that are already somewhat thinner.

What done as a stand alone procedure in already thin patients who do not require much volume reduction, they produce the best results. When done as part of an overall gynecomastia and abdominal reduction in someone who is not heavy or grossly overweight (you) usually modest definition is achieved. In  heavier patients or patients with thicker abdominal fat and fuller gynecomastia problems, these are not good techniques as the results will simply not be very visible.

In short, these liposculpture techniques can be applied at the time of your gynecomastia and abdomninal liposuction procedure. They add a little more time to the procedure as they involve etching manuevers after the gross fat removal is done. They key about them is that patients need to have realistic expectations as how visible the muscular outlines will be and that it usually takes up to 3 months to see the fine details of the result.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana