Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Ask the Expert

Exposing Your Abs

The Truth About Abdominal Etching and Hi-Def Lipo

With nearly 20 years of experience as a board certified plastic surgeon under my belt, I’ve witnessed, and have been part of, the evolution of my specialty. In general, there has been a momentum shift towards minimally invasive, and non-surgical procedures. Moreover, there have been significant improvements on the surgical side as well. Notably liposuction techniques have improved tremendously. Our ability to remove more than ninety percent of fat from certain areas without leaving contour deformities (uneven or wrinkled skin) is unprecedented. I will shed some light on two techniques that are the latest rave in the industry, Hi-Def Lipo, and Abdominal Etching.

Hi-def lipo stands for high definition. This is the most aggressive type of liposuction out there. The goal is to remove as much fat as possible and is achieved by suctioning very close to the skin, and all the way down to the muscle layer. Often some type of energy is used (LASER or Ultrasonic) to achieve the best outcome. As the fat layer is thinned, it mimics the endless dieting that most people with visible abs live with. The results is a permanent reduction of fat cells in the area exposing the underlying muscles. Since our fat cells are permanent once they are removed they do not return. So if a person gains weight after lipo they tend to store the fat in fat cells found in other parts of the body. Hence the false assumption that lipo makes you get fat in other areas. The reality is that if you keep your weight, you will keep your results. I prefer to do this procedure on men’s abdomens. When it is performed on women, they can get a masculine appearance, but then again, some women like that look. The downside is that it is aggressive lipo, so the recovery is longer, and it’s not inexpensive. And going cheap on this can leave you horribly scarred for life.

Abdominal etching is a more modest lipo, with emphasis on the natural “cuts” created by the abdominal muscles. I really love this procedure to highlight the abdominal area of fit women. There is nothing worse than spending hours in the gym and not seeing results. Again, the culprit is the diet. All it takes is an extra glass of wine, or the occasional bagel, for all that hard work to be covered by a small layer of fat, effectively obscuring all the effort. By creating the “cuts” in the fat layer, they become permanent. So even if the 10 pounds come on during the holiday season, the “cuts” are still there. The etching is usually combined with lipo of the waist, and/or back.

Ideal candidates for these procedures are people in good shape that want to look their best. Overweight, or obese people are not good candidates. Most women that have had children have too much skin laxity, but I’ve been surprised.

When you see all these perfect bodies on IG, remember that many have had a little help from me, or my colleagues. So if you want to show off those hard earned abs, and don’t want to be a diet slave, look into these new procedures, but please choose your sculptor wisely.


An International, multilingual Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Jose Soler-Baillo brings to South Florida a refreshing, modern approach to Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Soler-Baillo earned his Medical Degree at the prestigious Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, trained in General Surgery at the Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, and received extensive training in Plastic Surgery in Miami, New York, and Texas. Dr. Soler-Baillo is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For more information please visit, resultsmd.com, email info@soler-baillo.com, or call 786.661.3491.

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