The Surgeon Minute

Scarless Abs Are a Reality

Scarless Abs Are a Reality

The abdomen is probably the number one problem area for most men when it comes to the body. Even super fit men who work out regularly at the gym may have some abdominal fat that is simply resistant to diet and exercise alone. If it can’t be done in the gym or kitchen, liposuction is the ideal procedure for getting rid of this fat.

Furthermore, abdominal etching is all the rage these days for really making those abdominal muscles pop. However, obtaining the abs of your dreams has always come with a downside — scars. That is, until now. Dr. Douglas Steinbrech of New York, NY discusses the scarless abs procedure and why he feels that we’re just now entering the golden age with men’s plastic surgery.

Scarless Abs Are a Reality

“Scarless abs are the best new development that we’ve had come along,” explains Dr. Steinbrech. He started doing liposuction with abdominal etching about 10 years ago. The way that surgeons were doing it then was to mark the abdomen with a series of small incisions stacked in a vertical line on each side with possibly 2-3 in the middle. This pattern was necessitated by the fact that the cannulas used to remove the fat were straight. The end result was basically a tic, tac toe pattern.

He sees this kind of thing all the time on Instagram with surgeons boasting about their abdominal etching results, but they never show how the patient looks post-operatively. This is because all of those incisions leave noticeable scars that look “very surgical because they’re going to be in a line,” explains Dr. Steinbrech.

Nice Male Abs

New Cannulas Allow for Natural-Looking Abdominal Etching

In order to avoid this unnatural look, Dr. Steinbrech developed new, shaped cannulas that turn, zigzag and even form a U. In his scarless abs procedure, he first removes the bad fat underneath your fascia and against the muscle using power assisted liposuction. Then, he goes back in with his special cannulas and etches the abs.

The shaped cannulas allow him to place the incisions low on the abdomen where they can be hidden in underwear or a speedo, in your belly button, or on the nipple.  This still gives him access to work both side to side on the obliques as well as up and down. Best of all, it leaves no visible scars. This is especially important as people today are starting to look for these tell tale scars on Instagram and social media. With the scarless abs procedure, they won’t see a thing.

Ab Etching Before and After Steinbrech

The Golden Age for Men’s Plastic Surgery

“Technology has always been lagging a little bit, particularly in the desires and needs of men’s plastic surgery,” explains Dr. Steinbrech.  For women, “a lot has been discovered and done and redone and renamed, but for men’s plastic surgery, we’re kind of in the 1950’s or 1960’s, which I think is really exciting.”

Patients will ask him: ‘Can you really make my forearms bigger?’ There is no textbook explaining how, so he and his peers get to just figure it out.  “We’re moving into the golden age for men’s plastic surgery, particularly men’s body contouring,” Steinbrech shares.

Scarless Abs & the Gym Go Hand in Hand 

The best candidate for a scarless abs procedure is someone who simply wants a more defined, chiseled look to his abs. Ideally, the patient should already go to the gym and be in good shape as the procedure and a healthful lifestyle truly compliment each other. “Most of my patients are in very tip top shape,” he explains. They already go to the gym, so the procedure simply kicks their results up to the next level. Some patients will also use the scarless abs procedure to get rid of the “cave man fat” which won’t budge no matter how much time they spend working out.

Scarless Abs Procedure Recovery

“After surgery, we want people to relax,” says Dr. Steinbrech. He wants his patients to go heavy on the carbs and heavy on the protein. Ideally, your post op diet should have triple the carbs and double the protein. This is counter intuitive for many patients as they often want to go “cold turkey,” starving themselves to get the best results. “Worst idea ever,” explains Dr. Steinbrech. One thing he’s learned throughout his many years in plastic surgery is that “post-operative nutrition is so important.”

Patients need to ramp up their carbs and protein in order to: 

  • maintain those beautiful fat cells that were transferred into the shoulders and the chest
  • keep the immune system functioning at optimum levels to reduce the risk of infection
  • make certain that you heal well so that there are no issues with fluid collection

For gym rats who are eager to get back to the endorphin high of lifting, Dr. Steinbrech’s advice is: “Cool your jets because your body has to recover.” After a couple of weeks, he allows his patients to return to the gym and work a non-related body part. So, no core work and no aerobic work until everything is fully healed. It’s really a small price to pay for world class abs. 

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