|Pain Level After Surgery||Mild to Moderate|
|Duration of Surgery||1-2 hour|
|Scars||minimal scars around the abdomen|
|Final Results||6-12 months|
|Return to regular activity||2 weeks|
|Resume Exercise||4-6 weeks|
Wouldn’t it be nice to go to the gym or the beach and show off a nice chiseled abdomen even if the endless hours at the gym have not paid off? For patients who diet and exercise, have good skin and muscle tone, but have a few extra pounds in the abdomen that are stubborn, a six-pack abdomen, or abdominal etching, may be the answer.
Abdominal etching is one of the specialty liposuction procedures where we can create a nicely sculpted abdomen. For the appropriate patient, treatment takes place in an hour with liposuction and no implants are needed. Most patients who chose abdominal etching are thrilled with their results.
We believe a well-prepared patient leads to a successful surgery and recovery. Whether you are flying in from an international location or a local resident, our staff strives to give you a great experience. During your initial call to our office, one of our patient care coordinators will discuss the different options available to improve the areas of your concern. A consultation is scheduled with the doctor who best fits your personal situation. The doctor will review your medical history, spend the appropriate time to review all surgical and non-surgical options, and discuss whether surgery can be performed in-office under local sedation or at the hospital under general anesthesia. In sharing our before and after photos, you get a better sense of the quality of surgery our doctors offer and what outcome you can expect to achieve. We will review pre- and post-operative care so you can be prepared for what your role is in surgery. Safety is our top priority, so we will ask you to see your primary care physician to perform a physical exam, lab work and, in some patients, an EKG or Mammogram 30 days prior to surgery. You will also be asked to stop smoking two weeks prior to and post-surgery. Next, we see you for a pre-op appointment two weeks prior to surgery to discuss any questions you may have and review surgery details, ensuring everyone is on the same page. You will then receive a courtesy call the evening before surgery to review instructions and any questions you may have.
The procedure is relatively simple and straightforward. A patient, who is deemed a good candidate for this procedure, is given antibiotics, and anesthetized in the operating room. The abdomen is injected with tumescent solution to give some pain relief and decrease the bleeding during surgery. Then small incisions are made around the abdomen and liposuction is performed to accentuate the “ripples” of the abdominal muscles. When sufficient fat is removed, and the appropriate contours are achieved, the incisions are closed and the patient is awakened. A word of caution is that this procedure will create temporary swelling and bruising in the pubic area that resolves in about a week. The results when the healing is complete, which usually takes six months to a year, look very natural and fit.
Our office will provide a comprehensive post-operative plan to ensure the best possible outcome. The plan will include what to expect postoperatively, such as estimated recovery time, pain management, garments or dressings, and anticipated activity level. For your safety, we require that an adult stay with you at least the first 24 hours after surgery and drives you to your next day follow-up visit. With most body procedures, you will be instructed to limit activity for the first week or two, which could include restrictions on driving, prolonged travel, and flying. In addition, we ask you refrain from exercise until cleared by the physician, usually around four weeks post-op. You are asked to refrain from smoking for a minimum of two weeks. To optimize healing, we recommend that you eat a high protein diet. You should anticipate a variable degree of bruising and swelling, as with any surgical procedure. We also offer scar creams at an additional cost to optimize results.
To promote healing and minimize complications, you will be seen in a series of post-op appointments, including the day after surgery. These appointments will continue throughout the first year after the procedure to make sure you are healing as planned. For your added convenience, you also have direct access to Dr. Bitar’s and Dr. Lickstein’s cell phone numbers if you need to reach your physician after hours. The final post-op visit, one year after surgery, is one of our favorites since the results are fully apparent and we love seeing our patients happy. You are always welcome to come back and see us, even years after your surgery.
At the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, we take pride in providing our patients with the best surgical experience possible, emphasizing patient safety while trying to optimize surgical results. This is a process that includes comprehensive pre-operative preparation and patient education, the development of a personalized operative plan, and a thoughtful post-operative care regimen emphasizing patient comfort and promoting recovery.
There are a number of strategies that the Institute has adapted to further ensure patient safety. We are selective and only offer surgery to patients whose general health and lifestyle choices permit healing and facilitate recovery. To minimize risk, we require a preoperative assessment that includes a thoughtful history and physical exam, as well as targeted laboratory tests.
We operate at accredited hospitals and surgicenters that have demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of care, employing board-certified anesthesiologists and nurses. We adhere to well established surgical principles designed to ensure patient safety and have developed policies and protocols to minimize the risk of infection. Our surgeons are committed to continuing education, honing their skills and introducing new techniques always with the aim of improving safety and surgical results.
We emphasize patient safety in our peri-operative care plan, advocating early mobilization, optimizing nutrition, and providing detailed care instructions. After surgery, patients are seen in our office frequently and early, starting the day after their procedure, and a staff member is available around the clock for any questions or concerns. Our entire team is committed to our patients’ well being and every measure is designed to minimize potential complications, promote comfortable and rapid recovery, and optimize surgical results.
Our commitment to excellence and exceptional patient care is in every step of your doctor-patient experience. Dr. George Bitar and Dr. Larry Lickstein are distinguished board certified plastic surgeons, with over 30 years of combined experience, who exclusively perform cosmetic surgery. Our doctors stay on the cutting edge of advancements in cosmetic surgery and technology to offer the best possible results. With a blend of artistry and meticulous surgical technique, they are able to achieve beautiful and natural results for our patients. We provide a high level of patient safety and our experienced and caring staff will be with you every step of the way. Our institute offers a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical options, from skincare, injectables and lasers to in-office or hospital options, to provide a versatile approach to fit individual patient needs. Your aesthetic goals are our priority and each procedure is customized to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
For more information, call our office at 703-206-0506.
Content on this website is for information only and should not be used to diagnose or treat your plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery problems. Please contact your plastic surgeon with all questions and concerns.
Written and reviewed by Dr. George Bitar and Dr. Larry Lickstein.
Dr. Bitar is an award-winning and fellowship-trained Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. He obtained his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, where he now serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor. He finished a general surgery residency at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and his plastic surgery residency was completed at the University of Virginia Plastic Surgery Program. Dr. Bitar was included in the book “The 100 Most Influential Lebanese around the Globe”. Learn more about Dr. Bitar.
Dr. Lickstein is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with over 19 years of experience in plastic surgery. He is a graduate of Princeton University and New York University School of Medicine. He completed his surgical residency at Harvard Medical School, which culminated in being named chief resident in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Lickstein sits on the board of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Committee for Patient Safety and is a national trainer for Galderma, one of the leading injectable companies. Learn more about Dr. Lickstein.