American actor and heartthrob, Ryan Gosling, compared his muscles to pets. Like pets, Gosling said, they must be constantly taken care of, or they will run away. Sometimes, though, even someone who takes careful care of those “pets” doesn’t get to show them off. Even someone who works out regularly might not have what are colloquially referred to as six pack abs. More frustratingly for those who diligently work out daily. even when someone does have six pack abs, they might not be visible to others. Some workout habits that might keep someone’s six pack abs from being visible are: doing abdominal workouts too often, doing crunches too often, doing a weightlifting regimen without gradually increasing levels of weight, changing one’s diet too often, lack of diversity in one’s abdominal training regimen, and having a layer of body fat covering one’s abdominal wall. Though most of those difficulties can only be altered if someone changes his or her workout habits, the last one now has a surgical solution.
Abdominal etching is a surgical procedure that involves using liposuction to remove fat from specific parts of the abdomen. First, the surgeon draws on the patient’s abdomen to clearly demarcate where the abdominal muscles are located. The surgeon then pinches the patient’s pectorals and abdomen, taking a rough measurement of how much fat is covering the area. The surgeon marks incision areas and performs the liposuction while the patient is under general anesthesia. After surgery, adhesive strips covered with elastic bandages are placed over the etched area. They should be worn for five to seven days. This surgery is only effective for someone who already has six pack abs, since abdominal etching reveals preexisting muscle mass by removing the layer of body fat covering the abdominal wall.
Raweewat “Sae” Maschamadol is the CEO of Masterpiece Hospital, a Thai hospital where abdominal etching procedures are regularly performed. Maschamadol says that, in the roughly four years since the hospital has started offering that procedure, Masterpiece has performed twenty to thirty abdominal etchings per month. He says the two to four hour surgery isn’t painful or dangerous, and it won’t require repairs, like an implant. However, the patient should carefully follow the surgeon’s instructions for post-operative self-care: Wear compression garments for a few weeks after surgery and exercise four times a week for forty minutes each time to prevent the fat from returning.
The man who brought attention to Masterpiece Hospital’s work is Thai male model, Ome Pangpaparn, who shared his post abdominal etching surgery photos on his social media account. This isn’t Pangpaparn’s first cosmetic enhancement surgery. He considers getting cosmetic enhancement one of the most reliable ways to stay competitive in his chosen profession. This surgery was for personal pleasure. Like many of Maschamadol’s patients—roughly ninety percent, the CEO estimates— Pangpaparn works out regularly. Now everyone who sees him will know that. Pangpaparn told TheOddityCentral, “I am confident that [this surgery] will bring me more happiness.”