Dr. Henry Mentz developed Abdominal Etching – a groundbreaking liposuction technique for sculpting six-pack abs in 1993 at his Houston plastic surgery practice. Since that time he has continued to refine and improve his approach for even better results. Today, triple board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Mentz remains the undisputed global leader in Abdominal Etching, regularly presenting around the world on the latest safety measures and surgical techniques. Originally developed for body builders, now the Abdominal Etching is performed for both men and women seeking more defined stomach muscles. The procedure is particularly popular with men who are struggling to achieve the desirable “washboard abs” with exercise alone.
Full Abdominal Etch
The full Ab Etch is for patients whose six-pack can be felt but not seen. These patients have developed and strengthened their abdominal muscles, but they are unable to get the chiseled appearance due to their genetic disposition for fat storage. If a patient is a good candidate for the full Abdominal Etch procedure, Dr. Mentz can clearly discern the individual muscle ridges. These patients also have an overall muscular appearance to their arms, legs and abdomen, so a defined abdomen would be in harmony with the rest of the body.
Modified Abdominal Etch
Dr. Mentz developed a modified Abdominal Etching method for men who have higher body fat levels (above 20%). Dr. Mentz’s approach to Abdominal Etching is to create a more masculine, muscular appearance to the abdomen, but above all, he wants the results to be balanced with the rest of the body. For some patients, the Modified Ab Etch is the most appropriate procedure. This technique is for men that have not strengthened their abdominal muscles. These patients usually have softer contours to their arms and legs and a higher overall body fat percentage.
Abdominal Etching® Reviews
"Yes, It's Scary! But my Tummy is Gone and I Look Amazing! - Houston, TX - Dr. Mentz has been wonderful. He gave me full confidence in the look I wanted and in his ability to deliver. I'm on the road to recovery now and can't wait to show off my figure! - - I'm 51, 2 C-Sections and a lot of pounds ago! I had a TT, lipo of flanks, implants REMOVED and breast contoured. Even having the surgery so recently (3/22), I look amazing! Recovery is important. Take it seriously. Yes, it's boring! That's ok! Take it easy anyway. Don't do too much too soon - don't stress about getting life back to "normal"! I'm looking forward to the next few weeks and seeing the tape and bruising go away and being able to show off my new fab figure!"- C. / RealSelf / Apr 03, 2016
"This review is long overdue. I had liposuction with Dr. Mentz back in 2005. I had succumbed to a rather unhealthy lifestyle and it was catching up to me. I was tipping the scales at nearly 200 lbs and it looked terrible on my 5'5" frame. What is worse is that I used to be a gymnast and had worked hard to produce a physique in my younger years I could be proud of. So I was pretty disgusted with myself. When I met Dr. Mentz he was understanding and helpful in creating a surgical plan I could be happy with. I wanted lipo with ab etching (a process that removes fat from in between the abdominal muscles, and he suggested a few other things like pectoral etching and removing some of the fat under my chin. When it was over I felt like I had been run over by a truck (got to be honest) but over the next few weeks when the swelling went down, I began to see the effects of the surgery. Now 9 yrs later I can still see my abs and most people guess me at between 10-15 yrs younger than my 52 yrs. My surgery motivated me to eat better and I lost a lot of weight as well getting down to about 155 at my lowest with a waist 2" smaller than when I was in high school. I couldn't be happier with my decision to get the surgery...and even happier with my choice of surgeons. BTW I flew into Houston from Nevada because Dr. Mentz was a pioneer in the surgery I was looking for. Very few things I can say I am 100% happy with but this is definitely one of them! "- M.B. / Google / Apr 29, 2014
"Best Surgeon in USA - Triple Board Certified - Dr. Mentz - Amazing Surgeon and Staff. I did my research and homework, and Dr. Mentz is the most well published and credentialed plastic surgeon in the United States. I demand safety, experience and board certification, and I was willing to pay a little more for the best doctor. After I had my liposuction, I recovered in about 3-4 days. Within a week, I could see the fantastic results of my flat tummy and ab muscles. Also, from my research, I found that he was the most experienced in the world with Abdominal Etching. Thus, I was glad to have my stomach turned super youthful again and my breasts taken from a size A to a Full C Lovin It Although the wait seemed long and was nearly 8 weeks to have the surgery scheduled, it was worth it. My friends are so jealous and my husband is beaming with pride... Sometimes we have to wait for the best, and I didn't want to settle for less. Sure, I could have got a cheaper surgery, but Dr. Mentz's track surgery record for 20+ years was impeccable and clean as a whistle. I do know that the other cheaper doctors who were NOT triple board certified tried to offer me discounts and get me into surgery the next day. However, I asked around town before making this important decision and the overwhelming consensus was that Dr. Mentz is the best. I am so glad that I went with Dr. Mentz. Furthermore, there are many rumors that people from Hollywood, London, New York and all over the world fly in to see him because of his top reputation for facelifts and abdominal etching. I feel like a member of a secret society :) I generally don't write recommendations, but the success and results were so wonderful that I could not resist. If you dont believe me, go to Dr. Mentz's websites to read &review photos WOW Overall, I give Dr. Mentz a 10 out of 10 because of his safety, professionalism, super staff, bedside manner, and he even looks like Brad Pitt which is an extra treat for the ladies. All the Best, PrissyPros: Triple Board Certified, Super Safe, ProfessionalismCons: Waiting list because of strong demand for his services"- P. / Judy's Book / Aug 31, 2007
"World Recognized Cosmetic Surgeon - Dr. Mentz is board certified in several areas. After checking with the authorities, it appears that he was the first in the United States to achieve all of these board certifications. I called to confirm his credentials and he has the most impressive resume and track record of experience. By reading his website and some of Dr. Mentz's Journal articles, I soon learned that Dr. Mentz is also the inventor of Abdominal Etching and an inventor of some modified Facelift techniques. Thus, he has the most up to date experience. When I had my facelift and my liposuction, I was certain that I wanted a Board Certified surgeon with ENT and facial surgery experience. Well, much to my suprise, Dr. Mentz is an ENT Plastic Surgeon, which made me feel very safe. Anyway, after researching online with Lexis Nexis and investigating Dr. Mentz's background, it appears that he holds all of the credentials, board certifications, and licenses that they say to check for It was my patience, diligence, and research that allowed me to make the decision to go with the best and safest surgeon. The end result is that I achieved my objectives, and have the look that I wanted. Now, I receive compliments almost every day and people don't know exactly what I did. It's my little secret.. Dr. Mentz's staff and patient coordinators really held my hand through the whole thing and provided the comfort and VIP service that I deserved. I can't say enough about the kindness, professionalism, and safety standards of Dr. Mentz and his team.Pros: The Most Board CertificationsCons: Could make a better Latte for me next time."- I. / Judy's Book / Sep 02, 2007
"Best Ab Etch - Abdominal Etching. I had a great experience with Dr. Mentz and his office. I arranged my trip through his office, flew in, saw Dr. Mentz and the next day had my Ab Etch, had a nurse stay with me in the hotel and left 3 days later with the six pack that I never had. It took about 4 weeks before jogging was comfortable, but weight lifting was OK in three days(Dr. Mentz said to wait 2 week though). If you have always been built but short of a six pack, wait no longer. Several of my friends are planning to do the same. There are local plastic surgeons here but their work is not comparable."- A. / Judy's Book / Jul 13, 2008
Dr. Mentz performs both modified and full Abdominal Etching as an outpatient surgery in an accredited surgical facility with the patient under general anesthesia. The modified procedure etches in the midline linea alba and the outline of the rectus muscle. For the full procedure, Dr. Mentz also etches in transverse inscriptions and horizontal lines for the full six-pack effect. During the 1-2 hour surgery, Dr. Mentz will make one or more tiny incisions, through which he will insert a small hollow tube (cannula) to suction fat. Dr. Mentz generally uses liposculpture techniques to emulsify and remove fat, but may also use Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) to achieve more dramatic etching.
You may experience moderate to minimal pain, but most patients can return to work within 5-7 days and resume exercise within 3 weeks. Most of the incisions are hidden in the body’s natural creases, which means very small scars that are difficult to see. Following the procedure, you will be fitted with a compression garment to reduce bruising and swelling. Most bruising and swelling diminishes within 2 weeks. Additionally, all of Dr. Mentz’s surgical patients receive a post-operative therapeutic massage, which uses a combination of lymphatic and Swedish massage techniques to relax you and stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps to reduce bruising, swelling, and numbness. It is important for patients to get massages early and often following their surgery to promote the healing process and enhance the surgical results.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $12,000 - $16,000
- Recovery Time
- 4-6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
- Procedure Recovery Location
Ab Etch FAQs
To be a good candidate for the surgery, you should be within a normal weight range with isolated pockets of fat. Patients who exercise on a regular basis and/or have excellent skin tone will see faster results than those with softer contours.
Full or Modified Ab Etch?
To determine whether a patient is a candidate for the full etch or modified etch, Dr. Mentz will feel the abdomen for muscle divisions.
“If the individual muscle ridges aren’t there, I cannot perform a full etch,” Dr. Mentz says. “I don’t like to artificially make a six-pack because the results will look unnatural, and the patient won’t be able to maintain the results.”
Dr. Mentz utilizes the MicroAire PAL technique for his Abdominal Etching patients. During the procedure, both the waist and abdomen are recontoured through a two-fold process: after thinning the abdominal fat pad, fat is selectively removed from the underlying muscles to define their contours.
With Pec Etching?
Because a majority of Abdominal Etching patients also have softness and fullness in the breast area, Dr. Mentz may combine Abdominal Etching with a gynecomastia surgery to reduce breast size and/or Pectoral Etching to outline the pectoralis muscle definition in the chest.