Triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Henry Mentz of Houston invented the Abdominal Etching (or Ab Etch) liposuction technique in 1992 to create more visible muscular definition in the male torso. Also referred to as the “washboard abs” look, the procedure is designed for men who are relatively fit but desire a leaner, chiseled abdominal appearance. Dr. Mentz invented both Ab Etch and Pec Etch and is considered a world authority on the specialized liposuction technique. Since its introduction, Abdominal Etching has garnered international acclaim as Dr. Mentz has presented the technique to plastic surgeons around the globe and teaches a popular course on the specialized lipocontouring technique at the respected American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery annual meeting.
"Dr. Mentz is nothing short of a magician. I went to him for an abdominoplasty in November of 2015 and his work has been life changing. His "bedside manner" is equal to his skill. I did not, for one moment, feel spoken down to or intimidated by his brilliance. He was kind, professional and has a great sense of humor. This man is an artist."- J.R. / Facebook / Aug 16, 2017
"Love Dr. Mentz and his staff! He does amazing work! He’s the very best!"- J.S. / Facebook / Sep 26, 2018
"Full Facelift - I have to give Dr Mentz 5 stars and would give him and his staff more if there were more stars. I interview 5 other plastic surgeons before deciding on Dr M. I’m 6 weeks out from a full facelift. I had no pain at all after surgery...he didn’t tell me about that!! My experience from my first visit, AnaLisa, to the day of surgery, the surgical staff, Dr. Vo, the visiting nurses, Wendy, fol..."- B. / RealSelf / May 10, 2018
"Wonderful experience! - Dr. Mentz is awesome as well as the office staff. Upon my first encounter with him he was very kind, patient and very knowledgeable. I had a BBL and I couldn’t be more happy with the results! I’m 3 weeks post-op no complications and I’ve received numerous compliments on my new body. My entire experience from beginning to now has been wonderful. I am so grateful I chose Dr. Mentz! He excee..."- A. / RealSelf / May 01, 2018
"Great Doctor, Explains everything in detail."- J.L. / Yelp / Mar 06, 2018
Prior to the surgical procedure, Dr. Mentz makes detailed markings of the patient’s flexed abdominal muscles. 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 the underlying muscles to define their contours. In the first part of the operation, a thin, hollow tube called a cannula is used to thin the abdominal fat pad in order to unveil the underlying muscles. Then, following the markings he has made, Dr. Mentz outlines the rectus muscles and the linea alba, the line which runs down the center of the abdomen. Dr. Mentz uses a PAL technique for his Abdominal Etching patients.
Following your procedure, you will be fitted with a compression garment to reduce bruising and swelling. Most bruising and swelling diminishes within two weeks. If you live within 20 miles of our facility, a plastic surgery nurse will visit to monitor your recovery, change any dressings, assist you with your medication, and provide Dr. Mentz with an update on your condition. Most patients can return to work within 1 week after surgery and resume exercise in 3 weeks.
Multiple procedures will reduce the costs for anesthesia and facility time. Please be aware that the prices listed below are for an estimate of fees only and that you will need a consultation to confirm any pricing.
Aesthetic Surgery JournalAbdominal Etching: Past and Present
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $12,000 - $16,000
- Recovery Time
- 4-6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
- Procedure Recovery Location
Ab Etching FAQs?
With Pec Etch?
Because half of all Abdominal Etching patients also have softness and fullness in the breast region, Dr. Mentz frequently combines Abdominal Etching with a gynecomastia procedure to reduce breast size and Pectoral Etching to reveal pectoralis muscle definition in the chest. Abdominal Etching is similar to Pectoral Etching in that the underlying muscles of the abdomen are outlined to reveal the contours of the muscles that create the look of “washboard abs.”
Once the procedure is complete, adhesive foam tape is placed on the abdomen to reduce swelling and provide earlier definition of the etched areas. Most incisions are hidden in the natural body creases and leave very small scars. Abdominal Etching is a performed in 1-2 hours as an outpatient procedure.
Modified Ab Etch?
Dr. Mentz developed a modified Abdominal Etching method for men who have higher body fat levels above 20%. For body builders, the transverse inscriptions are also etched, as part of a full Abdominal Etching procedure. In the modified technique, the transverse inscriptions are not outlined.