Liposculpture is a variation of liposuction that creates the illusion of defined musculature. Liposculpture is commonly performed on the stomach and is referred to as abdominal etching. This procedure can also be used to define the chest, calves, arms, thighs—wherever there are fatty deposits that are concealing body contours.

Liposculpture Overview - Everything You Need to Know

The Skinny

avg. recovery
1 weeks
Minor Surgical Procedure
$1400 - $9500

About the Procedure

Last Updated: 08.02.2021

Traditional liposuction procedures have the goal of removing as much adipose tissue as possible to reveal a slimmer body. Liposculpture differs from liposuction in that some fat is left in the treatment areas to create the illusion of defined muscles. This procedure is commonly performed on patients who are close to their ideal bodyweight but have some stubborn areas, typically on their stomach and chest, and desire a more contoured physique. Liposculpture is typically combined with fat grafting procedures to enhance results. Depending on the individual patient, different methods of energy assisted liposuction are used to obtain the desired result. Ultrasound or laser assisted liposuction can help to create the appearance of chiseled abdominal muscles by melting away precise “cuts” in the fatty tissue. If the patient is also undergoing fat transfer, a water jet assisted liposuction procedure may be performed to collect enough tissue for grafting. The method of liposuction used during liposculpture is not as important as the skill and technique of the surgeon to know how much fat to keep or suction away for best results.

The goal of liposculpture is to achieve the illusion of a more muscular appearance by selectively removing fatty tissue.

Recovery Notes

Depending on the extent of the liposculpture procedure, some patients are able to return to normal activity 24-48 hours after the procedure. Residual swelling from a liposculpture procedure can last between 4-6 weeks or longer with full effects expected 6-12 months postoperatively.

Ideal Candidate

Ideal candidates for liposculpture are close to their ideal weight with an already well-toned body. Liposculpture is best suited for patients who want to reveal current muscle tone since the procedure aims to only remove precise lines of fat for more definition.

Not Recommended For

Liposculpture is not recommended for patients with an unstable weight.

Side Effects

Following liposculpture, patients often experience some swelling, bruising, soreness, and tenderness in the treatment area.


  • fast healing
  • defined muscles
  • minimal scarring
  • little downtime


  • not suitable for significant fat removal
  • not suitable for significant weight loss

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