The aptly-named Masterpiece Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, recently went viral for offering a plastic surgery procedure that gives patients instant six-pack abs.
Despite what many gym-addicts will tell you, getting defined six-pack abs is really hard, and for some of us downright impossible. No matter how much we work out, we just can't seem to get that layer of fat on our abdomen to go away, so those well-developed ab muscles remain concealed underneath. That's where the plastic surgeons at Masterpiece Hospital come in. By performing a procedure called abdominal etching, they remove some of the fat on your abdomen to make that hidden six-pack visible. There are no plastic or silicone implants involved, just some abs-focused liposuction.
"We don't do implants because they don't look good and don't last long," Masterpiece Hospital CEO, Raweewat "Sae" Maschamadol, told Coconuts Bangkok. "We've been doing this for about three to four years now, we get anywhere from 20 to 30 customers requesting a six-pack every month."
Abdominal etching involves methodically sucking out the fan around the patient's abdomen to really bring out their six-pack. It's actually nothing new, as it was first performed by a Texas surgeon during the 1990s. However, Raweewat claims that he has traveled abroad to study different procedures and has developed his own technique. He adds that the two-to-four hours surgery is neither dangerous nor painful.
Getting an instant six-pack no doubt sounds like a dream come true for many people, but the thing is it doesn't work on everybody. You actually need to have well-developed abdominal muscles for the surgery to actually work as intended. Dr. Raweewat says that about 90 percent of the people who come into his clinic for abdominal etching are fitness junkies who just can't get an enviable six-pack by merely working out.
"In order to naturally get a six-pack, one needs to work out as well as get lean. Most of our clients come in with a lot of muscle, they just want to save themselves months of leaning down," the Thai surgeon said.
Masterpiece Hospital and their abdominal etching procedure recently went viral in Thailand after male model Ome Pangpaparn who underwent the surgery, shared some photos of the results. Her had apparently been trying to get a six-pack the old-fashioned way, but just couldn't get rid of that layer of fat that stubbornly concealed the fruits of his labour. So he turned to plastic surgery.
"Fitness is not always the answer," Pangpaparn said. "I worked out regularly, but I still couldn't get rid of the fat around my stomach. I do what I can. But in the parts I can't, I leave it up to the doctor. I am confident that it will bring me more happiness."
Abdominal etching is not exclusive to Masterpiece Hospital. It's performed by many plastic surgeons around the world, but according to one study, it does have some risks. About one-in-10 study participants were left with post-surgery pockets of fluid called seromas, that may require draining, and about one-in-5 suffered minor complications such as "over-etching".