When bathing suit season gets into swing, many people like to show off their best beach body. For many exercise enthusiasts, this means showing off a well-sculpted six pack of rippling abdominal muscles. However, for others such a result isn't as easy to achieve.
That's because not everyone can attain perfect abdominals through exercise alone. Genetics and body composition play a big role in the ability to achieve perfectly sculpted abs; which can make losing the layer of fat above the core muscles virtually impossible for some.
Fortunately, there are options available for those unsatisfied with their abdominals. Abdominal implants or six-pack implants are becoming an increasingly popular way of overcoming a lack of muscle tone in the belly. These silicon-based implants are inserted individually, as a set of six or eight, through a small incision made above the belly button. Often this procedure is paired with a tummy tuck, providing the surgeon with better access to the abdominal muscles and ensuring a more natural looking outcome.
Once the abdomen is prepped, the implants are placed over the existing abdominal muscles, thereby conforming to the body's natural underlying musculature. The silicon composition of the implants convincingly mimics the feel of naturally-firmed-up abdominals. Yet, they are still flexible enough for fluid body movement.
As with any surgery, there are risks involved, including complications of anesthesia, risk of infection, bruising, swelling, irritation and general pain/discomfort from the procedure.
After surgery, a compression garment is required to promote healing. Most people are able to resume their normal activities within a week, with the exception of physical exercise, which should be avoided for up to six weeks depending on a patient's healing progress.
The cost of six-pack implant surgery will vary depending on the individual case, the facility and the surgeon, but generally costs upwards of $7,000. It is important to note that six-pack implants are not the same as abdominal etching. Abdominal etching is a liposuction procedure which removes natural fat pockets through a number of small incisions made in the abdomen. This procedure also requires a diet and exercise regimen for six pack maintenance -- whereas six-pack implants are less likely to diminish with weight gain.
Both men and women can get abdominal implants, but the procedure is more popular among men. If you are considering getting your own set of washboard abs, do your research and find a plastic surgeon skilled in abdominal and implant surgery. A plastic surgery consult will help answer any questions regarding pricing or individual procedural concerns.