You practically live at the gym. You haven’t eaten carbs in almost a year. And you’re almost certain your body fat is consistently in the single digits. The truth is that a perfect, god-like physique is rarely achieved through purely natural means. Don’t get us wrong: Actors, models, and professional bodybuilders put in all the same work you do, and then some. These guys are definitely not slackers. But once you’ve pushed your body to the absolute limit, you start hitting walls that can’t be broken down with tougher workouts or stricter diets. At that point, there’s only one option if you want to go from “almost” perfect to “impossibly” perfect: plastic surgery.1. Abdominal etching
You know how much work it takes to really carve out that six-pack. But not all abdominal muscles are the same, and some people’s abs are just naturally less visible. For those people, there’s abdominal etching—basically, just a very strategic form of liposuction. In this procedure, a surgeon strategically removes fat cells to carve out the abdominal striations, but leaves fat over the actual muscles for a more defined look. For even more definition, Steinbrech usually couples this procedure with “BodyBanking,” which involves transferring the removed fat cells to the abs.
If you look up before and after photos of abdominal etching, you’ll notice that most patients don’t seem to be in incredible shape. That’s not because it’s an easy way to buy yourself a six-pack, Steinbrech says; it’s because a patient needs to actually have some fat to transfer fat cells effectively. “Fat cells won’t survive the transfer if they’re all withered up,” Steinbrech explains. “Guys who are in good shape usually need to spend at least three weeks putting on weight before the surgery, and they need to keep that weight on while the body heals.”2. Abdominal implants
Abdominal etching focuses on deepening the striations between the abs muscles. On the other hand, let’s say you have definition, but that the muscles themselves are looking a little flat. If that’s the case, the procedure you’re looking for is abdominal implants: Six to eight small, flexible implants placed individually over your muscles. These implants are placed in line with your body’s natural musculature, so they aren’t used to correct asymmetry (but don’t worry if your abs are asymmetrical—about 75% of guys’ abs are, according to Steinbrech). Because these implants are placed over the muscle, they’ll still be visible if you put on some weight. But they’re not a shortcut to a six-pack—they’re your motivation to stay in shape.3. Pectoral implants
Guys aren’t getting pec implants nearly as often as women are getting breast implants, but that doesn’t mean men aren’t concerned about how their chests look—especially if they’re fitness-focused. Pectoral implants are silicone implants placed under the muscle, usually through an incision made in the armpit. This procedure is often sought out by current and former bodybuilders, as well as guys with chest deformities, such as pectus excavatum or Poland syndrome. “It’s about proportion,” Steinbrech explains. “Bodybuilders already have big chests, but they have bigger arms and legs. Their pecs aren’t small, but they don’t look proportional.” Bodybuilders are also prone to developing gynecomastia, and the corrective surgery can leave them with a chest that droops or indents—hence the desire for pectoral implants.4. Biceps, triceps, and deltoid implants
As it turns out, there are implants for a lot of different muscles. Biceps, triceps, and deltoid implants are a little different, though, because your arms move and twist far more often than, say, your chest. There are three different ways to augment your biceps, triceps, and delts: silicone implants, muscle grafted from another part of your body, or fat transferred from another part of your body. This type of procedure isn’t really for people who just want bigger muscles. Instead, Steinbrech says, arm muscle implants are often sought by bodybuilders, fitness models, and athletes who have a deficiency due to a past injury.
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