Fat over belly button resembling a shelf. Can lipo give me a flat stomach and... (photos)

...a normal belly button (i.e., one you can see)? I have always had excess fat over my belly button. I call it the "shelf" because no matter how thin I am, when I turn sideways, I have this shelf that hangs out. It's not only lumpy but sometimes it makes me look pregnant. I am very insecure in a two piece bathing suit and I always where spanx or a compression tank when I wear tight clothes. My skin is tight and not saggy. 

Doctor Answers 7

Get that belly liposuctioned ASAP.

Liposuction can sure take care of bulging bellies so easy and with a 2 day back to work and 1 week back to the gym recovery period under local.

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews


The area above your belly button is a point that holds up the tissues and things can hang over it when they are a bit loose. If the skin is truly tight, then lipo may help, but if it disappears when you lift the skin vertically under your breasts, then it is unlikely to improve with lipo.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Liposuction to improve abdominal shape

Thank you for asking about your liposuction.
  • Based on your photos, you are a very good candidate for liposuction to improve your tummy.
  • I have had a number of women patients with a similar problem -
  • And they have always been pleased with the results -
  • Since the fat deposits here are genetic, you are right -
  • Unless you are very under-weight, the excess fat will remain there without liposuctino.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


If you are looking for a flat, tight abdomen, liposuction is unlikely to achieve that as you also have loose skin both above and below the umbilicus.  If you mostly want reduction in fullness and bulk, that can be achieved with liposuction.  You could also achieve that with 3 to 6 weeks of the hCG Diet (under a doctor's supervision) as the tissue you are pointing out will be targeted by that diet.  The advantages are no down time and lower price but it requires more discipline and "will power".Good luck for a satisfying result!

Deborah Ekstrom, MD
Worcester Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Candidate for lipo.

It would appear that you are a reasonable candidate for liposuction. Here is some helpful information about Lipostuction: If you have excessive subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercise.
If you wish to change the contours of your body. Commonly involved areas are the anterior part of the neck (under the chin), upper arms and armpits, male chest/breasts, trunk abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, inner knees, calves, and ankles.
Most patients are near normal weight and desire permanent contour changes. Patients with average weight, localized fat collections, and healthy elastic skin are the best candidates for liposuction. Obesity, cellulite, or loose, sagging, and inelastic skin are several conditions which may tend towards less desirable results. In fact, these problems may be worsened by liposuction. Unfortunately, many individuals performing liposuction are not trained in other techniques of body contouring and may not have the experience to recognize that a different procedure (such as a tummy tuck) may provide a better result for the patient. Suction Assisted Lipectomy (SAL) may be used in conjunction with other body contouring procedures, such as breast reduction, tummy tuck, thigh lift, or facelift.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews


You may do very well with liposuction. I would suggest meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon and discussing all your options.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you are a great candidate for liposuction.  This can help achieve the contour you are looking for.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.