Liposuction Through Belly Button Not Possible?

Why is it not possible to have liposuction through the belly button to remove fat from below the breasts to the top of the pubic area, pulling and cutting off the loose skin, recreating a new belly button, to eliminate major surgery? This would seem to me to be much less invasive with a more speedy recovery.

Doctor Answers 12

Results would be limited

Liposuction is commonly performed through an incision near the belly button. Many of us often opt for 1 or 2 additional incision when performing liposuction on the entire abdominal wall, as it allows for removal of fat from multiple angles, allowing for a more even contour.

It's possible to remove some skin and cinch it around the umbilicus, but the amount you could remove would be limited. Limited incision, limited skin removal = limited result. In addition, the muscle tightening performed with tummy tuck would be very, very difficult, if not impossible in some cases.

Best of luck.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

It Would be Nice But...

You would have an unnatural and also very limited result.  In plastic surgery the shorter the incision the less dramatic the result. 

You not only need extra skin and fat removed, but it also needs to be re-draped and rearranged to restore a nicer shape.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

Still surgery

Someone once said if you think you have a novel idea, you have not read enough. Sure you can operate through the belly button and we commonly do liposuction through this area. However, you can't just cut out the loose skin and cinch it up into a new belly button. Your abdomen would look like a mess from all the folding and pleating needed to cinch up the skin to the size of a belly button. Try taking a t-shirt and cut a huge hole in it the size of a small dinner plate. Now try bunching up the edges to close the hole to the size of your belly button. That is what your abdomen would look like - not pretty.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

It would still be major surgery the way you describe it.

Hello Jay-Jay

Removing fat from the breasts to the pubic area, pulling and cutting extra skin is still major surgery. Removing all that skin and gathering through the belly button is not possible without giving someone a very unusual (that is the kindest adjective) belly button area. Pulling the string shut on a large laundry bag tightens it, but at the expense of many irregularities that would not look right on the body.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Liposuction through belly button possible but might not be right for you

You can preform liposuction through the belly button. You can remove "some" skin but that's where pictures of the problem and a discussion of your expectations are important. What may be right for one person could be a VERY bad idea for another patient.

Pick a few Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in your area and then spend some time with them at a consultation. The time and money you invest now will go a long way towards your happiness later.

Michael Kulick, MD, DDS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

New idea for tummy tuck through belly button has limited applications

This is possible and can be done but it tends to leave individuals with an unusual umbilicus in which the loose skin is gathered around similar to a drawstring purse. It is less invasive. However, I know you asked another question about treatment of the abdomen following breast cancer AND HYSTERECTOMY. The latter means you were left with a scar which is most likely horizontal and located just above your pubis. It is likely that this scar is causing a shelf like deformity with the overlying skin falling over the scar. Pulling the skin tight around the belly button is unlikely to correct this scar or loose skin

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Liposuction through the belly button

Of course, we routinely do use the belly button as an access point for liposuction of the abdomen.  But, since it works best to attack the fat from multiple different directions to get the smoothest possible result, other access incisions are required as well.

As for removing the loose skin with an incision around the belly button, the problem is one of geometry.  You can't get the large circle of excised skin down to the size of the belly button without a severe "purse-string" effect.

Keep the suggestions coming!  

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Liposuction of abdomen is done through belly button.


If you have a lot of loose skin, this of course is not going to work.  Excess skin needs to be cut out.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

We're not quite there yet


In a more perfect world that would be possible.  Newer technologies have those concepts in mind, e.g. Smartlipo, however, they are not yet advanced enough to do what you propose.

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Laser lipo is routinely done through belly button but skin excision doesn't work

I routinely do SlimLipo laser liposuction through 4 tiny stab incisions inside the belly button with excellent results.

However, attempting to remove loose skin and tighten the tummy skin with a tummy tuck using an incision around the umbilicus just does not work well.

I have treated patients upon whom this technique has been tried and the results have been very poor with skin irregularities and puckering around the umbilicus which could not be corrected after even 2 revisions.

The best option is a combination of laser liposuction through the umbilicus for the upper abdomen and a mini tummy tiuck below-see before and after pics below:

See before and after photos of Slim Lipo for Tummy Tuck.

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.