Liposuction and Belly Button Repair Instead of Tummy Tuck?

I initially contacted a doctor in UT about a tummy tuck and through an online consultation he said I wouldn't need one, just a bit of lipo and my belly button fixed. I have a very small baby pooch and also want my belly button back to an "innie". What procedure is he speaking of to repair my belly button? I can't find much information. I sent him several photos. What is your opinion just based off my photo? I don't really have any "extra" skin when I bend over, just a little pooch of fat.

Doctor Answers 11

Please don't have a tummy tuck!

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Dear Ashhull

You have a beautiful tummy, professionally speaking.  Unfortunately in this line of work, if you knock on enough doors, someone will do what you ask.  It is true that your tummy skin has been stretched presumably by a pregnancy.  However, the overall shape of your tummy and even your belly button is way better than most.  Of course you are probably looking for the tummy you had in high school so it is a tough comparison.  Here is the thing, the tummy tuck puts an ugly scar-let's call it what it is-at the bottom of your tummy from one hip to the other.  The scar will be visible in the outfit you are wearing in the photo.  So be very careful what you look for.  I am not even sure that I would recommend tummy lipo for you because the fat in your tummy is golden, you have the lotus blossom effect.  Will lipo help you?  Maybe if it is done conservatively.    Numerous investigators are working on noninvasive methods for tightening abdominal skin damaged by stretching due to pregnancy.  None are worth much at this point but it is just a question of time before this becomes available.  Proceed cautiously.  Value what you have and don't let anyone tell you that you are not beautiful, not even your inner voice.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Liposuction and belly button repair.

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I know you asked this question a while ago, but I thought it was still very worth a response.  You probably don't need a tummy tuck -- at least not a full tummy tuck.  You could probably get by with a little liposuction and repair of the belly button, but it completely depends on your goals and your expectations.


I agree that an exam is more helpful in helping you to determine what you really want or need to have done.  I have multiple different treatment options (SmartLipo, VASER lipo, power-assisted lipo, and all of the tummy tuck options) and I'm sure that one of them would fit your expectations.

Liposuction and Belly Button Repair Instead of Tummy Tuck

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It has been said that a photo is worth a thousand words and in this case an examination of your abdomen would be worth a thousand photos. Why? It is important to evaluate your skin tone(you appear to have many stretch marks) , condition of the abdominal muscles, presence of an umbilical hernia (belly button),  and an evaluation of abdominal fat.   Having said that , It does appear that you have many stretch marks, a small umbilical hernia and a small amount of abdominal fat and possibly a spreading apart (diastasis) of the abdominal muscles.   Abdominal liposuction with an umbilicoplasty will address only two of the  problems noted.  If you have a widening of the abdominal muscles in the area below the belly button you may do well with a mini tummy tuck to remove a small amount of skin, remove fat  and tighten the abdominal muscles. 

Donald M. Brown, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Stretch marks. Outie belly button, and belly bulge

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From your photo I can see a small umibilcal hernia, modest localized fat and stretch marks. I cannot comment on your rectus muscle diastasis (separation) and that is a critical poriton of the decision making process. Nothing will likely get rid of the stretch marks completely. Your belly button could be improved with a herniorraphy. Liposuction would diminish the fat.

Tummy tuck

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Based on your photos, you do not look like a candidate for a tummy tuck.  It appears as though you have a widening of the rectus muscles.  This won't be corrected with liposuction alone.  It is possible to have a tightening of the muscles through an incision around the belly button.  The belly button can also be corrected at the same time.

Umbilicoplasty will improve the appearance of your belly button

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An umbilicoplasty will improve your belly button by removing the excess skin of the belly button and is also combined with an umbilical hernia repair. It is impossible tot tell from the photos alone if you actually have an umbilical hernia (hernia = opening). It is possible that there is no opening anymore and what you are seeing is just a small lump of fat that was trapped.  Regardless, this can be improved. I agree with my colleague who said that a well done umbilicoplasty is difficult, so make sure your surgeon is experienced in this. Also, I do not think a tummy tuck is necessary (or even possible). If you desire the removal of the small pooch, you may consider a mini tummy tuck combined with careful liposuction.

Liposuction and belly button repair should work.

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You are definitely not a candidate for a tummy tuck. Your abdomen looks quite good. I would recommend  minimal liposuction and a well done (this can be technically difficult) umbilicoplasty.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction and Belly Button Repair Instead of Tummy Tuck

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Thanks for the photos. Yes I would ONLY do Smart Lipo on you with the repair of the umbilicus as ther correct choice. DO not do a tummy tuck you are not a good candidate!


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Liposuction and umbilcoplasty will probably not give you the best result. Of course an exam is critical. However, I have not been impressed with umbilicoplasties in patients that have lax skin or poor quality tissues. A full abdominopalsty usually is the best route to take.

Umbilical Hernia Repair and Liposuction

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Umbilical hernia repair is a common procedure which can be performed at the time of liposuction or abdominoplasty.  If you want your stretch marks removed, then you will need to have a tummy tuck / abdominoplasty.  If you are just looking for volume reduction, then liposuction is an alternative.  Good luck with your procedure.  I would suggest going to a board-certified plastic surgeon to address your concerns.

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.