I am thin, but there is this layer of fat on my stomach that has been there for as long as I can remember. Is it normal? (Photo)

my thighs don't tough, my hipbones protrude, my ribcage can partially be seen, etc. I am an ectomorph. Is it normal to have that layer of dat? How can I lose it without surgery? I've tried cardio but no budge. It has been there as long as I can remember. Sorry for the wacky angles, but how can I lose this fat? I'm sick of it!

Doctor Answers 9

Little fat on the stomach

Thank you for your questions and pictures. Based on the pictures, you look fantastic.The fat cells are distributed on body differently in different people. When person works out, they work out the muscles and NOT the fat. Muscles can be toned but the fat can not.
The ways to remove unwanted fat that is not responsive to diet and exercise is either through localized micro-liposuction or less involved methods such as UltraShape. 
In any case, I would recommend seeing a doctor that is experienced with both micro-liposuction and less involved methods of fat removal prior to proceeding with the treatments.
I hope that helps and best regards, Dr. Sapijaszko.

Edmonton Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Lower Abdominal Lipodystrophy

Based on the pictures alone, you appear to have lipodystrophy with a little more fat deposit around your lower abdomen. Fat cells are distributed throughout the body at an early age based on genes, sex, and hormones. Fat cells get larger and smaller based on weight gain or weight loss. Women tend to have more external fat, while men tend to have more internal fat.Bottom line: Liposuction will remove those unwanted fat cells and significantly modify the lower abdominal "bump". Once the fat cells are removed, they will never be asymmetrical in this area again. Of course, fat cells in other regions of the body may enlarge with future weight gain. Diet and exercise are always important to maintain body shape. Best wishes!

George C. Peck, Jr, MD
West Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Liposuction for excess fat in very slim woman?

Thank you for asking about your abdominal fat.
  • This may just be fat - or it may be loose muscle underneath as well.
  • This is called a diastasis of the muscles - and although uncommon, you can be born with it.
  • You cannot lose the fat easily without liposuction - only if you truly starve yourself.
  • You can try office treatments as suggested in other answers but your best result will be a 20% reduction and this may not be enough for you.
  • I suggest you see a plastic surgeon to learn whether this is just fat or fat + muscle.
  • And then discuss your treatment options so you can decide what is best for you.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Unwanted Fat? .....Ultrashape!

As far as non surgical treatments for this fat, I would recommend Ultrashape.   It is a way of killing your unwanted fat cells using ultrasound.  It works for everyone, which is unlike our experience with Coolsculpting.  We had Coolsculpting for about 1.5 years and had so many unhappy patients that we got rid of it.  If you are willing to consider surgical options, Liposuction will still give you the best result.  


You might be a good candidate for liposuction of the abdomen to get rid of that stubborn fat.  Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you are a great candidate for aliposuction.  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 67 reviews

Thin layer of stubborn fat

It is absolutely normal to have a layer of fat below your skin.  Some people have more than others and it can be hard to get rid of.  A healthy lifestyle with a good diet and exercise are always the foundation to havoa great body but they also only can get you so far.  Liposuction used to be the only effective way to reduce that remaining stubborn fat and it is still a good option. But no surgical fat reduction is now a reality with new technologies like Coolsculpting.  CooolSculpting really works by freezing fat cells and eliminating unwanted fat without surgery.  It takes a little longer to see your results compared to lipo but there's no surgery or any downtime.  You should see a board certified plastic surgeon who does both CoolSculpting and liposuction or SmarLipo and discuss the pros and cons of each and what would best suit your needs. 

Adam Hamawy, MD
Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

I am thin, but there is this layer of fat on my stomach that has been there for as long as I can remember. Is it normal?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. This is the surgical procedure that revolutionized cosmetic surgery becoming one of the most performed cosmetic procedures. Subcutaneous tissue or fat is removed in order to contour the body in a way that is harmonious and pleasing to the senses. It can be performed in almost all regions of the body such as the neck, chin, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and ankles. Usually done through a small incision in the skin through which a cannula connected to a vacuum is applied, it can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures. After liposuction your body is going to be really swollen for at least 2 to 4 months after your surgery. It is important for you to wear your compression garment for at least 6 months, the first 3 months 24/7 and then the last 3 months at least 12 hours per day for your body get use to not having the faja for so many time. When you remove it, your body can get swollen and also you can have pain. Remember to also compress your body to prevent a seroma which is an accumulation of liquid that has to be drained, it is hard to touch and also really painful. Bruises are completely normal for almost 3 months from surgery, that’s why is better for you to use a bruising cream and apply it all over your body 3 times a day. To prevent bad circulation and swollen legs, use compression socks. Brazilian butt lift can be performed with the same procedure and for a month it will be swollen and it will drop a little bit without losing it’s shape if you use your garment.. If you’re going to perform liposuction on your inner, outer, anterior, lateral, postetior thighs, be careful and consult with your surgeon what’s best for you, sometimes we have more extra skin than fat, that can cause severe sagginess on our legs, which can be only be reversed performing a thigh lift!

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 332 reviews

Dr derby

As i can see from the photos you are a great candidate for lipo in the abdomen area. This will give you great results. Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 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.