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6 Months Post-Op Tummy Tuck - Still Numb And Very Swollen - Is This Normal?

6months ago i have a a tummy tuck and breast augmentation and lift all at once the breast part is fine but my abs are at times tender to the touch have pins and needles the scar is higher than was first told and i have bulges above the scar and if i excerise or work to much it swells mover and is tight and painful sometime even something as wonderful as sex ends up painful and unsatisfiable due to my abs and the muscles ....so what do I do i still can't wear any of my clothes i wore before s

Doctor Answers (12)

Numbness and swelling after 6 months

+3

Post-operative sensation on your abdomen will be different from the sensation that you had prior to your surgery. Some times, you may feel numb; some times you may feel "pins and needles." This altered sensation is very common and can persist for a long time, i.e. over a year.  In regards to swelling, it is also very common.  In fact, you are expected to have some swelling after tummy tuck.  Although most of the swelling subsides in 6 weeks, it may last over 6 months.  If you still have swelling at 6 months, it may be due to residual fat or retained fluid collection.  I would advise you to discuss it with your plastic surgeon.


Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

6 months after tummy tuck surgery.

+2

At 6 months after surgery, your swelling should be gone. Numbness can continue up to 18 months and may never return to normal, particularly in the center of the tummy between the belly button and the incision. As for pain in the muscles, this can occur early on, but should be improving significantly at your stage. I recommend a thorough evaluation of your symptoms by your plastic surgeon.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Pain post tummy tuck

+2

While most patients feel quite normal after 6 months, many patients heal more slowly.

It is worth discussing your problems with your plastic surgeon.  Is there retained fluid?  Is there extra fat or skin?

If you do not fit into your old clothes, this is decidedly unusual.  Have you gained weight?

Patients who are active, work out, and stretch have fewer of these types of complaints.

Numbness is typical but the nerve symptoms you may be having may warrant further therapy.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

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Tummy tuck swelling after 6 months

+2

I agree with my colleagues and without seeing pictures and examining you, I cannot really give you my recommendations.  I do think its abnormal to be that swollen and in pain.  At the very least, I would recommend a series of post-lymphatic massages (sometimes even with ultrasound technology) which may help to break up any scar tissue and can also help with edema resolution; however there may be more going on such as a chronic seroma or fluid collection.  I would go back to see your plastic surgeon; however, it is never a bad idea get a second opinion from another board certified plastic surgeon.

James F. Boynton, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

6 Months Post-Op Tummy Tuck - Still Numb And Very Swollen - Is This Normal?

+2

No this is not normal as for the swelling. Either residual seroma or hematoma or excess skin/fat left. As for the numbness it can be permanent. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Symptoms after a tummy tuck

+2

Some patients need more time than others.  Sometimes after a tummy tuck the discomfort can persist for a very long time.  I've seen this sort of thing happen to all different types of surgery patients.  Some can be after breast augmentation, sometimes for breast reconstruction.  It's important to know that these surgeries can require rearrangment of anatomy such as tighten the abdominal muscles and move them towards the center or rearrange the belly button and it's location on your skin.  Consider how long this would take to return to normalcy.  Many are very much in touch with their body and can feel more than others do.  This could be your case.  Best wishes,

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Post-op tummy tuck

+2

It is quite possible to still be swollen at six months after a tummy tuck. Certainly numbness may persist and may never improve.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

6 months postop tummy tuck - still numb and very swollen. Is this normal?

+1
Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Numbness and swelling after tummy tuck

+1
Thank you for your post. In a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery, the tissue above the abdominal muscles is lifted off of the muscles from the lower scar to the ribs in a full tummy tuck and to the umbilicus in a mini tummy tuck. The superficial nerves that travel through the muscle to the skin are cut in order to do this. This is what causes the numbness afterward. The numbness usually extends in the entire area that was lifted up. On occasion, a superficial nerve to the thigh could be pulled causing numbness in this area as well. Swelling happens after surgery and also tends to be in the entire area that has been lifted up and any area that has received liposuction. Both numbness and swelling may take months to years to go away, and the last place for both to go away is the area right above the incision centrally, and sometimes right below the belly button. It may take up to 2 years to get to baseline sensation. sometimes, certain areas never feel totally normal, especially the area right above the incision centrally. If tingling or itchiness develop, that is a sign that the nerves are growing back. This is normally well tolerated, but occasionally, a nerve type pain medication is needed such as neurontin.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Swelling and pain after tummy tuck

+1
It is common to feel sore and have swelling even so many months after your tummy tuck, particularly if you've exercised or physically exerted yourself. You may want to cut back on the physical activity a bit to minimize this. However you should not be so swollen that you can't fit into your pre-op clothing. I recommend you see your surgeon to discuss your concerns. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 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.