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Numbness After Scalp Cyst Removal

Why I Still Feel Numbness After the Cyst Removal on my Scalp? The Surgery Was Done More Than Seven Days Ago.

Doctor Answers (4)

Numb scalp

+2

Loss of sensation after removal of a large deep lesion is not uncommon. Sometimes it takes months for feeling to return. Much less often it can be permanent. You have to give it time. 


Birmingham Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Numbness post scalp surgery

+2

Numbness can  take weeks to months to resolve post any excision.  There rare cases where a numb area may persist permanently, but it is certainly too soon to tell for you.  Most likely sensation will slowly return over the next few weeks.  If you have any muscle weakness in the neck or shoulder, be sure to tell your surgeon.

You will likely be going back in for suture removal, so mention your concerns at that time to the medical staff.

Madeline Krauss, MD
Boston Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Numbness after scalp cyst removal?

+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 in scalp after surgery

+1

Cysts can be deep and at the upper forehead to the front of the scalp, nerve endings become superficial. Removing the skin growth must involve cutting through the skin and the nerve endings must regenerate. They heal slowly and sometimes not for months or longer. There may be very slow recovery with tingling or crawling or jabbing sensations as it heals. Usually it gradually returns to normal or close to normal over weeks to months.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 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.