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I Am Feeling Burning and Itching After TT on the Inside Were It is Numb, is This Normal?

I had my tummy tuck done march 10th and i have numness burning and itching all in the same place around the belly button erea.some swelling at night it swells more.Is this normal?

Doctor Answers (8)

I am feeling burning and itching after TT on the inside where it is numb - 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!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Numbness and Swelling post tummy tuck

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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

Itching and numbness after tummy tuck

+1

Your feeling of itching on the inside is pretty common after tummy tuck and is likely caused by the sensory nerves regenerating.  This should improve over time.  The residual swelling is also pretty common.  Make sure you follow your doctor's instructions.  Benadryl, Clairtin or Zyrtec - all over the counter antihistamines- may help with the itching.  Ask you doctor is he/she recommends an antihistamine.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

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It is not unusual to have some temporary numbness after a tummy tuck.  It is also not unusual to have these sensations (itching, burning, etc.) which you describe as the nerves begin to function again.  It would be very unusual for either the numbness or these paresthesias to be permanent and should disappear with time.

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As the nerves to the skin begin to regenerate it is normal to feel strange sensations, such as; vibrations, burning, hot and cold sensations, and lightening shock type pain.  This will resolve over the next few months as the numbness improves.  I hope this helps you.

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The nerves are slowly reconnecting and growing back. The numbness will diminish over time and the itching will get better. You have to be patient.

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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.