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How Long Will It Take for the Numbness to Go Away After Smart Lipo? Will I Be Permanently Numb?

I just want an answer to this question so I can know what to expect for my healing process. I am a great healer and did very well for this surgery. It's only been 2 days and my incisions are closed and are already disappearing. I am not severely swollen but the numbness, I am concerned about.

Doctor Answers (9)

How long will it take for the numbness to go away after smart lipo? Will I be permanently numb?

+2
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

Numb after Lipo

+1

You will not be permanently numb, but the numbness will last a few weeks. It is completely normal; make a follow up appointment with your surgeon to check on your healing process.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Numbness after Smart Lipo at 3 Days

+1

   There is usually a certain amount of numbness after liposuction, and this does tend to improve over about 6 weeks to 6 months.  Sometimes, it improves faster than this.  Alot of this depends upon the extensiveness of the liposuction and the size of the area treated.   Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

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Almost everyone experiences some degree of numbness following liposuction regardless of the type (smart lipo, vaser lipo, liposculpting, etc).  In most cases the numbness will resolve in the first few weeks.  At two days post op it is still very early.  try not to be concerned, I believe this will improve greatly in the coming weeks.  Best wishes.

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Numbness after liposuction of any kind and particularly laser assisted liposuction is very normal.  The superficial nerves that give sensation to the skin are injured with the procedure.  The majority of your sensation will return in the next few weeks and definitely by 6 months.  Good luck with your recovery!

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It's very normal for there to be numbness after liposuction, whether you have a laser used during the procedure or not. The numbness typically lasts weeks to months. In my almost 18 years of performing liposuction, and after almost 6000 procedures, I can't recall anyone having numbness beyond 6 months. Don't worry!

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In general, patients often have some numbness after liposuction possibly more so with laser lipolysis or ultrasonic devices.  It usually gets better as the swelling dissipates.

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Numbness cab last several months. You had a large disruption of sensory innervation that simply takes time to resolve

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Usually the numbness will completely resolve by six weeks to three months.  It would be unusual to have a large area of permanent numbness.

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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.