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Nerve Damage and Pain 2 Weeks Post- Tummy Tuck, Is This Normal?

I'm 2 weeks post op. I've had nerve damage and my left tigh is numb and it hurts when I move. There's a spot, below the cut and near the femur, which, when pressed, causes that pain. Also there's a spot below my ribs which does the same. Will it go away? Is there any chance I'llhave muscle atrophy? I'll visit a neurosurgeon but the fear is killing me.

Doctor Answers (2)

Pain and nerve injuryy after tummy tuck?


While performing a tummy tuck some sensory nerves are unavoidably severed.  Thus, there can potentially be some areas of numbness on your tummy.  Most of this resolves over time.  It is highly unlikely that any nerves that are motor in nature have been severed during a tummy tuck.  You should follow up with your plastic surgeon and relate your concerns to him or her.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Pain and numbness 2 weeks after tummy tuck is NORMAL!


You should understand that sensory nerves and motor nerves are entirely different. Tummy tuck incisions and tightening of skin flaps necessitate your surgeon cut and cauterize tiny blood vessels and some nerves that provide skin sensation. These can include sensory nerves to the groin and upper thigh areas. Pressing on any freshly-operated area (or nearby) can stimulate intact nerves, giving painful or even "shooting" pains. STOP poking on your tissues!

Most of these sensory nerves will heal over the next 6-12 months. Your surgeon was not operating in areas that have motor nerves to the muscles (these are much deeper), so only sensory nerves are damaged. You should have no concern about muscle atrophy, and neurosurgical consultation is not needed.

You need to talk to your surgeon--that is what we are here for, both before and after surgery on our patients. I'm pretty sure your surgeon even discussed this with you during your consultation, or you saw information about numbness in a video or written information your surgeon provided (it is mentioned in the ASPS brochure about tummy tuck). Ask your surgeon about this the next time you see him, or give him a phone call. Fear is mostly about the unknown, so get informed! Follow your surgeon's advice during your recovery and ask questions when you have a concern. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 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.