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Numb Thigh After Tummy Tuck?

Hi, I made a TT 2 days ago. Since I woke up from the surgery I noticed that the outer side of my left thigh was numb, I thought that this was due to the surgery itself and that it would pass.My thight now is not only numb but I got a burning feeling specially when I sit down which goes down to the knee. They told me that a nerve was pinched and it will take time to recover. How long will it take and what can I do to releive the burning feeling? Thanks in advance!

Doctor Answers (5)

Nerve pain in thigh after tummy tuck


Pinched nerves generally recover fairly slowly, so it could be several months before it recovers. There are 2 options to consider besides waiting: one would be to surgically open the incision where the nerve is being pinched and release the stitch that is probably causing it. Another is a medication called neurontin, which is very effective for nerve pain.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Nerve injury following tummy tuck


It sounds like a particular nerve (the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh) is causing your symptoms. This runs fairly superficially (not deep) at the outer edge of the tummy tuck scar. 

It may be that this is a temporary symptom, in which case it may take some months to improve. However, occasionally this nerve can be permanently damaged, leaving you with long term numbness. The exact extent of this could only be determined after about 2-years, as that is how long it takes for nerves to heal, if they are going to.

Regarding the pain, you should speak to your plastic surgeon about this, as there may be things that can be started early to minimise this (such as amitriptilline or gabapentin, both nerve-related medications).

As you said, it is likely that the nerve was caught in a stitch, in which case it should recover with time (many months I'm afraid). Regular massaging of the area will help, but only after 2-3 weeks post-surgery


Marc Pacifico, MD, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Burning pain after tummy tuck, nerves?


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. The timeline for recovery can be weeks to 12 months. 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.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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Numb Thigh After Tummy Tuck


Thank you for your question.

The location of your numbness -on the outside of your thigh-and the tingling sensation are unusual signs of nerve injury after Tummy Tuck.

The symptoms you describe sound like a condition called Meralgia Paresthetica which more likely is caused by positioning on the operative table.

Nerve injuries caused by Tummy Tuck would be more likely cause numbness in the medial thigh area, lower abdomen and pubis.

I suggest that you consult a Neurologist for evaluation-this could help you avoid an unnecessary exploratory surgery.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Nerve Pain After Tummy Tuck


This definitely sounds like an irritation to the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve.  This nerve gives you sensation to the outer thigh.  This irritation should resolve over time with reduction in the swelling. There are medications to help relieve "nerve" pain ( neurotin, Lyrica, etc.)  The best advice is to sit down with your PS and discuss your options after a good physical exam.


Dr. ES

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.