Numbness After Lipo?

I had lipo 4 months ago and the spot under my belly button is still numb. Most of the other numbness is gone but this particular spot did not gain any feeling back. I can take a needle or knife and poke it with no feeling what so ever. Is this most likely permenant at this point? Are there any remedies to help the nerves heal or become live again?

Doctor Answers 11

Numbness after liposuction

In my experience, the numbness may persist up to one year at which point in time I usually tell patients it most likely will be permanent. However, I have seen some cases where the nerve endings woke up 2-3 years after the original procedure was completed.

Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

303 Williams Ave SW
Huntsville, AL 35801

Numbness after liposuction

I know of no way to improve sensation near your belly button, but agree with other contributors that even after four months, your sensation may improve.  The best strategy is to be patient, enjoy your result, communicate with your physician/surgeon, and avoid injury to the numb skin by any sharp, hot, or otherwise potentially harmful object.

Best Wishes, Steve Laverson, MD

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

477 North El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024

For Most Patients--Symptoms Resolve.

It’s not unusual for patients to have numbness following liposuction of the abdomen.This usually results from swelling and trauma from the liposuction cannula.

In the vast majority of patients, these symptoms usually resolve spontaneously.In most cases, swelling has resolved in three to four weeks but occasionally may take as long as three to four months to resolve.In most cases, the numbness has resolved at this point as well, but in rare cases it may last up to a year following surgery.In some cases, it may ultimately prove to be permanent.

It’s still early in the post-operative period, but if these symptoms fail to improve consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon would be appropriate.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

8900 West Dodge Road
Omaha, NE 68114

Sensation Takes Time To Return

Many patients experience numbness over the treatment areas. Over time the feeling will gradually return to normal. As the feeling comes back you may notice some electric tingling sensations which is quite normal and will subside. Most sensory changes go away by 6-8 weeks, but this can take over a year in some cases.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

362 Fairlawn Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5M 1T6

Numbness after lipo?

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 14 reviews

8900 E. Raintree Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Numbness after liposuction

Permanent numbness after liposuction is possible but extremely rare and unlikely. Generally give this up to two years before drawing any final solutions.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

880 W Central Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Numbness below the belly button after liposuction

Nerve healing can take as long as 12-18 months, so don't give up hope yet. However, if nerves are going to heal, there is usually SOME feeling (tingling, burning, something) within a few months of surgery.  Your numbness may be permanent, but it's too early to know for sure.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

6045 Barfield Road
Atlanta, GA 30328

Resolution of numbness after liposuction

Although it is possible to experience some numbness, or other altered sensations, after liposuction, most often this resolves over the course of the first few months. Rarely, it may require a full year for return to normal.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

121A East 83rd Street
New York, NY 10028

Numbness following liposuction generally improves with conservative management

Liposuction generally produces some temporary numbness which resolves with time and conservative management. The numbness improves beginning two to three weeks following the procedure as swelling resolves. By 3 to 5 months the sensation should return to normal. The numbness following treatment with ultrasonic liposuction or laser liposuction takes longer to resolve. Areas requiring more aggressive liposuction or superficial liposuction also may result in numbness which takes longer to improve. As the procedure is generally done with blunt tipped instruments, the nerves are left intact and permanent numbness is infrequent. The nerves are stretched resulting in the temporary numbness. Numbness lasting 4 months after liposuction may be normal. I generally recommend conservative management with message and warmth. Taking a multivitamin with B6, B12, and Foliate, which are important for the health of nerves, may quicken their recovery. Ask your surgeon about his/her experience with other patients similar concerns. Best regards, Andrew Lyos MD, FACS

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

6560 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77030

Numbness after lipo should not be permanent

Liposuction is normally performed using blunt tip instruments that do not cut anything, and thus you should have no nerve that have been cut, only bruised.  Thus all your numbness should resolve over time.  There are however never 100% guarantees for anything, and there is a very small possibility that this area will always feel different.  At this time there is nothing you can do only wait.  Luckily it is not an area that requires much sensation and you should be able to go on with your life and forget about that little spot for now.
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 298 reviews

100 Front St West
Toronto , ON M5J 1E3

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.