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 (9)

Numbness after liposuction

+2

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


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Numbness after liposuction

+2

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.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Numbness after liposuction

+2

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 38 reviews

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Numbness after lipo?

+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!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Numbness below the belly button after liposuction

+1

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 17 reviews

Resolution of numbness after liposuction

+1

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 5 reviews

Periumbilical numbness after abdominal liposuction

+1

There are many cases of sensory return after a year or more from its onset.  Frequently, though, the patient feels occasional tingling or "crawling" sensations as the nerve wakes up from its procedure-related sleepiness (neuropraxia).  Permanent sensation differences, both a lack of as well as hypersensitivity, are possible side effects of liposuction and are tolerated for the other benefits of the procedure. Should it occur, it is not something that would be avoidable, it is just the way the body heals.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Numbness following liposuction generally improves with conservative management

+1

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 22 reviews

Numbness after lipo should not be permanent

+1
crossyourfingers
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.
Sincerely,
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 135 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.