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Numbness 11 Months After Tummy Tuck - Normal?

I Had a Tummy Tuck 11 Months Ago and Still Have Numbness is This Normal?

Doctor Answers (15)

Numbness 11 months after tummy tuck - normal?

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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

Swelling and numbness after tummy tuck

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Thank you for your post. In a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery, the tissue above the abdominal muscles is lifted off of the muscles from the lower scar to the ribs in a full tummy tuck and to the umbilicus in a mini tummy tuck. The superficial nerves that travel through the muscle to the skin are cut in order to do this. This is what causes the numbness afterward. The numbness usually extends in the entire area that was lifted up. On occasion, a superficial nerve to the thigh could be pulled causing numbness in this area as well. Swelling happens after surgery and also tends to be in the entire area that has been lifted up and any area that has received liposuction. Both numbness and swelling may take months to years to go away, and the last place for both to go away is the area right above the incision centrally, and sometimes right below the belly button. It may take up to 2 years to get to baseline sensation. sometimes, certain areas never feel totally normal, especially the area right above the incision centrally. If tingling or itchiness develop, that is a sign that the nerves are growing back. This is normally well tolerated, but occasionally, a nerve type pain medication is needed such as neurontin.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Numbness?

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Thank you for the question.

Yes, numbness  of the abdominal wall is to be expected after tummy tuck surgery.  This may persist for many years  and may be permanent in some locations.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 716 reviews

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Tummy Tuck and Numbness

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Numbness is expected after a tummy tuck and improves over the first year. There may be a residual area of numbness along the scar itself that is permanent.

Pedy Ganchi, MD
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Numbness

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This is very normal. Most patients will report altered sensation in this region for up to two years. This is also very common with c-section scars.

Marc Schneider, MD
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Numbness following a tummy tuck

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Numbness always occurs after a tummy tuck.  Feeling usually gradually returns over a period of a year or two.  The last areas to regain numbness are often the central lower abdomen above the scar and below the belly button.  Some patients will be left with small patches of permanent numbness.  Some patients will have areas of decreased sensation.  Some patients will have full return of sensation.  Much is dependent on the technique as well as your individual traits.  Luckily, numbness in this area is more a nuisance than an actual functional problem.

Naveen Setty, MD, FACS
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Numbness after tummy tuck

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Numbness after tummy tuck is normal and expected to some degree in all cases. Usually, it will involve the skin from the incision to the belly button region. Over time the area that feels numb gets smaller, but it is not uncommon to have permanent numbness in the skin immediately above the scar. This does not create a functional problem and is usually not bothersome to most patients.

David A. Bottger, MD
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Numbness 11 Months After Tummy Tuck - Normal?

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Yes.  The degree of numbness and how large the area that is numb should gradually get smaller during your first year after surgery, but typically the area just above the incision in the central abdomen as well as the incision itself does not regain feeling.

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
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Numbness after tummy tuck is not long term

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As a rule, individuals will have numbness in the lower central portion of the abdomen, just above the scar for six to nine months after the procedure. It can be a cause of concern early on and then we don't hear much about it after the first year after. Most things in nature will follow a curve, and there will be a very few number who will experience a numb patch longer, or perhaps always. Some numbness may be 'your' normal.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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Permanent numbness is normal after a tummy tuck

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Any surgical incision can lead to numbness to some degree.  Some people regain sensation but it is probably not to the same level as it was before surgery.  Residual permanent numbness is normal after a tummy tuck.  It usually comes back to some degree but many patients still feel they are numb in areas of their tummy after a tummy tuck.

Dev Wali, MD
Claremont Plastic Surgeon
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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.