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Numb Thigh After Tummy Tuck Surgery

I am 5 months post tummy tuck surgery and am generally pleased with the results. I have the typical numbness/sensation changes to the abdominal area but am more concerned with the numbness in my outer left thigh as its more extreme and "deeper".

Why did this occur and can I expect it to decrease with time? Is there anything that I can do (or shouldn't be doing) to encourage nerve regeneration? Thanks in advance for any information. I am a fit and healthy 41 yr old who exercises almost daily.

Doctor Answers (6)

Nerve irregularity after Tummy Tuck should decrease in time


This sounds like an interference with the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. Nerve injuries can take one to two years to resolve. Sometimes, you get an 'electirc shock' by tapping at your groin crease. When this goes away, the nerve will grow back. Usually, the good appearance of the abdomen outweighs the decreased sensation.

Boston Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Nerves are tricky things


Nerves are tricky things. The area you are describing is supplied by the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. Several things could be occurring - irritation, entrapment, injury, neuropraxia, etc. Most of the time nerve issues resolve with time - months and years. Occasionally, there is an intervention that can release the nerve from entrapment. You should discuss these issues with your doctor.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Numbness of thigh after tummy tuck


As Dr. Shafer has described there are several possible explanations for the reported numbness. The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve lies close to the incision particularly if a low lying incision is used. Nerves can be bruised, injured, entrapped, transected, etc. In many instances this will resolve but it may take time. Occasionally the recovery of a nerve can be traced using the "Tinel's sign" which is tingling elicited by tapping over the regenerating end of the nerve.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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Numbness on thigh


Sensory changes are fairly common after a tummy tuck. If you have numbness on the thigh especially laterally it may or may not be permanent.  You really have to give it about a year.

Steven Wallach, MD
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Numbness in the thigh after a tummy to surgery


Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. Patients who received the surgery should understand that there is a significant recovery process afterwards. Patients can expect to have swelling and bruising and a short period of numbness in their abdominal tissue. However, numbness in the thigh is unusual. Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon as they will want to evaluate you and determine the area that is affected area it is possible that a cutaneous sensory nerve may have been stretched or injured depending on the location of your abdominoplasty incision.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD
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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.