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Tummy Tuck Done 5 Years Ago and Still Feeling Numb in the Stomach?

I had a tummy tuck 5 years ago and I cant really feel my lower stomach (from my belly button down to the line ir smile as many call it) so is this normal? Should I be worried? Thank you so much for reading this post and I value you're opinion. Have a great night!

Doctor Answers (5)

Numbness is a known Complication after Tummy Tuck

+2

Although uncommon, permanent numbness can occur after tummy tuck surgery especially in the lower mid line area between the scar and belly button. After 5 years there can be some improvement but doubtful. In most cases there is some sensation present, just not the normal pre-surgical amount. The good news is that it does not affect your function and with time most are no longer aware or concerned with its presence.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Numbness of Abdomen 5 Years after Tummy Tuck?

+2

Thank you for the question.

I would suggest that you not worry too much about the numbness in that area.  At this stage, you may find that this numbness is permanent (or extremely slow to return) and irreversible regardless of the tests or procedures performed.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 726 reviews

Numbness after a tummy tuck

+2

You may want to visit with a peripheral nerve specialist to see whether or not you have some entrapped nerves leading to your numbness.  Dr. Eric Williams in Baltimore is an excellent peripheral nerve specialist.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Tummy tuck done 5 years ago nd still numb in the stomach?

+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.  At 5 years, sensation will likely not return.

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 and swelling after tummy tuck

+1
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

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.