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5 Weeks Post Op of a Mini Tummy Tuck. Why is the Area Beneath My Navel Numb?

why is the area beneath my navel numb and is this permanent? Why is the area above my navel (my entire upper abdomen big as if I never received a TT? my stomach looks no different than before..

Doctor Answers (8)

Numbness after tummy tuck

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Numbness usually takes somewhere between three to eight months. Be careful when applying heat to numb areas, as even the minimal heat of a hot water bottle may damage or burn the skin if not carefully used.

A mini tummy tuck only targets the area below the navel and does not really affect above.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

5 weeks postop of a mini tummy tuck. Why is the area beneath my navel numb?

+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 and swelling 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 28 reviews

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5 Weeks Post Op of a Mini Tummy Tuck. Why is the Area Beneath My Navel Numb?

+1
The numbness below the navel is normal this close to your surgery and the area of numbness should get smaller over time.  Since the mini tummy tuck only addresses the area below the navel, so no change in the upper abdomen is not a surprise and is expected.  It is too early to tell your final contour at this point, so continue to follow up with your surgeon.

For more information, please go to my website at:
WirthPlasticSurgery.com

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Area Beneath My Navel Numb

+1

A mini-TT severs most of the nerves to the abdominal skin, and numbness is expected. There is usually recovery of sensation over the course of a year. 

I am not sure I understand the second part of your question. If you are asking why the upper part of your abdomen looks no different, it is because a mini-TT only treats the abdomen below the navel.

Thanks for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

5 Weeks Post Op from a Mini Tummy Tuck

+1

In my experience, numbness in the central abdomen is normal, expected, and may recover partiallly over several months to over a year.  Complete recovery may not occur.  Mini abdominoplasty, also, typically addresses the adomen from the navel down.  Flatening of the upper abdomen may not be expected.  Although, it is too early to critically address your results, you should discuss these questions in detail with your surgeon at your next visit.

Joseph Raniere Jr., MD
Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Numbness

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It is not uncommon to have some numbness which can go away in a few months but can also be permanent. With respect to the results it is too early to evaluate this. You should follow up with your doctor and discuss these concerns.

Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Numbness after Mini Tummy Tuck

+1

Thank you for your question.

In general, a mini tummy tuck does not involve surgical manipulation above the umbilicus.  Generally, there is removal of skin and adipose tissue removed below the belly button and sometimes muscle plication from the pubic area up to the umbilicus.

The loss of sensation is normal after tummy tuck surgery and may exist for months and even years after surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 780 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.