Arm Liposuction Nerve Injury - How Long to Heal?

I had arm liposuction revision 3 days ago. During procedure I felt a zip zip type pain shoot down my forearm. Later that day the underside of the forearm was numb. The office said often fluids run down. However its three days and its still numb but now I'm getting creepy crawly feelings, terrible sudden itching, and I keep getting a feeling like someone is pouring ice cold water down my arm. All on the underside of the forearm. I believe I have a nerve injury, how long will this take to heal?

Doctor Answers 8

Liposuction and numbness

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It is fairly common to have some inumbness after liposuction that usually improves shortly after the swelling subsides.  This susually gets better within 4-6 weeks.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Transient numbness after liposuction is not uncommon

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Transient numbness after liposuction is nothing to get alarmed about.  Lipousuction, like any other surgical procedure, is trauma to the body.  The instruments used during this procedure are not sharp and therefore no vital structures are cut.  Nerves, blood vessels, etc can be bumped and bruised, but they are rarely permanently injured.  I would discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon as he/she should be made aware of your symptoms.  Good luck!


Dr. Singer

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Numbness after Liposuction

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Numbness or nerve sensations after liposuction are not unusual.  Especially three days after liposuction there is considerable swelling and possibly neuropraxia or temporary bruising of the nerves.  This is not nerve damage, but just the body's response to the insult (liposuction) as it heals.  Having itching feelings is a good sign since this means that the nerves are working.  It may take several weeks to months to have normal feeling back.


Good Luck with your recovery.

Sensations After Arm Lipsuction

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It is very common for the arms to feel very achy and swollen following liposuction on this site. We use our arms frequently throughout the day. This activity can cause swelling in the wrists and fingers. Try to elevate your arms when you have opportunity. Even try elevating them when you get a bathroom break at work, every little bit can help. Be sure that your garment is snug also. You want to make sure to have your arms measured for your garment so you can guarantee that is the proper size. This will ensure it does NOT cause more harm than good. The "creepy crawly" feelings you are having are completely normal. Just try to bear with at and be compliant to your post op instructions and you should be very pleased with you end results. Best of Luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Numbness after liposuction

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If the nerve is bumped by the blunt-tipped cannula during liposuction, it may go into hibernation, called neuropraxia.  The nerve doesn't function and you may feel numb until it wears off which can take more than a year to do so.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Sensory nerve loss

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This can take days weeks or months to resolve.As the sensory nerves regenerate you have tingling,etc so leave it alone or you can do heat and massage to speed it along.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Temporary nerve injuries are not uncommon after liposuction.

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Temporary nerve injuries are not uncommon after liposuction.  Depending on the amount of injury to the nerve it may take 1-4 weeks to fully recover.  Only rarely is nerve injury permanent.

The symptoms or feelings that you describe are not uncommon during nerve healing.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 293 reviews

Arm Liposuction Nerve Injury

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A crush or traction injury to a nerve after liposuction is common.  You likely have a neuropraxia, which means the nerve is not cut, just stunned. By definition, it should get better by 8 weeks from the time of injury.  Be patient, massage the area to reduce swelling and continue to wear your compression garment.

Nia Banks, MD, PhD
Washington Plastic Surgeon
4.0 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.