Tingling pain while sleeping. Is it normal?

Seems like clockwork but every morning about 3am I'm awaken by this burning sensation in my stomach, that sometimes brings me to tears. I am 6 weeks post op, wear the compression garment plus a girdle and still have tightness and difficulty seating and standing. Is this normal and how much longer do I have to endure this?

Doctor Answers 3

Nerve Regeneration

All abdominoplasties have some nerve damage. Some nerves are stretched, some are divided. When nerves are regenerating (growing back), one of the first sensations is burning. Some burning is not unusual as is stretching and tightness. It usually resolves without problems after several weeks. If it gets worse, this may represent a nerve scar (neuroma). But that is uncommon. A key question is why does this occur at the same time each night. That might simply be how you sleep. You might try to sleep in a different position that puts less stress on your abdomen. Some patients feel pain more acutely at night since there is little going on to distract you. The other question is does the pain resolve later in the day. If so, it could just be a question of time until it resolves. Definitely talk to your plastic surgeon. Let them evaluate you and see if they can come up with a solution. 


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Nerve sensation

Sometimes as the swellign starts to subside, the nerves kind of "awaken" and electrical shock type feelings may occur. If concerned, see your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tingling pain while sleeping. Is it normal?

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear of your recovery issues.  After a tummy tuck the nerves of the skin are stretched as a result of swelling and tension.  This stretching irritates the nerves which can cause increased/decreased sensitivity or a burning/electrical feeling.  These normally resolve spontaneously given enough time.  By six weeks you may still have pain, soreness, or discomfort, but you should have been seeing steady improvement with each week of recovery.  Hang in there and be sure to mention these issues to your surgeon during your post-operative appointments. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.