Back Pain and Numbness After Tummy Tuck and Thigh Liposuction

I had a tummy tuck and lipo of the back sides and inner thighs. My legs have gone down a lot and still have a little bit of pain, but my lower back feels hard and hurts. My back is also numb 2 weeks after the lipo and tuck. Is that normal?

Doctor Answers 4

Numbness and swelling after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 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

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Temporary firmness and numbness normal after liposuction.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Nothing that you are describing sounds worrisome, but see your plastic surgeon anyway, now and two weeks from now, to make sure you are progressing.

Lymphatic drainage massage can help a lot to speed recovery.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck back pain and numbness

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is very normal to be numb in the tummy area especially this close after your operating date. When we operate in this area many nerve endings are cut and then it takes time for them to regenerate and sometimes the numbness never fully comes back in some areas of the tummy. If you have a tummy garment which I normally provide to the patient it really helps with supporting your back for weeks after tummy surgery. You could also purchase a supportive panty girdle and wear it to help with back pain. As your normal activity increases you should be feeling better and the numbness will hopefully go away. Hope you feel better soon.

John Ward, MD (retired)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon

You might also like...

All sound normal for now

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You are stil quite early after the tummy tuck and lipo. It is normal to be numb for many months. The firmness typically remains and actually increases for up to 6 weeks after surgery before softening. This is a normal process of wound healing and is called scar proliferation and maturation.

I would not be concerned for now unless this persists.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.