I had a Mini Tummy Tuck 12 days ago, is it normal for my stomach to be numb?

The center of my stomach is numb, like I feel like I could get a shot there and not feel it. The sides seem to have normal sensation but the center is slightly pinker and numb. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 6

Numbness is common

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Numbness is usually very noticeable immediately after surgery, especially below the belly button in the midline. Over time, however, enough feeling returns that patients don’t pay attention to it any longer. This 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.

I had a mini tummy tuck 12 days ago - is it normal for my stomach to be numb?

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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 28 reviews


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Yes, this is a common area of the body to experience numbness after a full or mini tummy tuck. It can take months for this to come back to normal completely. Best of luck, Dean Vistnes. 

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Numbness after a mini tummy tuck.

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Please discuss this with your surgeon.

It is common for the tissues of the central/lower abdomen to be number after tummy tuck surgery.

Best wishes.

Timothy Connall, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

I had a Mini Tummy Tuck 12 days ago, is it normal for my stomach to be numb?

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Yes, that is normal.  It can be many weeks or even months before portions of the body that have been operated on return to normal sensation.  That is particularly common for areas that have been undermined (lifted up and repositioned), such as tummy tucks, breast lifts and reductions, and facelifts.

It should get better on its own.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. Alan Engler
Member of RealSelf100

Numbness For Several Months After Surgery is Normal

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This is normal and it may take several months for numbness to go away as the nerves regrow. The pinkness is normal and indicative of good blood flow and means that circulation is improving. If you have redness, swelling or heat radiating from the area, contact your surgeon as soon as possible as that could mean infection.

Marc Malek, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

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.