Is Tightening, Pins and Needles" Normal After Tumescent Liposuction?

Is it normal to experience tightening and the "pins and needles" feeling on the area that was treated with Tumescent Liposuction, even after 4 weeks after surgery?

Doctor Answers 17

Temporary altered skin sensation after liposuction is normal

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

During liposuction, the tumescent and liposuction action stretches the tiny sensory nerves attached to the skin. Over several weeks and sometimes months, these nerves are healing and cause sensations of itching, tingling and sometimes mild burning. This all resolves as the tissues heal. Also after liposuction, you can get a tight sensation as the skin is contracting. I find it helpful to have patients stretch to keep the skin pliable. If you sit in the same position all day, the skin can get creases where it gets stuck in place. Gentle stretching helps resolve these issues. It can take up to six months until the skin is back to normal.

Post lipo tingling

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

It is fairly common to have such feelings upto 2-3 months post lipo. Massaging the place often reduces the hypersensitivity.

Sanjay Parashar, MD
Dubai Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Sensory changes after liposuction

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

Liposuction is a wonderful technique which removes subcutaneous fat while leaving the surrounding tissue undamaged.  Occasionally, the sensory nerves will become bruised and not function properly post operative, this is referred to as a neuropraxic injury.  The nerves will regenerate, but it may take 9-12 months, nerves grow very slowly.

Think of nerves like the electric cords of our bodies.  The surgery has cause a short circuit of the those electric cords.  While they are healing you might experience numbness, tingling, shooting or stabbing pains, these symptoms are temporary and will improve with time.

I have found that Endermologie or LPG treatments given immediately after liposuction will allow the nerves to re coop faster and allow the sensation to return to normal faster.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

You might also like...

Pins and needles are OK as long as they gradually improve

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

Pins and needles happen while the nerves grow back after surgery. This is something that is important to watch for, however, if it continues or is accompanied by excessive swelling or lumps. These can be from other conditions that aren't expected and may need to be treated.

It should resolve over the first few months after a surgery such as this. If it doesn't, you should call your surgeon.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Pins and needles

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

it is normal to experience numbness/ pin & needle sensation after liposuction. The sensory nerves on the area treated can have inflammation and patients may refer this type of sensation.  The nerves recover but may take several months until this resolves. In occasions even after several months, some areas may have numbness or hypersensitivity. 

Roberto Gonzalez, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Abnormal Sensations Following Liposuction

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

                  It’s not unusual for patients to experience tightness and abnormal sensations following tumescent liposuction.  These phenomena occur for a variety of reasons including direct injury to the sensory nerves during liposuction and severe swelling in the post-operative period.

                  During this procedure, the liposuction cannula can stretch and bruise sensory nerve fibers.  In addition severe swelling can compress nerve fibers and worsen the problem.  This swelling not only damages nerve fibers but causes tightness of the skin envelope as well.

                  When this occurs, patients often complain of abnormal sensations known as dysesthesia.  In many cases, patients describe burning sensations, tingling, pins and needles and a falling asleep sensation.

                  This is a transient phenomena that usually resolves when post-operative swelling disappears and for this reason massage is helpful.  This usually occurs in 3 to 4 weeks, but may take 3 to 4 months to occur.  If you’re concerned about abnormal sensations, it’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon.  Your surgeon will help you address this problem. 

Liposuction and Recovery Sensations

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

Thank you for the question.

Yes it is quite common to feel “pins and needles” on the air that was treated with liposuction for a few months after the procedure.

Best wishes.

Temporary Numbness and Abnormal Sensations Of The Skin Are Common After Liposuction

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

These are perfectly normal and expected sensations in the skin over areas that were treated by liposuction. This is due to disruption of the many tiny nerve ends that go into the skin. As the skin nerves recover, they produce abdnormal sensations as part of their healing process of which itching, burning and pin and needles feelings are quite common. They will go away and the feeling in the skin will return to normal within 3 to 6 months after surgery.

Relieving skin discomfort after liposuction

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

This type of sensation is common after any type of liposuction. If the sensation is bothersome and massage and rubbing the area does not help, ask your surgeon if it is OK to apply a topical analgesic cream (such as Capsasin).

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Is Tightening, Pins and Needles" Normal After Tumescent Liposuction?

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

It is normal to experience tightening and “pins and needles” after liposuction. This is the result that your nerves are coming back to normal and this can even last up to 6 months.

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 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.