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 16

Post lipo tingling

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

Dubai Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Temporary altered skin sensation after liposuction is normal

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.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Abnormal Sensations Following Liposuction

                  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. 

Tumescent Lipo

There is micro damage to the nerves and this is part of the healing process.  In 6-8 weeks, this should begin resolving.  However, this may last for a full 12 months. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Liposuction and Recovery Sensations

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.

Sensory changes after liposuction

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

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

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

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Pins and needles can be a normal sensation after lipo

During your liposuction surgery, it is possible that some sensory nerves under your skin may have been stretched. As they begin to heal, you will experience this sensation. Continue to wear your garment as this will help the swelling go down and make you more comfortable.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 73 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.