Nerve Damage After Liposuction to Inner Thigh

It is now 7 weeks postop. My inner thighs feel tight, sometimes burning and very tender to touch. Will this go away in time? Was on 1800mg gabapentin which dulled it, but suddenly stopped working. My surgeon is purplexed. Says this has never happened. Is sending me for a CT scan. Please tell me this will go away in time. I was a very active person. I didn't have a lot of fat and he tried to give me a good result. Thank you

Doctor Answers 4

Liposuction - Inner Thighs; Pain Post-Op

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Hi jean17,

At 7 weeks I'm not sure that you need to automatically assume that you have nerve damage.  It takes a long time to see the final results of lipo and that's because there is prolonged swelling.  It can take up to 6 months to see a final result from lipo, and sometimes even longer. 

While the swelling persists it is common to have a range of unusual sensations, including bizarre or painful feelings (dysesthesias) and lack of sensation (anesthesia or numbness).  As the swelling abates these symptoms usually resolve well on their own.

The inner thighs are an unusually sensitive area when compared with the outer thighs, hips or stomach so I'm not surprised that you have pain in this region.  The extent of the pain, though, seems unusual, as is the medical intervention.  And I suspect that a CT Scan is not going to reveal much useful information.

But I understand your concerns and desire to get the issues resolved.  My sense is that it will go away on its own...but I know that's easy for me to say.

Hang in there.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E


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This is a very unusual complication. I have only heard of this with ultrasonic liposuction related to demyelination. In those cases it usually does resolve

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Why CT scan

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The risk of nerve damage is very small. I do not see the purpose of the CT scan unless there were special circumstances. Typical hyersensitivity will get better by time and massage.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Nerve pain after liposuction

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Possibly the CT scan is being ordered to see if there is a coincidental pinched spinal nerve causing pain along its pathway. If a nerve reacts to the procedure around it by developing a neuralgia, it may take many months to resolve.  In that time, seeing a pain specialist might be very helpful.  Nerve blocks, electrical nerve stimulators, anesthetic patches, corticosteroid treatment may all help minimize the pain while allowing the nerve to settle down on its own.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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