If a dissolvable suture is irritating a nerve, causing burning pain in the thigh after a body lift, what happens next?

I know sometimes body lift patients can experience numb and burning thighs after a body lift. If this happens because of a suture compressing a nerve or damage to the nerve, what happens next? How long does it take and how do you get the burning pain to resolve?

Doctor Answers 2

Nerve damage

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There are two nerves to be aware of during abdominoplasty and lower body lifts. The course of these nerve branches is at the anterior superior iliac spine. That is why when I teach my residents, I tell them to leave some fat in the area to avoid these nerve branches.

The nerve branches can be cut, or trapped in a stitch. They could be damaged enough that the function will not come back and the numbness is permanent. If there is pain, burning sensation, enough to interfere with daily life then one can test the nerves (EMG Nerve conduction studies). If one can pin point the exact area of discomfort by tapping with a Q-tip, the area can be injected with local anesthetic. If the pain disappears, then exploring that area, releasing the nerve, or if there is a neuroma burry the neuroma MAY improve the situation. This requires surgery under loop magnification to identify the nerve. In spite of the surgery all maneuvers can fail in getting rid of the pain or regain sensation.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Nerve irritation is frustrating thing

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this is a difficult think to assess and address online.  It is best you see your surgeon to be seen and examined.  You may need meds to help prevent this from becoming a long term problem.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 518 reviews

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