Shooting pain between incision and belly button towards the left after tummy tuck

I cannot easily pinpoint the area of pain, and I normally feel it sporadically when standing or getting up. While I know it is between my belly button and my incision towards the left side/middle, when I touch what I think to be the area; I can never find it. I've noticed this pain since week 1 and now at week 3 it still occurs periodically. Dr said it was normal sensation returning but I'm not sure I explained correctly. Should I be concerned? It definitely feels like a nerve is being hit.

Doctor Answers 7

Sporatic, Shooting Pain


You could be describing normal sensations of nerve regeneration. Odd shooting, tingling or burning sensations can come and go as nerves heal. If you see visible changes or feel concerned about discomfort increasing it is best that you be examined by your Plastic Surgeon.

All the best

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews


It is possible that a suture to plicate your rectus diastasis has pinched a sensory nerve in the area.  However it is probably best to ride it out and see if this improves rather than going back in.  The pain appears to occur with activity and maybe improving so it is best to take it easy for a little more time.  A steroid shot with local anesthesia in the general area may help.  

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Shooting pains after tummy tuck

Hi.  What you have described is not uncommon after a tummy tuck.  Very often it is related to nerves that are recovering from the surgery.  They often times give intermittent shooting-type pains.  As always, stay in close touch with your plastic surgeon who will help guide you through this process.  Good luck and take care, Dr. Howell

Hampton Alexander Howell, MD
Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Shooting pain between incision and belly button towards the left after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your surgery!  After a tummy tuck the nerves of the skin are stretched as a result of swelling and the tension placed on your skin.  This stretching irritates the nerves which can cause a number of different sensations including increased/decreased sensitivity or a burning/electrical feeling.  These normally resolve spontaneously given enough time.  Hang in there and be sure to mention these issues to your surgeon during your post-operative appointments. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Its within the realm of normal

It is most likely your plication sutures tweaking your abdominal wall with movement.  That will get better.

Andrew Gear, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Sharp shooting pains after tummy tuck

Sorry to hear about your pain.  What you describe is very common.  With the tummy tuck, your PS probably put 1 or 2 rows of internal stitches to tighten your abdominal muscles.  When you move a certain way,  the stitches can pull (possibly on  a nerve) and cause sharp pain.  Eventually, all of these symptoms typically resolve on their own.  

Victor Ferrari, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Unidentified Pain

As long as your surgeon isn't concerned who has assessed your tummy in person, I wouldn't worry. Unfortunately, I can't really give you any kind of precise diagnosis without seeing you. It is not uncommon to have shooting type pains following a tummy tuck. It should resolve with time. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 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.