Numbness After Lipo?

I had lipo 4 months ago and the spot under my belly button is still numb. Most of the other numbness is gone but this particular spot did not gain any feeling back. I can take a needle or knife and poke it with no feeling what so ever. Is this most likely permenant at this point? Are there any remedies to help the nerves heal or become live again?

Doctor Answers 11

For Most Patients--Symptoms Resolve.

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It’s not unusual for patients to have numbness following liposuction of the abdomen.This usually results from swelling and trauma from the liposuction cannula.

In the vast majority of patients, these symptoms usually resolve spontaneously.In most cases, swelling has resolved in three to four weeks but occasionally may take as long as three to four months to resolve.In most cases, the numbness has resolved at this point as well, but in rare cases it may last up to a year following surgery.In some cases, it may ultimately prove to be permanent.

It’s still early in the post-operative period, but if these symptoms fail to improve consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon would be appropriate.

Numbness after liposuction

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Permanent numbness after liposuction is possible but extremely rare and unlikely. Generally give this up to two years before drawing any final solutions.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Numbness after liposuction

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In my experience, the numbness may persist up to one year at which point in time I usually tell patients it most likely will be permanent. However, I have seen some cases where the nerve endings woke up 2-3 years after the original procedure was completed.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon

Numbness below the belly button after liposuction

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Nerve healing can take as long as 12-18 months, so don't give up hope yet. However, if nerves are going to heal, there is usually SOME feeling (tingling, burning, something) within a few months of surgery.  Your numbness may be permanent, but it's too early to know for sure.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Numbness after liposuction

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I know of no way to improve sensation near your belly button, but agree with other contributors that even after four months, your sensation may improve.  The best strategy is to be patient, enjoy your result, communicate with your physician/surgeon, and avoid injury to the numb skin by any sharp, hot, or otherwise potentially harmful object.

Best Wishes, Steve Laverson, MD

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Sensation Takes Time To Return

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Many patients experience numbness over the treatment areas. Over time the feeling will gradually return to normal. As the feeling comes back you may notice some electric tingling sensations which is quite normal and will subside. Most sensory changes go away by 6-8 weeks, but this can take over a year in some cases.

Numbness after lipo?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Resolution of numbness after liposuction

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Although it is possible to experience some numbness, or other altered sensations, after liposuction, most often this resolves over the course of the first few months. Rarely, it may require a full year for return to normal.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Numbness after lipo should not be permanent

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Liposuction is normally performed using blunt tip instruments that do not cut anything, and thus you should have no nerve that have been cut, only bruised.  Thus all your numbness should resolve over time.  There are however never 100% guarantees for anything, and there is a very small possibility that this area will always feel different.  At this time there is nothing you can do only wait.  Luckily it is not an area that requires much sensation and you should be able to go on with your life and forget about that little spot for now.
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 520 reviews

Periumbilical numbness after abdominal liposuction

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There are many cases of sensory return after a year or more from its onset.  Frequently, though, the patient feels occasional tingling or "crawling" sensations as the nerve wakes up from its procedure-related sleepiness (neuropraxia).  Permanent sensation differences, both a lack of as well as hypersensitivity, are possible side effects of liposuction and are tolerated for the other benefits of the procedure. Should it occur, it is not something that would be avoidable, it is just the way the body heals.

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