Numbness After Male Breast Reduction and Liposuction?

I recently went had Gynecomastia and Liposuction around the abs. Since waking up, I have been experiencing numbness in thumb, bottom of palm and tingling around the wrist.

The doctor said that it's most probably the pressure from the compression garment, however I still need to wear this and he suggested not wearing it so tight. So I haven't been wearing the compression garment very tight for the past 2 days but I am still experiencing the same problem. Any suggestions/advice?

Doctor Answers 12

Garment could be triggering another issue


Thank you for your question.

The garment may be causing increased swelling in your arms which could trigger the numbness in your thumb, palm, and around the wrist. The symptoms you described might also be characteristic of carpal tunnel or another nerve compression syndrome. If it is really bothering you and doesn't go away after you don't have to wear the garment anymore, then you may want to have a hand surgery specialist examine you.

Have a great day!

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms

It is possible you are describing symptoms related to carpal tunnel syndrome. This could be easily treated with a cock-up splint at night or perhaps a steroid injection. If the symptoms persist enough to bother you, go see a hand surgeon for an evaluation. Increased swelling from the surgery and/or compression garment can trigger these symptoms.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Nerve compression symptoms

Median nerve symptoms arise from compression or stretch or a physical direct injury. In your case the surgical field is far from the nerve course.This is usually good news ,as complete recovery is usually the case.

Compression or stretch could occur from compression of a garment or arm positionning or strapping during surgery. Elevation,splint at night and NSAI eg advil ,will help until it gets better. if the symptoms persist your surgeon will refer you for more evaluation. Best of luck!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Median Nerve Issues

The areas that you are describing are supplied by the median nerve. This also gives sensation to the index, middle and the thumb side of the ring finger. It's the nerve that causes carpal tunnel syndrome. Patients who are boarder line for carpal tunnel can have symptoms with increased tissue swelling. In your case you may have some swelling in the arms from the garment causing the condition. Keeping the arms elevated while sleeping may help but so will time.

The other issue may be position during surgery. But regardless it will get better but just may take a while until the swelling is down.

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Numbness After Male Breast Reduction and Liposuction

It is normal to experience numbness around the areola and chest. As your body heals, you may notice random bursts of pain in your chest. This is usually a sign that the numbness is subsiding.

Your incisions will go through a maturation #process following #Gynecomastia #surgery. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the #healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms will disappear. Some people are prone to keloids, which is an abnormal scar that becomes prominent. If you or a blood relative has a tendency to keloid formation, please inform the doctor.

Bruising and #swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely.
Also, as you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue. The #compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will #heal. It can also assist in the retraction of the skin. If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Numbness after male breast reduction and liposuction?

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 26 reviews

Gynecomastia surgery-thumb numbness

 The most likely explanations are: 1.armpit swelling 2. compression from the garment 3.the arm position during surgery,This is usually a temporary conditions and should improve with time.Should it persist you can have neurological test that will show the reason of the problem and the the required treatment.

Mordcai Blau, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 74 reviews


Thank you for the question.

The symptoms you are experiencing may be secondary to nerve compression, possibly secondary to a compression garment that is too tight. I would try loosening it around the axilla (armpit) and see if that doesn't help. If you find no alleviation, I would consult with your plastic surgeon for a further assessment.

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Hand numbness after surgery

sometimes during surgery the position in which your arms lie can sprain one or more nerves to your arms.  This is something that usually goes away on its own.  In some cases it could be 2-3 months and in extremely rare case it can be permanent.  It is unlikely that a short procedure such as gynecomastia surgery would produce any long-lasting problems in your arms

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 458 reviews

Numbness after male breast reduction via liposuction


After liposuction of the chest, it is common for patients to have swelling, bruising, and even some numbness. However, these symptoms should resolve. If the patient has prolonged numbness or complete loss of sensation to the nipple, is a sign that one of nerves going to the nipple has been stretched or suffered. If the nerd has only been stretched, the sensation will eventually return. If the nerve has been severed however the sensation may be permanently gone.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 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.