"Pins and Needles" feeling in legs and ankles after lipo on flanks, is this normal?

I'm 3 weeks post-op lipo on the flanks and lower abs. I knew there would be a tingling, "pins and needles" feeling after lipo but I thought it would be localized in the lipo areas. I do have that sensation there, but I also have tingling on my ankles and legs. Is this normal where regeneration may be felt in other parts of the body? or are these signs of other troubling conditions (i.e. emoblism or blood clot)

Doctor Answers 6

Pins and needles after liposuction

The pins and needles sensation is a common phenomenon described after liposuction surgery. It typically is caused by nerves that have been irritated or injured during the procedure that are now repairing themselves or healing. The nerves that have been affected could be ones that traveled further down your leg which can explain why you have the sensation where you do. This is not a typical symptom described by someone having issues with an embolism. My concern level would be very low for a DVT, but if you have any other symptoms, you should have your surgeon examine you to make certain.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Liposuction recovery

It is normal to have pins and needles zings and shooting pains following this procedure.

Black and blues are also normal if it feels like there is fluid below the black and blue area, it may be a hematoma, a small collection of blood. If it is just a bruise, it will go away in a couple of weeks. Bruising usually migrates inferiorly, turns yellow, and then resolves.

Consult your surgeon, trust his advice, and be patient.

Marwan R. Khalifeh, MD
Chevy Chase Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Tingling after Liposuction

The feeling you describe can be caused by different things in different areas. It is likely that you are feeling this in the areas treated with liposuction because of healing in the nerves of that area. This is a very typical observation after lipo. In your legs and ankles, however, this could be do to persistent swelling in these areas.  Pins and needles feelings are commonly a part of that symptom as well. Because it is unlikely that the nerves to your ankles were injured with standard liposuction, my best guess is the swelling.
Dr. Pyle

Jeremy Pyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Paresthesias after liposuction are common temporarily.

The feeling of "pins and needles" is referred to as a paresthesia. This is the sign of nerve function recovering in his normal after liposuction.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Pin & Needles normal after Smartlipo

After Smartlipo it is normal to have a tingling sensation for a few weeks, this feeling will eventually subside. In the meantime, continue to wear your compression garment and follow up with your surgeon. Best of luck in your recovery.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Pins and needles in legs after flank liposuction

  1. I suspect that your liposuction compression garment may be too tight.
  2. If the pins and needles feelings improve when you take off your garment, ask your surgeon to order a larger size.
Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 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.