Foot Feels Heavy After Being Under General Anesthesia: is This Normal? Post labiaplasty

Post labiaplasty and was under general anesthesia -- left leg from the knee down feels heavy after surgery but now 4 hours later lower leg still feel like it's asleep. Is this cause for concern?

Doctor Answers 6

Leg asleep after labiaplasty

Hi and thank you for your question.  During labiaplasty surgery under general anesthesia typically your legs are placed in stirrups to held them.  As such the nerves behind the knee or around it can be placed on pressure, stretch or compressed depending upon the position utilized. Ordinarily this is not a problem but one potential is for the nerve to be compressed and the leg to go numb or become heavy. A blood clot is another potential complication in the leg during any surgery as well.  If the leg feels numb or heavy you likely have a nerve compression that ordinarily goes away on its own with time. If the leg is swollen or quite painful you are best off seeing your doctor right away to be sure there is not a blood clot.  I hope this helps!

Scott M GulinsonMD
OBGYN and cosmetic vulvovaginal surgeon
Glendale, AZ

Positioning issue

Looks like you weren't put into stirrups properly and got a little nerve compression injury. These should resolve over hours to days, but it's possible it might take longer. Tell your surgeon and make sure they are aware if it's still lasted this long.

Foot Feels Heavy After Being Under General Anesthesia

Thank you for sharing your post.  Were there additional procedures besides the labiaplasty    The length of time in the operating room along with proper positioning of the patient plays a role and is sometimes a cause for concern with lower extremity heaviness or pain due to possible blood clot.
Most of these situations are usually positional and self resolve. However, I would definitely make your surgeon aware and  follow their recommendations. We sometimes worry about blood clots in the lower extremities and therefore sometimes order lower extremity ultrasound to rule out a blood clot.

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Symptoms such as yours are usually positional

and a result from some kind of compression of your nerve.  Time should allow this to resolve completely but your should mention this to your surgeon for documentation if it does not resolve.  Ideally, you would not have this but positional issues do arise in surgery and thankfully, resolve on their own.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Leg numbness after labiaplasty under general anesthesia

The most common source of leg numbness in vaginal surgery is excess pressure on the back or side of the knee with old-style leg supports that support the back of the knee. I don't know what type of leg supports you used, but see your surgeon. Most of these issues resolve quickly.

Foot Feels Heavy After Being Under General Anesthesia: is This Normal? Post labiaplasty

Thank you for sharing your question and I am sorry to hear of your foot symptoms.  If you were placed into stirrups for your procedure, the leg feeling is likely due to your positioning in the operating room.  Pressure placed onto the outer portion of the lower leg can cause irritation to the common peroneal nerve.  This would manifest itself with difficulty in everting your foot and in dorsiflexing the foot - lifting your foot towards your head.  This pressure injury should correct itself spontaneously given enough time but I would definitely bring this up to your operative surgeon so that they can follow you along carefully.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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