Is There a Modified Tummy Tuck Which Does Not Result in Permenant Numbness on the Lower Abdomen?

Is there a modified tummy tuck which does not result in permanent numbness on the lower abdomen? E.g. is it possible that the muscles are tightened with laproscopy and the excess skin simply removed without lifting the skin further up? Would this prevent permanent numbness? Thanks a lot!

Doctor Answers 7

Is there a modified tummy tuck which does not result in permanent numbness on the lower abdomen?

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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!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Any tummy tuck where skin is removed has risk of numbness

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Thank you for your post. In a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery, the tissue above the abdominal muscles is lifted off of the muscles from the lower scar to the ribs in a full tummy tuck and to the umbilicus in a mini tummy tuck. The superficial nerves that travel through the muscle to the skin are cut in order to do this. This is what causes the numbness afterward. The numbness usually extends in the entire area that was lifted up. On occasion, a superficial nerve to the thigh could be pulled causing numbness in this area as well. Swelling happens after surgery and also tends to be in the entire area that has been lifted up and any area that has received liposuction. Both numbness and swelling may take months to years to go away, and the last place for both to go away is the area right above the incision centrally, and sometimes right below the belly button. It may take up to 2 years to get to baseline sensation. sometimes, certain areas never feel totally normal, especially the area right above the incision centrally. If tingling or itchiness develop, that is a sign that the nerves are growing back. This is normally well tolerated, but occasionally, a nerve type pain medication is needed such as neurontin.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Numbness After Tummy Tuck

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Most patients have temporary numbness in the lower abdomen following an abdominoplasty.It is very unusual to have permanent numbness in this area.

For a simple and illustrated explanation of tummy tuck and body contouring procedures, watch my video.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Tummy tuck without numbness.

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Yes, it is possible to modify the standard tummy tuck to prevent numbness of the skin, but it may not be the best procedure for you. If a patient has rectus diastasis or separation of the muscles with a slight amount of lower abdominal skin a direct skin excision with or without liposuction and plication of the muscles with scope assistance is possible.


In a standard tummy tuck the numbness is usually temporary, however there may be some decreased sensitivity to light touch, but not true total numbness.

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Numbness after tummy tuck

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Here's the problem:  you can do a tummy tuck without undermining thus guaranteeing no numbness.  But the result is likely to be compromised and second rate.

The best tt's involve skin elevation and undermining which can result in some patchy loss of sensation above the incision centrally. 

Most c sections also have the same patchy numbness, it is common.

The numbness is completely unimportant. In 20 years I have never seen a patient seriously bothered by it.  Any skin incision anywhere can cause adjacent numbness.

However if you're seriously bothered by the possibility you would need to either decide not to have surgery or agree to have a second rate operation to guarantee it would not occur.

Good luck.

Numbness In Lower Abdomen After Tummy Tuck Usually Temporary

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The numbness following a tummy tuck in the lower abdominal area is usually temporary, although there is always a poosibility that it could be permanent.  I cannot recall any TT patients who complained of any permanent numbness.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon


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Having a tummy tuck done does not mean you will for sure have numbness. In some cases the numbness is only temporary. There is no other way to do a tummy tuck and repairing muscle without lifting the skin and fixing the issue.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.