How Long Does Numbness Typically Last After Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 45

Numbness after Tummy Tuck lasts about a year, but some is permanent


Doctors usually tell patients before surgery that they can expect some permanent and some temporary numbness. It is often permanent in the triangle extending from the umbilicus down to the upper pubic area (along the incision). The areas from the incision ends, across and above the umbilicus, extending into the upper abdomen are commonly partially numb and temporary.

Some sensation recovery occurs in the first few months, but final improvement can take 2 years. Most patients say they feel normal in about one year.

Remember numbness is decreased sensation. This doesn't affect motion or strength of the muscles underneath.

Greenville Plastic Surgeon
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Numbness following a tummy tuck

Following a tummy tuck many patients have numbess along the incisions that can persist for up 12 months after surgery.  The nerves regenerate themselves starting from the outsides of the abdomen, working their way to the midline.  Many patients have permanent sensation loss of the skin between the belly button and the middle of the abdominal incision.  Other common sensations after a tummy tuck include tingling and "lightening shock" pains, which are also caused by the nerves regenerating.  I hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Neil J. Zemmel, MD


Numbness after tummy tuck can take 2 years to resolve, and sometimes can be permanent.  It however is not something that the patients typically complain about.

How Long Does Numbness Typically Last After Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question. When a tummy tuck operation is performed, the abdominal wall skin is separated from the underlying abdominal wall muscle. During this process,  many sensory nerves are divided. Therefore, some degree of  numbness is to be expected. This may persist for months to years. In some cases/locations, the loss of sensation may be permanent.  Also, as patients become more active, they report abdominal wall swelling (this may increase during the day);  this phenomenon is usually self limited and improves when the lymphatic and venous channels start to work normally. Again, it may take several months/years for this to occur.  

I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to tummy tuck concerns) helps.

Numbness After Tummy Tuck

Numbness is common after tummy tuck especially in the triangle below the new umbilicus. This can last for up to a year and it can even be permanent. If one has a mini abdominoplasty the numbness is usually resolved in 6-9 months.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
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Feelin is slow to return after tummy tuck, often 2 years


I would not be concerned at 2 months.

Many nerves are injured during tummy tuck and it is normal for the abdomen to feel numb after tummy tuck.

Healing of nerves takes 2 years for full healing and return of function to occur.

As mentioned above there will be some areas of permanent numbness near the belly button, but patients do not seem to be bothered by this.

Numbness Following Tummy Tuck

Very often, patients describe of numbness in their lower abdomen after a tummy tuck.The greatest degree of numbness is in the area closer to the incision.Normally, this feeling gradually returns.Sometimes it takes as long as two years for all of the feeling to return.

My simple and illustrated video may help you--learn more about tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
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Numbness will last an long time after a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and may be permanent in small areas.

A tummy tuck is a fairly extensive procedure.  Numbness of the abdominal wall skin is part of the recovery process.  Usually the sensation begins to return on the sides and moves towards the center.  It may take more than a year for full recovery.  Ocasionally a small area may never be renervated and numbness in that place will be permanent.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

1-2 years

Numbness after abdominoplasty can persist for 1-2 years. Typically this does not present a significant problem.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Numbness after a tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.  Numbness after a tummy tuck is to be expected (to some degree) and unfortunately it can persist for months and even years.  In most cases the loss of sensation is temporary, but in some cases and in specific locations this loss may be permanent.  When a tummy tuck is performed the skin overlying the abdominal wall and the abdominal wall itself are separated from one another, which can divide the sensory nerves.  It can take months and even years for the nerves to regenerate and for this reason it is impossible to give a precise answer.  I hope you find this helpful.

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.