Skin Sensation Loss After Plastic Surgery


The age-defying and confidence-boosting results that come from plastic surgery can seem magical.

But plastic surgery isn’t a matter of “just add water and stir.” The procedures are exacting and involve the cutting and tightening of the skin. As such, the incisions can cause a temporary skin sensation loss after plastic surgery.

Don’t fret. As with any surgery, this is a normal outcome. And it’s not as scary as it may sound.

Why Is There Skin Sensation Loss After Plastic Surgery?

Think about the last time you had a wound. When you cut yourself, you may have felt pain. But if the cut was very deep, there’s a chance you didn’t notice any pain at first.

That’s because the wound broke deep enough into the skin to disturb the network of nerves that runs through your body. This network is responsible for communicating sensation from many parts of the body to your brain.

Much like that deep cut, a surgical incision also impacts that network and disrupts those communication pathways – cutting off sensation to the skin.

So What Does It Feel Like?

There’s no one-size-fits-all for how each patient experiences the loss of skin sensation. For some there may just be some numbness or dullness. Yet another person with the same surgery may experience a complete loss of feeling.

In terms of when the skin sensation returns, this also varies. For many patients, the sensation returns gradually. They might experience tingling or even zapping as the nerves heal. But then there are those who have an abrupt return of sensation.

How Long Does It Last?

The simple rule of thumb is that the more invasive the surgery, the higher your risk of losing skin sensation. Of course, there are always other factors. For example, smoking reduces oxygen in the blood and slows the healing process. So for smokers, it will take longer.

In general, however, you can expect the these outcomes from the following procedures:

  1. Facelift

Experiencing sensation changes after having a facelift is very common. Especially around the incision sites. While many patients start regaining sensation within three to six months, it’s possible that you may still have some lack of sensation for a year before feeling sensation again.

  1. Tummy Tuck

Similar to a facelift, much of the loss of skin sensation after a tummy tuck is around the incision line. The area between the incision line and the belly button may also experience loss of feeling. This typically clears up within two to six months.

  1. Breast Augmentation/Lift/Reduction

Breast skin usually regains feeling within two to three months after breast augmentation, lift, and/or reduction. In cases where incisions were made around the nipple, the skin sensation loss can be longer lasting than those where incisions were made under the breast or arm. Nipple sensitivity may also be impacted.

  1. Liposuction

Here’s the good news: loss of skin sensation is rare after liposuction when it’s done as a standalone procedure. Within a few weeks of surgery (at most) the majority of patients return to normal feeling.

Get All the Deets on Plastic Surgery

While the idea of skin sensation loss after plastic surgery can be daunting, it’s almost always temporary. And the payoff is well worth the short term inconvenience.

If you’re dubious and want reassurance from a highly qualified team of medical experts though, contact us today for your free consultation. We’ll answer all your questions to put your mind at ease.

You won’t be left in the dark for a moment about your procedure.