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Numb Tingly Thigh Searing Leg Pain Post Abdominoplasty/FTT

Dr. Hochstein answers your questions on breast augmentation, and all other breast surgeries including breast lifts, and breast reduction. Dr. Hochstein also specializes in tummy tucks.

Numb Tingly Thigh Searing Leg Pain Post Abdominoplasty/FTT

Postby nomorumplytummy » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:06 pm

Dr. Hochstein,

I would be so grateful if I could get your expert opinion. I am 11 days PO from a FTT with minimal lipo to ab, flanks and hip. I am fairly petite, 5'3", 119 preop.

Immediately following surgery I noticed a searing, shooting pain down my right leg after using the restroom for the first time. I also noticed the top and outer portion of my right thigh (1 inch above knee, 4 inches below hip) was very numb.

My PS said to monitor it to see if it went away but by Day 3 any time I put weight on my right leg or shifted positions in bed and in and out of bed I would experience the nerve pain. The binder also seemed to aggravate it more.

On Day 3 my PS took out 3 internal sutures to see if that alleviated the pain and numbness. It seemed to help the numbness on the top of my thigh but not the searing pain or numbness to outer right thigh.

By Day 5 the pain seemed more frequent and more intense and my PS took out 3 additional sutures that were deeper in and that seemed to take away the searing pain. When he was probing inside even with the novacaine it was excruciating and radiated past my knee to my ankle. He did share that my femoral cutaneous nerve was much more shallow than most and usually it runs much deeper.

I'm now on Day 11 and I've not experienced the searing pain again but my thigh is still numb on the surface. However, deep within the muscle and tissue it feels much more achy and sore and I'm starting to feel more tingling and sensation and getting little electrical shocks. Does this sound like sensation is returning?

I just wanted to see if you've ever come across this and if it might be Meralgia Paresthetica?

I have Fibromyalgia and exercise is paramount to keep flareups at bay. I'm so fortunate to have it under control by watching what I eat and exercising 5 days a week but I'm very concerned that if I do have MP it may inihibit my ability to exercise once I'm recovered.

Have any of your patients experienced this? Did the numbness go away and the sensation return? How long did it typically take? Is it going to get worse before it gets better?

I am just wondering if at this point I should consult a Neurologist to get a Nerve Conduction Velocity test or Electromyography (EMG)? My PS thinks these tests are worthless and while I respect his opinion and have been extremely happy with him thus far he has admitted that he has only come across this a handful of times in 23 years and it is not common and if I do have this condition, I will be the one who has to live with it, not him and I feel that the sooner you deal with potential nerve damage, the better off you may be...

I have not found many people that this has happened to, but of those I've spoken with, their numbness is still there and they're over a year out. They said the pain went away around 5 or 6 months but they did not have the strangulating sutures removed like I did...

Again, I would definitely appreciate any insight or recommendations you can offer. Very much look forward to your reply. So sorry for the length of this, I hope it is not too much detail!
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Re: Numb Tingly Thigh Searing Leg Pain Post Abdominoplasty/FTT

Postby Dr.Hochstein » Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:38 pm

It sounds like you may have had a sensory nerve injury during the surgery. This is not uncomon and usually subsides on its own. I have rarely heard of one as severe as yours but in any case with time this should improve.

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