How Long Does it Take to Regain Skin Feeling After Surgery?

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If you’re considering having plastic surgery and have looked at your fair share of before and after photos, then you know plastic surgery has the ability to completely transform and elevate a person’s physique. Those who have achieved amazing results from plastic surgery usually swear by it, and say they would go through the experience again because of how pleased they are with their final look. However, the road to one’s final results is a process that is sometimes met with inconvenient and unwanted side effects. One of the more well-known side effects of plastic surgery is temporary sensation loss in the site of surgery. This can be as minor and brief as temporary numbness, or as extreme as nerve damage.

Many patients preparing for their procedures wonder what exactly this sensation loss will feel like, and when they can expect to regain skin feeling again after surgery. Below is a guide to the different kinds of numbness patients may experience after surgery and how long skin feeling typically takes to return in each case.

Numbness Due to Laying Down for an Extended Period of Time
Being still on the surgical table for an extended period of time can cause numbness in a patient’s limbs. The longer the procedure, the higher the risk for this type of problem. If you have ever had your leg or arm fall asleep after sitting too long or sleeping in an awkward position, then you are familiar with this issue. The difference is that if your leg falls asleep during surgery, you aren’t awake to reposition yourself. This type of surgery related numbness usually resolves itself rather quickly and is usually not of concern.

Numbness Due to Anesthesia
Anesthesia is used during plastic surgery so that the procedure is completely painless for the patient. As a result, patients sometimes have no feeling in the area they were operated on after waking up from surgery. Although this may seem concerning at first, it is actually a blessing! Numbness from anesthesia can last for several hours or a day after surgery, and will allow you to avoid pain and get comfortable at the start of your recovery.

Numbness Due to Incisions
If your surgical procedure required you to get incisions, you may also experience numbness around your incision site. This is caused by the nerves that run through the incision site being damaged. Patients can typically expect for feeling around their incisions to come back a few months after surgery, although this can vary from patient to patient.

Numbness Due to Nerve Damage
In some more serious cases, permanent nerve damage can result from your plastic surgery procedure. If this is a potential complication that can occur from your surgery, your surgeon will make sure to discuss this with you beforehand. For some patients, the possibility of some numbness is worth it if they will be getting their dream body.

When to Worry
Although numbness after surgery is very normal and typically not a cause for concern, there are cases where it can point to a more serious issue. Make sure to immediately call your doctor if you experience loss of control of your urine, loss of control of your bowels, inability to walk or any facial drooping.

In Conclusion
Numbness is a very common side effect after plastic surgery. Losing skin feeling can have many underlying causes, including staying in one position for too long, lingering effects of anesthesia, incisions, and overall nerve damage. Depending on the cause of numbness, patients can expect skin feeling to return in anywhere from a few hours to a few months. In some cases, permanent nerve damage may result in complete loss of sensation in a few areas. If this is a possible complication that can occur from your procedure, you will be well-informed before surgery in order to make a final decision on whether or not you would still like to go through with the procedure.