Plastic surgery achieves its dramatic and age-defying transformations by cutting and tightening the skin. Incisions can lead to a temporary loss of sensation as the skin heals and nerve pathways regenerate.
How long until the skin regains sensation after plastic surgery? What do these skin changes feel like? Here’s what to expect after your procedure.
Your body is a network of nerves, communicating sensation from the many parts of your body to your brain. Any time your skin experiences a wound, it can disrupt this network. It takes time for these communication pathways to rebuild and regenerate after surgery.
Healing occurs at different speeds for each patient. The extent of your surgery and how quickly you heal will impact the severity of sensation loss and how quickly the skin recovers. Smoking reduces oxygen in the blood and slows the healing process. Smoking too soon after surgery can lead to lasting complications.
Different patients experience various sensation changes. Numbness is very common. Some patients experience a complete loss of feeling. Other patients report tingling around the incision site. Often, patients compare the feeling of numbness after surgery to the feeling you experience when an arm or leg falls asleep.
Sensation may return abruptly, or it could come back gradually. Many patients experience zapping and tingling sensations as the nerves heal and sensation returns.
Generally, the more invasive a surgery, the more likely you are to experience sensation loss. Sensation loss typically lasts longer after more invasive surgeries. While feeling normally returns after surgery, some patients will experience a permanent loss or change in skin sensation.
If you’re curious about sensation changes after plastic surgery, Dr. Waltzman will be happy to answer any questions. Contact us at (562) 448-6100 to schedule a visit to our Long Beach, CA plastic surgery office.