Is It Normal After Rib Removal Surgery To Have Skin Numbness?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I wanted to reach out and let you know how my rib removal recovery is healing three weeks after surgery.

1) I’m still experiencing some swelling after my rib removal, which I know is common. My left side seems to swell more than my right. Is this normal? 

2) Also, I’ve been experiencing a lot of skin sensitivity on my anterior torso. I imagine this is just nerve regrowth, but wanted to ask if it’s normal and why it’s occurring. 

3) My liposuction  sites are healing very well! They do get itchy at times, which I assume is part of the healing process. How many ccs of fat was removed from my torso? Was it 360 or just to my love handles? 

Thank you again for your wonderful work and attention. I look forward to hearing back

A: Thank you fo the followup to which I can provide the following answers to your rib removal surgery recovery questions:

1) Complete swelling resolution from the surgery sites will take up to 3 to 4 months to fully resolve. Some residual swelling and even periodic flareups of it is very common at this point.

2) Skin nerve sensitivity is very common over liposuction treated areas that develops after surgery as the tiny skin nerves regrow and create various temporary dysesthesias of which sensitivity is one of them. This will be a self-resolving issue as more healing occurs.

3) You had ‘270’  liposuction of the waistline since the very front of the abdomen was not treated. There was about 100 to 150cc of aspirate per side.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana