Shooting Pains Normal Months After Breast Augmentation?

Nearly 6 months ago I had a breast augmentation from an A to C. It was over the muscle and the insicion is on the fold under the breast.

I still have a strange numbness around and under my nipples. I also get shooting pains. Is this normal after such a long period of time? Even though I'm saying it's a numbness, it's a weird feeling -- its like when you've been to the dentist and had your mouth frozen and the feeling is starting to come back. The shooting pains don't last long, but they're quite sore.

Doctor Answers 12

Shooting Pain After a Breast Augmentation

It is entirely normal to experience temporary sharp stabbing pain, soreness, bruising, swelling and tightness for several months. Remain patient and allow your body to heal. If however the pain persists or gets worse go see your doc. Good luck to you.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

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What to Expect Following Breast Augmentation - Pain, Swelling, Sensitivity

Breast augmentation is often accompanied by pain, swelling, and nipple hypersensitivity. These are essentially normal findings which usually resolve on their own. The weird sensation that you describe is known as a dysesthesia. It’s very similar to what happens when your leg falls asleep. The phenomena occurs when the nerves are compressed or stretched. During and after breast augmentation surgery, this is exactly what happens to the nerves that supply the nipple. The breast implant underneath the nipple compresses and stretches the soft tissue and nerves that supply the nipple and areola. In many cases, this process is made worse by swelling.

Patients typically describe a painful, tingling, burning sensation that can be very uncomfortable. In many cases, clothing rubbing against the area can elicit a pins and needles sensation.

These symptoms usually resolve in six to eight weeks, but may persist for longer periods of time. In some cases, aggressive massage can desensitize the area and minimize the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.

Listen to your body

Shooting pains can occur for variable amounts of time after breast augmentation and can still be quite normal.  If you are doing something in particular to create the pain, you should back off from that activity until it is no longer painful.  It may take 2 years for things to be back to normal.

Numb nipple

Thank you for your post. In general, most women who have a disturbance in nipple sensation, whether it be less (hypo-sensation), or in some cases too much (hyper-sensation), the sensation goes back to normal with 3-6 months. Occasionally, it can take 1 - 2 years to be normal. Extremely rare, the sensation never goes back to normal. This is extremely rare in augmentation alone, more common in lift or reduction but less with a smaller lift like a crescent lift. Signs that sensation is coming back are needle type sensation at the nipple, itchiness at the nipple, or 'zingers' to the nipple. The number of women that lose sensation is much lower than 10%, closer to 1% in a simple augmentation. In some cases the same occurs with contraction where some women have no contraction and some women have a constant contraction of the nipples. Unfortunately there is no surgical correction for this. Massaging the area can help sensation normalize faster if it is going to normalize, but will not help if the nerve does not recover. In women with hyper-sensitive nipples, this will go away with time in most cases. Usually 3 months or so. In the interim, I have them wear nipple covers or 'pasties' to protect them from rubbing. It is unlikely that down-sizing the implant will cause regaining sensation. Down-sizing the implant may cause saggy breasts, however, and may necessitate a breast lift. Physical therapy with de-sensitivity techniques can help with this issue. The Peri-areolar incision is associated with increased risk of nipple numbness due to the fact that the nerve is in close proximity.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Shooting pains normal months after breast augmentation?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Your symptoms sound like your nerves regenerating. Breast procedures such as the breast augmentation and breast lift/reduction certainly result in a more shapely, perky, and fuller appearance of your breasts. With any breast procedure there is a risk, albeit very small, of change in sensation to the area. The reported rate of sensation changes (decreased, loss, or increased) is ~7% for lift/reductions and much smaller for breast augmentation. In my experience, this rate is reportedly much lower, but is higher when tissue is excised or the amount of lift that is needed, so the breast reduction procedure has a slightly greater risk. It can take up to a year for full sensation to return. Re-educating your nerves to these areas by using different textures when showering and putting on lotion often helps.  Your description sounds as if it is your nerves regenerating. 

It is one risk of such a procedure, and one that you must consider, amongst others, as with any surgical procedure. You should consult with a plastic surgeon well-trained in breast procedures who will examine and discuss with you the various risks and benefits of the procedure(s) and assist you in deciding if such a procedure will be the right decision for you.

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Shooting pains, normal after breast augmentation.

It is not unusual to have sharp electrical pains on one side and not the other due to nerve irritation or compression (neuropraxia). 

It is always a good idea to keep your PS informed of your progress. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Temporary strange sensation common after breast implants.


During breast augmentation, the sensory nerves can be stretched or bruised. When the nerves heal, you can have pain, pins and needles, or burning. Not related to the breast implants. Almost always goes away.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Sensory changes after implants

Sensory changes evolve after having breast implants. Sensation comes back in most inidividuals jsut as you are experiencing. It is like electricity as it awakens.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Shooting pains months after breast augmentation not typical


This is not typical after breast augmentation. What does your surgeon say about it? If you haven't seen him (or her) in a while I would suggest you make an appointment. While it might sort out, a little guidance might be helpful.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Wait a year and see if this persists

I agree that you should wait about a year to determine if your symptoms persist. The nerve that supplies sensation to your nipple and areola actually runs from the sides of your breast and can be stretched from the implants during and after surgery. This usually goes away over time as the body adjusts. If still present after a year, then see your Doctor.

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.