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.
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.
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.
Pablo Prichard, MD
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pain after breast augmentation normal for up to a year
We tell our patients to expect the occasional shooting, burning pain for up to a year after surgery. As long as it is temporary, there is nothing to worry about. However, pain that persists should be brought to the attention of your doctor.
Nubmness is a separate issue. There can be numbness of the nipple as well as the lower part of the breast. Hopefully, numbness of the nipple only lasts a couple of weeks and everything returns to normal.
Sometimes it takes a very long time for the nipple to be back to normal. It sounds like you have some nerves that are recuperating still so allow a little more time and make sure you follow up with your doctor.