How Can I Tell if a Nerve was Cut During a Breast Implant Revision? (photo)

I got a breast augmentation surgery on Nov,2010. left side never drop.Doctor told me he has to operate again to make the pocket bigger than what it was for implant to drop. I had second surgery on may 3, 2011 just left side, now I have left side bigger that the right. He told me I need another surgery to refill the right side to make it even. I have mentor 325cc final fill 390cc. I have pain on my left breast. went for second opinion. they told me maybe a nerve got cut. my nipple is numb. what can I do?

Doctor Answers (3)

Loss of Nipple Sensation

Loss of nipple sensation is not unusual after breast augmentations and is a known side effect of the surgery. Most of the time the numbness is temporary and feeling returns in a few weeks or months. However, it can also be permanent. The loss of sensation occurs due to injury of the very small nerve that supplies the nipple. It is very difficult to tell if it was stretched or cut since both can result in the same symptoms.

Princeton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Nerve issue after breast augmentation



The nerves that travel within the breast and supply the nipple/areola are very small and hard to differentiate from the surrounding fat/breast tissue.  You may have numbness from stretching of the nerve or from cutting of the nerve but it would be essentially impossible to see the nerve via a lower breast fold incision and to allow its repair.  At this point, with regards to he nerve issue, you are better to just massage and wait.  There is a chance that it may come back.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Nipple Numbness


Thank you for the question and pictures.

Unfortunately,  what you are experiencing is a known complication of breast augmentation surgery. Whether the nerve was “cut”  cannot be known with any certainty;  however, based on your description it has been temporarily or permanently  effected by the surgery.  At this point, there is not much to do in regards to the nipple  numbness except allowing  for ongoing healing to occur.  Sometimes the nipple sensation will  return,  sometimes it does not.

I agree with you regarding the size mismatch and the need for further surgery to improve the symmetry. 

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 726 reviews

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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.