Breast Augmentation Nipple Sensitivity and Pain on Left Side Since Op?

My surgery was in 2007, since then my left breast nipple has been over sensitive. It feels a bit like its been split if that makes sense. Direct pressure from say lying on my stomach there is pain. Is this something that I should worry about and get checked out or is it just a general after effect of surgery.

Doctor Answers (3)

Over sensative nipple?

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Dear 1968, 
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. 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. 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. usually 3 months or so in most cases. 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. In your case, since it has been quite some time and sensation hasn't normalized, I would recommend desensitization techniques performed by a physical therapist.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD


Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Nipple sensitivity after augmentation

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Sensory changes are possible after breast augmentation and I find more common with very large implants.  This is very difficult to treat and may require desensitization technqiues through a physical therapist.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast Augmentation Nipple Sensitivity and Pain post-operatively

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Thanks for your question.  Pain after breast augmentation, although not common, is definitely a possibility.  The nerves that supply the nipple arise laterally from the chest wall and innervate the nipple areola from below through the breast parenchyma. It is possible to injure these nerves if the surgeon is careless in dissecting in this area.  Large saline implants can also cause pressure on the nerve creating scar tissue and pain.

 

Some solutions to this problem are to switch from saline to a softer gel implant or decrease the size of the implant and perform a concomitant mastopexy or breast lift.  Non-surgical options would be anti-inflammatory medications and heat or cold packs. You should go back to your surgeon for an examination to see if capsular contracture or scarring is causing the problem.  It may also be indicated to image the breasts and the implants with ultrasound or mammogram.

Shankar Lakshman, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon

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