Stinging Pain Normal 17 Days After Breast Augmentation?

I had Breast augmentation with placement under the muscle and a vertical lift all at the same time 17 days ago, I'm still having pain on each side of the breast and alot of sensitivity like stinging sensation is this common and how long does it usually last?

Doctor Answers 13

Nipple sensitivity is not unusual following breast surgery

An increase in nipple sensitivity is not uncommon after breast surgery. This is due to irritation of the nerves that supply sensation to this area. The nerves arise between the ribs and run over the muscle, through the breast tissue to supply the nipple and areola. The implant, since it is under the path for the nerve, frequently puts the nerve on a stretch. This causing a bruise type injury to the nerve and will sometimes cause these symptoms. It is termed a dysesthesia or hyperesthesia. It is generally self limited. Gentle massage of the nipple and areola can be beneficial. Also massage of the lateral side of the breast can help. On occasion medications or injections are needed. Give it time and most likely it will resolve.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

This is normal

What you are describing sounds normal for some patients but not most.  Best to go back to your doctor for a quick check-up and some reassurance that all is fine.

Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question. I have included some typical expectations of breast surgery recovery and signs to watch for following breast augmentation:

  • Stiffness, swelling and bruising in the chest region: These are normal experiences as the skin, muscles and tissue heal. Pain medication and muscle relaxants will help you cope with any discomfort. Consistent sharp pain should be reported to your board-certified surgeon.
  • Hypersensitivity of nipples or lack of sensitivity: This is normal and will gradually resolve over time.
  • A mild to severe itchy feeling of the breasts is possible as healing progresses. An antihistamine like Benadryl can help to alleviate severe, constant itchiness. If the skin becomes red and hot to the touch, contact your board-certified surgeon immediately.
  • Asymmetry, the breasts look different, or heal differently: Breasts may look or feel quite different from one another in the days following surgery. This is normal. No two breasts in nature or following surgery are perfectly symmetrical.
  • Discuss returning to work with your board-certified surgeon, in our office it is typically 3-5 days post-surgery but you may not overexert yourself or do any heavy lifting.
  • You may resume exercise and your normal routine at six weeks unless your surgeon advises otherwise.
The pain and "stinging sensation" you described could be nerve regeneration. Please follow up with your board-certified plastic surgeon with any questions about your recovery. Best of luck.

Brian Coan, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Possible nerve regeneration, but best to see your surgeon

Generally this is the result of nerve regeneration, and will often subside over time. Tingling, stinging, and burning are good signs and it most likely means that sensation is returning. Changes in sensation are normally temporary and resolve in the weeks or months following surgery. It is very rare that permanent changes occur.

I recommend you see your surgeon, however, if you are very concerned. Best of luck.

Stinging pain normal 17 days 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 typical for 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 14 reviews

Stinging pain after augmentation?

Dear MS,
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.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Sensitivity after breast surgery

It is normal to have discomfort after breast augmentation with breast lift.  The discomfort can come and go for the first 1-2 months.  It is unlikely do be debilitating 1 week after surgery.  Please discuss concerns with your surgeon.

Dennis Dass, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Pain after Breast Augmentation Surgery

You may have pain related to irritation of your nerves. Neuropathic pain or nerve related pain maybe caused by irritation or scar tissue or maybe a pressure related phenomenon. Rest assure, there are several treatments for pain due to breast implants. If you do have pain, begin massage to the area of pain to help desensitize the area. If at least 6 months and preferably 12 months have passed after your breast implant surgery, some modalities that may help resolve your pain are:

1. Local Steroid injection to area of pinpoint pain

2. Flector transdermal NSAID patch

3. Intercostal nerve block

You should consult with your plastic surgeon to determine what is most appropriate for you and your particular signs and symptoms. Good Luck, Ankit Desai, MD - Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon

Ankit Desai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Breast augmentation: stinging pain

If the pain is on both sides and even, it is most likley the nerves being stretched and recovering from the surgery.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Fun in the sun

Marie,

I'm glad that you are able to recover in sunny hawaii.  The symptoms that you describe are not at all uncommon 17 days following breast augmentation and lift.  I inform my patients that it may take 3-6 months for sensation symptoms to resolve.  Good luck!

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.