I STILL have absolutely NO feeling in my nipple areas of both my breasts after my lift with augmentation 2 1/2 years ago. Does this mean I will NEVER regain sensation again? If not, is there ANYTHING I can do to put some feeling back into my breasts?
I Had a Breast Lift with Aug 2 1/2 Yrs Ago. Will I Ever Regain my Nipple Sensation?
Doctor Answers (4)
I had a breast lift with aug 2.5 yrs ago. Will I ever regain my nipple sensation?
It is one risk of such a procedure, and one that you must consider, amongst others, as with any surgical procedure. Return of sensation can take up to a year. If no change from that time, the chances are slim that it will improve. Best wishes!
Will I Ever Regain my Nipple Sensation?
Loss of some sensation is always a risk with any surgery. Generally, there is decreased sensation for several months after surgery - this is normal, which slowly returns in time. Most of the time by 1 year after a procedure, the sensation is pretty much where it is going to be for most people. Sometimes it takes longer and the return of sensation will happen in the following year but this is the minority. At 2 1/2 years after a procedure, if you still have no sensation, it is unlikely that the situation will change much.
2 1/2 years after breast lift and augmentation, absent nipple sensation will not return.
Depending on the statistics quoted, about 15% of patients undergoing breast lift plus augmentation will lose sensation to one or both nipples permanently. A higher percentage will initially have lost sensation due to bruising or stretching of the sensory nerve(s) to the nipples. The main sensory innervation is the lateral 4th intercostal nerve, sometimes with additional contribution from branches of the 3rd and 5th intercostals.
This nerve runs from the back along the side of the chest wall to enter the breast laterally and deep, and then coursing through the breast tissue to the nipple/areola complex. Most skin incisions and breast implant pockets will avoid these nerves, but the nerves are not "color-coded" or waving a "save me, save me" flag. These are simply small fibers like many other fibers that are divided in the performance of the surgery, creation of the implant pockets, and tailoring the skin flaps that shape the breast.
About 5-10% of breast augmentation patients will lose nipple sensation permanently, and around 15% of breast lift, reduction mammoplasty, or breast lift plus augmentation patients will lose sensation permanently.
When a patient has absent nipple sensation immediately after surgery, it could be due to a stretched or irritated nerve, and will recover over time (usually 6-12 months, rarely longer). Or, the nerve(s) could be severed, and will not recover. By 2 1/2 years after surgery, if you have absent nipple sensation, it should not be expected to return. Sorry, but that is not a complication of this surgery; it is one possible outcome even if everything is performed perfectly, simply based on each patient's own anatomical differences. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen
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