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Breast Numbness 10 Months Post-Op

I had a submuscular saline ~390cc breast aug. 10 months ago and still have no sensation in approx. 80% of my breasts. First, I want to know if there is any hope for feeling to return, and why this possibly happened to me. Also, I am undecided as to whether I will get the implants removed or exchanged for much smaller ones (I am not comfortable with the size). Total removal in theory would relieve all tension on nerves, while a smaller implant might help avoid sag. Help is much appreciated.

Doctor Answers (5)

Numb nipple

+1
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.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD


Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Numbness of nipple

+1

No one knows exactly why some individuals lose nipple sensation after breast augmentation. It may very well be as a result of stretching like you mention. Placing smaller implants probably will not improve the sensation.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Loss of sensation following breast implant surgery

+1

The loss of sensation for this long is concerning and return of sensation if possible but not likely. Sometimes this may take as long as 2 years to fully assess. Removing implants does not mean your sensation will return although it is a possibility.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

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Numbness is not unusual after breast augmentation

+1

Stretching of the nerves is quite often the cause of numbness after breast augmentation.  If there is stretching of the nerves usually  there will be a decrease in sensation but not complete numbness.  The way you can tell is that even though it feels numb you can tell when the area is being touched, this is usually called paresthesia.  Often times this type of numbness gets better.

Dev Wali, MD
Claremont Plastic Surgeon
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Breast numbness

+1
Breast numbness can be the result of stretched nerves, but at 390 cc it is very unlikely that the implant size is the problem. Thus i would caution you against implant exchange if the sole purpose of this is to relieve the numbness. Sincerely, Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 156 reviews

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.