What Happens if my Right Boob and Nipple is Numb?

I just had my breast augmentation and my right boob and nipple is numb. I was wondering if this numbness will affect breast feeding as well??

Doctor Answers (14)

Numbness after surgery

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Numbness is common after surgery and sensation usually returns in the weeks and months after your surgery. You may start feeling tingling, burning or electrical shocks as you regain feeling. Numbness shouldn't adversely affect breastfeeding ability.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Numb nipple

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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

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

What Happens if my Right Boob and Nipple are Numb?

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Numbness anywhere on the breast, including the nipple, is very common after breast augmentation.

The risk is the same regardless of the incision, and seems to increase along with implant size.

Nerve recovery can be expected for up to 2 years after surgery, at which time about 15% of women will continue have some loss of sensitivity.

Loss of sensitivity will not affect the ability to breastfeed.

Don't be too concerned at this early stage of your recovery - you have a long way to go.

Good luck!

 

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

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Nipple Numbness Post Breast Aug

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In my practice, I tend to discuss risks and complications of surgery with my patients  before their procedure. Numbness of the nipple is a common risk of breast augmentation surgery, but it tends to improve after 6-12 months after the procedure. If the problem continues, consult with your surgeon. There are some cases that the sensation will not come back after the surgery. Everyone reacts and heals from surgery in different ways. I hope the numbness goes away in time for you.

Siamak Agha, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
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Numbness after BA

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You don't say how long ago your breast augmentations were, but it is not uncommon for numbness to occur for several months.  The nerves have been stretched over the implant.  As they come back to life you may experience hypersensitivity on your nipples and later brief shooting pains.  These are good signs and mean that recovery is occurring.  It is very unusual for the sensation to not return, but it could take up to a couple of years.  Your patience will be rewarded.  Decreased sensation has no relationship to breast feeding.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Nipple numbness after breast augmentation

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Nipple numbness after breast augmentation can occur and is a known "complication".  There are several reasons why it can happen but the good news is that sensation will usually return.  Also, numbness of the nipple should not affect future breast feeding.

The timing of when sensation returns depends somewhat on why it has happened and it can take as long as 12 months or more.  Reasons for developing numbness after a breast augmentation include the use of a peri-areolar incision for implant placement, large implant placement, significant swelling after surgery, and possibly subglandular placement of the implant.  It each of these cases, there is a higher risk to stretching or cutting sensory nerves to the nipple.  If a nerve is stretched due to swelling or during surgery, the sensation should return faster than if the nerves were actually cut and need to regenerate.  In most cases, sensation will return.   

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
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Numbness of the nipple following breast augmentation and the ability to breast feed

+1

Numbness of the nipple and breast does occur following a breast augmentation. Usually it is temporary, decreasing over a period of a few weeks to a few months. Sometimes, it can take a year to 2 years to regain the maximal amount of sensation. This issue is totally independent of the ability to breast feed - so don't worry. That is, even if there is permanent numbness of the nipple which is very rare, this will have no impact on being able to breast feed.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
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Breast Augmentation, Sensation, Breast feeding

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Numbess after surgery is not unusual. Most get better in weeks or sometimes months.  Permanant changes are unusual.

Breast feeding is a complex response affected by many factors.  Numbness may or may not change the ability to breast feed.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Nipple numb

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You did not say how long it has been since your surgery. if numbness occurs it is usually temporary so give it some time. the difficulty with breast feeding is that when the nipple is numb you will not know if the baby latches on and therefore it can be hampered.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Numbness after breast surgery

+1

Some degree of numbness is common after breast augmentation - most of the time the sensation returns within a few days/weeks.

The nerves carrying sensation have little to do with the milk glands - so please do not worry about breast feeding.

Anindya Lahiri, MBBS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.