I am a 26 years old female and I just had a breast augmentation and areola reduction through periareolar incision 3 weeks ago. Before the surgery, the sensibility of my nipples was normal and sometimes, when it was cold, not only the nipple but the whole areola contracted. Now, 3 weeks after the surgery, my nipples are numb and the areola dont contract anymore I want to know if the sensibility of the nipples will return as well as the areola contraction?
Loss of Sensibility After a Breast Augmentation Surgery Through Periolar Incision
Doctor Answers (14)
Permanent numbness after implants is possible
Thank you for your question. Studies show that, on a national average 15% of breast augmentation patients get some permanent numbness to the nipple and areola area. It is likely that larger implants which require a larger pocket may have a higher incidence of numbness and small implants have a somewhat smaller incidence of numbness. Loss of contraction of the areola tends to occur with numbness. It can take up to a couple of years for all of the sensation to come back if it does come back. There is nothing to do but wait.
Nipple Sensativity after Breast Augmentation
This is a fairly common phenomenon after breast augmentation with areolar reduction. The sensibility of your nipples are controlled by nerves that run deep below and along the chest wall near the ribs. Permanent loss of sensibility is unlikely, but is associated with implant size, not placement of incision. It is not uncommon to have temporary loss of sensibility, and this usually comes back in the first few weeks to months. Complete healing of nerves can take a year however. No need to worry, it will likely come back, either completely or partially.
Nipple contraction is caused by a completely different set of nerves that run along with the blood vessels, the same nerves that allow you to sweat and have 'goose bumps'. When these nerves get injured, they almost always come back, but may also take a few months as well. So nipple sensibility and nipple contraction are not linked together and their respective functions may return at different times.
I hope that these are your only problems, and that you experience a complete return of your nipple sensibility.
Best of luck!
Loss of sensibility after a breast augmentation surgery through periareolar incision?
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.
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Nipple sensitivity and contraction
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. 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.
Pablo Prichard, MD
Return of sensation after breast surgery
Allow yourself time to recover. Nerve endings begin to awaken as you go through the healing process. It may take 1 – 2 years for sensation to improve. As with any surgery, permanent numbness is a possibility, but rare occurrence in my practice. Make sure you discuss this with your board-certified plastic surgeon.
Nipple Sensation After Breast Augmentation
It is not uncommon for patients to experience some change in nipple sensation after breast augmentation; this is usually temporary and returns over time. By 9-12 months after surgery, your nipple sensation will probably have improved as much as it is going to improve. However, 15% of patients will have a permanent, increase, decrease, or change in nipple sensation following breast augmentation.
Nipple/areola contraction is controlled by another set of nerves. Your areolas may not be contracting because they are under tension (as expected) following the areola reduction, irritation/damage to the nerves, or both. It is also likely that the ability of your areolas to contract will return over time, as well.
Jaime Perez, M.D.
Breast Augmentation Specialist in Tampa, Florida
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, Florida
What you are experiencing is common.
What you are experiencing is common and expected this ealry after breast augmentation. Most patients will have improvement commencing at 6 weeks and becoming progressively better in the ensuing year.
Loss of Nipple Sensitivity after Augmentation
There is always a chance of loss nipple sensation following augmentation mammaplasty through any incision. If you have no sensation at all three weeks following surgery, there is probably some injury to the main sensory nerve to the nipple. it is certainly too soon to determine if the numbness is temporary or permanent. It may take 6-12 months before sensation returns or it could be permanent.
Loss of sensation after periareolar breast augmentation
Loss of nipple/areolar sensation occurs occasionally after breast augmentation, and may improve over time (sometimes over a year or more). Loss of areolar contraction may be caused by tension (stretch) on the areola as a result of the areolar reduction, and may also improve with time. There are both issues that you should discuss and follow with your surgeon.