Nipple Sensation

I had a breast lift and implant surgery on 03.09.11. I had 375cc HP saline implants/under muscle and everything seems to be healing very well. My question is regarding nipple sensation.
Not long after surgery I noticed that my left nipple looked different, kind of white after surgery and it is that same nipple that I still do not have any feeling in. With it being this far PO, is there still a chance that I will in fact get feeling back? My nipples look the same, just one is still numb.

Doctor Answers 18

Sensory change after breast surgery

Any surgery near the nipple or even elsewhere in the breast can result in sensory change in the nipple (or even total numbness).  Return of sensation can take many months to a year, so it is still quite early if your surgery was in March. 

Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Nipple sensation

Generally, nipple sensation can take up to 12 months to recover.  Since your surgery was 3 years ago, you will probably continue to stay numb.  Occasionally, a few women will slowly regain sensation over time.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Nipple sensation loss after breast lift at 2 years may be permanent

Thank you for your question.  As others have stated usually nipple sensation returns within the first 6-12 months after a breast lift.  If your nipple is numb at 2 years after breast lift it most likely is permanent.  Be sure to consult your plastic surgeon for an examination and opinion.

Return of nipple sensation after breast augmentation and lift

Nipple sensation usually will return after change is noted following breast augmentation and lift. The gradual improvement will take up to six to nine months. The cause is more often due to stretching of the nerves within the breast over the surface of the breast implant. Partial loss of sensation can occur, though some times increased sensation and soreness in the nipple can be the problem. Be optimistic and give the recovery time.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

It may take 3-6 months to fell normal

There is a small risk of permanent nipple sensation loss with the augmentation and even higher with the combination of the lift and augmentation. The most common cause of  nipple sensation loss is traction on the nerve and normal sensation would return in 3-6 months.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Nipple sensation after breast surgery

You are relatively early in your post op period.  It may take up to a year for paresthesia of the breast to resolve.  Donald R Nunn MD  Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Nipple Numbness After Breast Augmentation

It can take up to 6 months for sensation to return (if it is going to) so you still have a window of opportunity. Good luck!

Marcel Daniels, MD
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Nipple Sensation

Hello Jojo42,

There are many reasons why you are experiencing loss of nipple sensibility on the left side.  It may or may not be due to any perceived differences in color of your nipple that occured immediately after the surgery.  Typically, sensory nerve injury is temporary, and is usually due to stretching the nerves near the ribs from placement of the implant.  If you have also had a breast lift, nerves may also have been cut near the skin, also a temporary phenomenon.

Occasionally, nerves have been more severly injured, also usually due to injury near the ribs. Return of sensation is slower, and may not be complete.  This happens about 5% of the time.  Signs of the nerve returning to normal function are increased or painfull sensations and pins and needles.  The longer there is complete anesthesia (dense numbness), the more likely the nerve has been more severly injured, and the longer the return to function.

You are about two months out from your surgery and are still experiencing numbness.  It is still too early to tell when and if you will get a return of some or all of your nipple sensibiltiy.   Your status at 6 months will tell a lot about your prospects of return of function.  Your status at 12 to 18 months will determine your final level of sensibility.   Please be patient and confident that probably some of your nipple sensibility will return.

Best of luck.

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Nipple sensation.

Nipple sensation should generally return within a year. However, as more time passes you still may gain some nipple sensation.

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Breast lift and nipple sensation

Nipple sensation may improve slightly with increased time. However, the amount of sensory return may plateau after a year or so.

Dr. Karamanoukian

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 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.