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 (13)

Sensory change after breast surgery

+3

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nipple sensation

+2
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
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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

+2
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.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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Return of nipple sensation after breast augmentation and lift

+2

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,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

It may take 3-6 months to fell normal

+2

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 56 reviews

Nipple sensation after breast surgery

+2

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 5 reviews

Nipple Numbness After Breast Augmentation

+2

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 17 reviews

Nipple Sensation

+2

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 29 reviews

Nipple Numbness

+1
Dear Jojo,
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 normally. Extremely rarely, 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. 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.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD 

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Loss of Nipple Sensation Following Breast Augmentation

+1

 

                  Although breast augmentation performed in combination with breast lift is a relatively safe operative procedure, occasionally complications can occur. Loss of sensation is a recognized complication of this procedure and can occur in about ten to fifteen percent of patients. Loss of sensation may involve the breast skin or in more serious cases, the actual nipple areola complex. In the vast majority of cases, it transcient and resolves with time, but in some cases may be permanent.

                  When patients have loss of sensation, it may take up to 6-12 months for it to return. When sensation persists for longer periods of time, it may be permanent. Under these circumstances, it’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 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.