Is It Normal to Have Breast Pain 3 Months After Surgery? I Feel Burning and Needles

i had surgery 3 months ago and i have pain on my breast more like a burning or like a needle pocking me is the normal?

Doctor Answers 15

Most symptoms resolve in 6-8 weeks, but could persist...

Breast augmentation is often accompanied by pain swelling and nipple hypersensitivity. These are essentially normal findings which usually resolve on their own. The burning sensation that you describe is known as a dysesthesia. It’s very similar to what happens when your leg falls asleep. The phenomena occurs when nerves are compressed or stretched. During and after breast augmentation surgery, this is exactly what happens to the nerves that supply the nipple.The breast implant underneath the nipple compresses and stretches the soft tissue and nerves that supply the nipple and areola.In many cases, this process is made worse by swelling.
Patients typically describe a painful tingling, burning sensation that can be very uncomfortable.In many cases, clothing rubbing against the area can elicit a pins and needles sensation.
These symptoms usually resolve in 6 to 8 weeks without intervention but may persist up to 3 to 6 months.In some cases, aggressive massage can desensitize the area and minimize the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.

Pain After Surgery

Thank you for your question. I have included some typical expectations of breast surgery recovery and signs to watch for following breast augmentation:

  • Stiffness, swelling and bruising in the chest region: These are normal experiences as the skin, muscles and tissue heal. Pain medication and muscle relaxants will help you cope with any discomfort. Consistent sharp pain should be reported to your board-certified surgeon.
  • Hypersensitivity of nipples or lack of sensitivity: This is normal and will gradually resolve over time.
  • A mild to severe itchy feeling of the breasts is possible as healing progresses. An antihistamine like Benadryl can help to alleviate severe, constant itchiness. If the skin becomes red and hot to the touch, contact your board-certified surgeon immediately.
  • Asymmetry, the breasts look different, or heal differently: Breasts may look or feel quite different from one another in the days following surgery. This is normal. No two breasts in nature or following surgery are perfectly symmetrical.
  • Discuss returning to work with your board-certified surgeon, in our office it is typically 3-5 days post-surgery but you may not overexert yourself or do any heavy lifting.
  • You may resume exercise and your normal routine at six weeks unless your surgeon advises otherwise.
The pain you are describing could be nerve regeneration. Please follow up with your board-certified plastic surgeon regarding recovery and concerns of pain. Best of luck.

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Nerve regeneration

Generally this is the result of nerve regeneration, and will often subside over time. Tingling and burning are good signs and it most likely means that sensation is returning. Changes in sensation are normally temporary and resolve in the weeks or months following surgery. It is very rare that permanent changes occur.  

Breast pain after breast implant surgery

It is very common to have symptoms of burning and tingling following Breast Augmentation for many months after surgery. This usually resolves over time. 
Christopher Costanzo MD Thousand Oaks. CA. 

Christopher Costanzo, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Normal Post -OP Healing

The breast are still healing.  The nerves sometimes are stretched with cause temporary damage.The nerves heal as a sign of burning and tingling,\.  This is a good thing and much better than loose of sensation.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Breast augmentation healing

pain is always a difficult issue..  healing continues for months.. nerves sometimes for 1-2 years

this will generally improve..   symptoms can be treated with anti inflamatories  like advil ,  celebrex.

 steroids can be used such as a medrol dospak

neurontin and other meds for chronic pain exist but are seldom necessary


Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Is It Normal to Have Breast Pain 3 Months After Surgery? I Feel Burning and Needles

You are describing sensations that are typical of nerve recovery after breast augmentation.

I suggest you see your surgeon who will recommend desensitization exercises. These will help clear up the unpleasant sensations more quickly.

Good luck!

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Post-op breast pain is not uncommon.


It is not uncommon to have weird sensations in the breast months after surgery.  What you describe sounds like nerve related pains that typically occur as the sensory nerves come back to life after being stretched during breast surgery.  Anti-inflammatory meds like Ibuprofen, etc. can help calm some of the symptoms down.  Ask your surgeon for options to help reduce your worry.

Warmest regards,

Dr. Shah


Breast Pain

It is normal to experience some burning, needling pain as the nerves regenerate.  I recommend Vit B6 100 mg three times per day to help during this period of healing. 

Scott W. Harris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Burning pain after breast surgery

Shooting or burning pain after breast surgery is not uncommon. In fact in my experience oversensitivity is more common than loss of sensation. This will most likely resolve over the next few weeks to months.

Ann F. Reilley, MD (retired)
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.