I'm 19 years old, I'm 5'5 and I weigh 155. I'm a size AAcup. and I'm going to get my breasts done in less than two months. I'm going to a full C cup.(420cc). My sister just got her breasts done for the second time, she didn't lose sensation the first time (implant under muscle)(320cc) but she did the second time when it was put over (600cc). Ive read that if the implant is too big your at greater risk. Would I be in that category? AA to C (420cc)? If so, I have enough time to back out.
I'm Scared of Losing Sensation on my Nipple, What Implants Are Too Large? (photo)
Doctor Answers (9)
Pablo Prichard, MD
Nipple Sensation and Implant Size
Nipple sensation loss after breast augmentation
Unfortunately, losing sensation in your nipple after breast augmentation is a very real possibility. Fortunately it does not happen often. I do not believe that it is implant size related. I tell my patients that if nipple sensation is the key to your happiness, perhaps breast surgery of any kind is not for you. Many times, patients experience some change in their nipple sensation after breast surgery, but most often this change is only temporary. This can include decreased sensitivity or increased sensitivity.
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Sensation loss and breast augmentation
There is a small risk of sensation loss with ANY implant, but the risk grows with the size of the implant. This is from stretching of the nerves and having to make a bigger pocket for a bigger implant. The changes can be temporary or they can be permanent. There is no line in the sand of implant size where below the line you are safe and above the line you are at risk.
Nipple sensation after breast surgery
Our goal is for you to have normal sensation after breast surgery if it was normal before. However, there are some patients who have some change in their sensation afterwards. It is important to chose an implant that fits your body and is not too wide which would put additional stress on the nerves that provide the sensation. The larger the implant you chose, especially in your case with not a lot of skin stretch available, the greater the chance of decreased sensation. The plastic surgeon you chose to take care of you should measure your breast and tissue tightness and then let you size with appropriate implants prior to surgery. This is an important question to discuss with the plastic surgeon you chose to take care of you. I wish you well.
Nipple sensation changes
About 85% of patients have normal sensation at a year with breast surgery. No one know for sure what the etiology is. It could be direct injury to the sensory nerves to the nipple, it could also be from stretch.
Nipple Sensation after Breast Augmentation?
Thank you for the question and picture.
Hopefully, you are aware that loss of nipple/areola sensation can occur even with the use of small implants and under the best of surgical care. If this loss would be “devastating” you should not undergo the procedure.
Unfortunately, there is no predicting what size of implant will increase your risks of loss of sensation.
It may behoove you to really consider the pros/cons of breast augmentation surgery based on reputable sites ( such as the FDA website) and not get too much weight to anecdotal ( your sister's) experience.
I hope this helps.
Scared of Losing Sensation on my Nipple, What Implants Are Too Large?
Respectfully, I think you have a wrong idea of what "complication" (such as loss of nipple sensation) means. By definition, a complication is an unwanted POSSIBLE event which cannot be prevented (bleeding, infection, ugly scar, numb nipple(s) etc). IF choosing one breast implant over another could prevent nipple numbness in breast augmentation MOST Plastic surgeons could avoid this event. But - that is NOT the case. The location of the nerves along the side of the breast makes them susceptible to injury during the implant placement or later by the movement and upward tension from the implant.
As your sister's case clearly demonstrates, there ABSOLUTELY is a correlation between implant volume AND subsequent nipple numbness after all a larger implant requires the creation of a wider pocket (getting the surgeon into these nerves) AND the implants then proceed to stretch the nerves as well.
So WHICH Breast Implant should you have is the wrong first question in my opinion. You should first ask yourself if you are even willing to trade in nipple sensation (ugly scarring, potential scar around the implants and the need for further implant replacements in the future among others) for larger breasts in the first place. IF your answer is - no way, please stop here.
If the answer is - yes, then you may proceed to which implants would best suit your frame and anatomy. If you have not seen it, google VECTRA and Canfield. Some Plastic surgeons use digital 3D technology to SHOW YOU what you may look like with every possible breast implant BEFORE you go through surgery. I think you should find who in your area offers this technology. It will get you the answers you seek.
Peter A. Aldea, MD
Sensation to nipple CAN be lost with any kind, size, or incision choice.
Usually nipple sensation is provided courtesy of your 4th lateral intercostal nerve, and sometime branches of the 3rd and 5th. Every patient has one or more of these tiny nerve branches which cannot be specifically singled out for "avoidance" during the surgical creation of your implant pocket. About 5-10% of my patients experience loss of nipple areola sensation on one or both sides.
Since these nerve branches course along the side of the chest wall into the breast, dissection in this area can unavoidably damage a nerve that exists in the location where the pocket must be. Unfortunately, the nerve is not "color-coded" or waving a "save me, save me" flag! Perhaps axillary incisions have a slightly higher tendency to damage this nerve branch, since dissection from the armpit to create a properly-located pocket can be right along the course of the nerve. But any incision approach still is used to create an open pocket for your implants, and CAN damage THE nerve.
Larger implants require a correspondingly larger pocket, and therefore a slightly higher potential for damaging a nerve along the side of the breast theoretically exists. However, I use large implants (500-800cc) in many patients, and I really don't see a "higher" percentage of numb nipple patients in this group. It's much more about your individual anatomy rather than size of implant.
Bottom line: if this is your "favorite nerve" and you can't live without it, then you shouldn't undergo breast augmentation! Good luck and best wishes!
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.