Permanent Sensitivity Issues After Breast Augmentation

Sometimes They Say Sensitivity Issues Are Permanent After Breast Augmentation. At What Point is It Considered Permanent? I am 43 years old and I am 5 months post op breast augmentation. I had 275cc silicone under the muscle placed underneath the breast in the crease. I am still experiencing quite a bit of sensitivity issues on the scars on the underside of the breasts as well as on both nipples. My PS has placed me on Lyrica 50mg daily. I am worried this condition is permanent. He said it can take up to 1 year. What do you think? Do you have any more suggestions?

Doctor Answers (16)

Scar sensitivity after breast augmentation

+2

Sensitivity in the scar under your breast and nipple sensitivity are not related. Hypersensitive nipples can occur during healing because of stretch of the nerves and breast tissue and the normal inflammation of healing. No one knows how long your nipple will remain sensitive though it seems to clear up within a year. Tenderness in the inframammary scar may be related to your particular skin type as you may be prone to a thick or hypertrophic scar. Scar massage, silicone sheeting, or a small amount of steroid used cautiously can all help reduce the burn or tenderness within the scar.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Nipple and Scar Sensitivity Can Take More than a Year!

+2

Sensitivity issues can take 18 months or longer to resolve.

Hypersensitivity usually responds well to time, Lyrica, and sensory reeducation (massaging or rubbing the area so the nerves can "re-learn" how to respond normally).

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Permanent Sensitivity Issues After Breast Augmentation

+2

Yes at least a year but you are also correct in thinking this could be permanent. Other suggestions is bio feed back therapy. Regards from MIAMI DR. Darryl j. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

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Sensitivity after breast augmentation

+2

It can take up to a year and sometimes longer for patients sensations to return to normal.  The scar itself may always feel funny.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Permanent sensitivity issues after breast augmentation?

+1
Hello! Thank you for your question! Your symptoms sound like your nerves regenerating. Breast procedures such as the breast augmentation and breast lift/reduction certainly result in a more shapely, perky, and fuller appearance of your breasts. With any breast procedure there is a risk, albeit very small, of change in sensation to the area. The reported rate of sensation changes (decreased, loss, or increased) is ~7% for lift/reductions and much smaller for breast augmentation. In my experience, this rate is reportedly much lower, but is higher when tissue is excised or the amount of lift that is needed, so the breast reduction procedure has a slightly greater risk. It can take up to a year for full sensation to return. Re-educating your nerves to these areas by using different textures when showering and putting on lotion often helps.

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.

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Sensitive scars and nipples

+1
Dear Ibindy,
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 but less with a smaller lift like a crescent lift. 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. Physical therapy with de-sensitivity techniques can help with this issue.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast sensitivity after augmentation is common.

+1

Breast sensitivity is fairly common after breast augmentation.  Up to a year is definitely a reasonable amount of time to determine if sensitivity will subside 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Sensation Changes after Breast Augmentation

+1

In general your nerve-related symptoms after Breast Augmentation can be permanent, but will likely continue to change and improve over the first year.  After that, the likelihood that you will experience changes in your symptoms is low.  Best of luck from Seattle, WA.

Jeff Scott, MD
Everett Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Most womens nipples regain normal sensation in the first 3 months.

+1

Scar sensitivity and nipple sensitivity are two different issues. Both can take anywhere from 1-3 years to regain maximal sensation. You don't state if your nipples are overly sensitive or if you have decreased sensation. Hypersensitivity is more common during the first few months and almost always returns back to normal within the first 6 months. Decreased sensation can take 1-3 years to get as much sensation back as you will likely get. Most patients have normal sensation within about 3 months as the swelling goes away. But if your nerves have been injured due to stretching or traumatized in any way from the surgery, they can take much longer to recover to their fullest, which may not be 100%.

Daniel P. Markmann, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Sensitivity after Breast Augmentation

+1

The fact that you have increased sensitivity after your surgery almost guarantees that you will recover your normal sensation. The problem is your brain’s figuring out what the nerves are telling it after injury to the nerves. Think of it as having a cut telephone cable with the telephone company having only colorblind technicians. When the cable is repaired, none of the wires are put back together properly (the green to the red, orange to the blue, etc.). When you make a call, you get the wrong party. The only way to fix this is to reroute everything at the switchboard. Right now, you are in the rerouting phase. Once you learn where the nerve endings are now (and forget where they were), sensation will normalize. You can help the relearning by touching the area with different textures, etc. The more you touch and rub the area, the faster the sensation normalizes. This may, however take another several months, even up to a year or more. Hang in there, though, it will improve.
 

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.