Treatments for Sensation Loss After Breast Augmentation?

I've had a BA about 9 months ago under the muscle thorugh the breast crease. My right breast has lost some sensation from the nipple down.Since I will need an implant replacement eventually I'm concerned that the 2nd surgery will cause complete sensation loss, & I was considering going a cup bigger in the future during the replacemnt.I'm very worried that the sensation may never come back are there any treatments or surgeries that will help? What are my options and what causes sensation loss?

Doctor Answers (14)

Breast augmentation

+2

Unfortunately there are no treatments of surgeries to regain sensation after breast augmentation. I have had some patients who regained sensation even a year or more after surgery so there is still some hope.

 

 


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Treatments for Sensation Loss After Breast Augmentation?

+2

Some sensory loss, particularly in the lower breast is common after breast augment. It varies from patient to patient which is likely due to individual variation in the position of sensory nerves. There is no treatment available that will improve this for you, but even after nine months some improvement is possible. A second augment through the same incision is not likely to worsen the situation.

Mark Preston, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Treatments for sensation loss after breast aug?

+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

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Sensation loss after BA?

+1
Dear Marissa,
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. 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. In women with hyper-sensitive nipples, this will go away with time. usually 3 months or so. In the interim, I have them wear nipple covers or 'pasties' to protect them from rubbing.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

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

Sensory loss after Breast augmentation

+1

This is normal after breast augmentation through an inframammary approach. There are small nerves that need to be divided so that the implant can be inserted. If your second surgery is done through the same incision then you should not get any more numbess. If you get bigger implants, then you may lose sensation to the nipples. About 10-15% of patients get permanent nerve damage.

Leo Lapuerta MD FACS

Triple Board Certified Plastic SUrgeon

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Nipple Sensory Loss After Breast Augmentation

+1

As the prior physicians have stated, this is unfortunately a relatively common problem following breast augmentation.  Although we do everything possible to avoid nerve injury (placement of realistically size implants, gentle dissection), there is absolutely not way to completely avoid nerve injury.

That being said, many patients will experience transient sensory changes that eventually improve and may even go back to normal after a period of anywhere from a few months to a few years. 

There is really no surgical procedure that will improve these changes and really nothing that you can do on your own to hasten recovery.  Your best bet is to be patient and allow for your breasts to heal.

I hope that helps!

Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Sensation Loss after Breast Augmentation

+1

Most patients do not have sensation loss and those that do, the vast majority have a temporary sensation loss.  I am sorry to hear that you are having longer-term problems.  However, if you do end up having additional surgery, most likely the same incision can be used and there really should be no or very minimal risk to any further sensation loss.  However, it is good for you to discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

 

Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Treatments for Sensation Loss After Breast Augmentation?

+1

Loss of sensation is relatively common after augmentation. This can involve the nipple or anywhere else on the breast.

I advise my patients that nerve recovery can occur for 2 years after surgery.

About 15% of patients will have persistent loss of nipple sensation at that time.

It is also the case that the risk of sensory loss rises along with implant size. However, as long as you are not planning a dramatic increase in size, your risk of further loss at a second operation would be small.

Good luck!

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Breast Skin Sensability

+1

Hello Marissa 155,

I am sorry that you have experieced partial loss of sensation on one of your breasts.  This situation may improve slightly over time, as improvements have been seen as far out as 12 to 24 months.  This is a relatively frequent issue, with 5 to 10% of patients experiencing some permanent changes to breast skin/nipple sensability after breast augmentation.

The cause of this problem is injury to sensory nerves that are injured by stretch, heat (cautery), or divided at the time of surgery.  The nerve injury occurs near the ribs and is not associated with the skin incision.  The likelyhood of nerve injury increases with the size of the implant, requiring an ever large pocket to be made for it to occupy. 

If you choose to have reaugmentation, you may in fact put yourself at risk for further nerve damage, especially if larger implants are replaced.

I hope that your sensation returns fully.  Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Maximal return of sensation may take up to 2 years in some individuals

+1

Most patients will have regained most of their sensation by 9 months but there may even be improvements up to 2 years. Unfortunately, there is no procedure that will facilitate return of additional sensation.

Regarding a second procedure for larger implants, it is unlikely that this will have a significant overall impact on your sensation unless there is considerable dissection including a capsulectomy or capsulotomy (procedures that help address restrictive scar tissue around the implant).

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.