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 (12)

Breast augmentation


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 41 reviews

Treatments for Sensation Loss After Breast Augmentation?


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
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Sensory loss after Breast augmentation


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 22 reviews

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Nipple Sensory Loss After Breast Augmentation


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


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 54 reviews

Treatments for Sensation Loss After Breast Augmentation?


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 45 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Breast Skin Sensability


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


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

Sensory loss after breast augmentation


It is not clear why some people lose sensation and others do not.  Usually it gets better over time but if at 9 months you do not have it back, the likelihodd that it will get better is doubtful.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

The sensation shoild change with implant exchange


The loss of sensation in your breast is due to the injury to the sensory never at the incision site and this is different from the nipple sensation. The second surgery through the same incision should be fine.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 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.