10 Days Post Op After Breast Reduction and I Have No Sensation in One Nipple

I know it is rare but possible to loose nipple sensation after breast reduction without free nipple graft but I still feel numb on one side. Is this something that occurs often after surgery?? How long does it take for the numbness to subside? Does this mean I am increased risk for nipple necrosis? Thanks

Doctor Answers 7

Breast reduction and numbness

Numbness in the early post-op period after a breast reduction is fairly normal. Most patients have return of sensation within 6-8 weeks.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Nipple sensation

Following breast reduction is common for a minority of patients to have some decreased nipple sensation.  Hopefully the sensation will return as the swelling subsides.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Breast Reduction and Loss of Sensation?

Thank you for the question.

Although numbness of the nipple/areola is a known complication of most types of breast surgery,  often the numbness is temporary.  Numbness of the nipple/areola does not necessarily mean you are at increased risk for nipple necrosis.

It may take several months or up to one year before sensation returns (if it does).

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Decreased sensation following a breast reduction

Numbness or a significant decrease of sensation of one or both sides is common after a breast reduction. It can take several weeks to more than a years for the maximal amount of sensation to return.

Nipple necrosis is a blood supply issue and not related directly to sensation ones. If you haven't had any problems by now (which it appears that you haven't), there is no need to worry.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Numbness in one nipple after breast reduction

I always tell my patients that even though they had one procedure, they actually had TWO surgeries: a Right breast reduction and a Left breast reduction. You have to treat each breast independently as it heals. Each side can have variation with sensation, healing rate, etc. 

Nipple sensation changes are not uncommon after breast reduction and most resolve spontaneously, although it can take up to 6 months for full recovery!

Nipple necrosis will usually present itself within 48 hours or less and is extremely rare to be a delayed presentation. 

William A. Wallace, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Nipple sensation post reduction

No the loss of nipple sensation at 10 days may be temporary.Sometimes it can take months to come back.You also are not at an increased risk of nipple necrosis.Usually this will be evident right away after surgery.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Some persistent numbness after breast reduction

This does not necessarily mean you are at increased risk for nipple necrosis and this is highly unlikely givent that you are 10 days out. Mild interruptions in nerve sensation are not at all uncommon for the first 3 weeks and even longer. Give it some time for resolution of swelling.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.