After 3 Weeks my Breasts Still Feel Hard and No Sensitivity in my Nipples, What Can I Do?

I got 250cc Mentor silicone implants on July 5th and it's been over 3 weeks and my breasts still feel hard and I have been massaging them every day. I only have sensitivity in my right nipple. I cant feel anything in my left nipple. I had them placed under the muscle, with the incision around the areola. Is this normal? I heard some people take some drugs to help soften breasts? Should I also wear paper tape around my scars to help them heal?

Doctor Answers 7

After breast augmentation, healing takes time

3 weeks is very early in the recovery process and you should not be discouraged. you should go back to see the surgeon if you have any questions about how things are coming along. it is not unusual to hear complaints like yours at this early juncture and in most instances, the problems resolve with the passage of time.

   be patient and keep in close contact with your surgeon if you think there might be real problems.

Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

After 3 weeks, my breasts still feel hard and no sensitivity in my nipples. What can I do?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Your symptoms sound like your nerves regenerating and normal postop pain. 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 26 reviews

No sensitivity in nipples

Dear ronnie882, 
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 47 reviews

3 weeks after breast surgery

At this point in time of your recovery, it is normal for your breasts to feel firm and tight. It is also very normal for you to have some numbness in your nipple/areola area for the first couple months. This may improve over time. Keep doing what you’re doing and massage the breasts to help them settle and soften. Manipulating the breasts may help prevent encapsulation and allows the implants to settle into the pockets. Consult your surgeon to address any concerns and follow all post-op care instructions to ensure the best result possible. 

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

Breast implant hard soon after surgery

Please be patient!  In my experience, it may take six months before the implants reach their final shape, feel, and size. The same is true for your nipple sensation, and it may take twelve months for sensation to return.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Firmness 3 wks after implants

You are still very early in the healing process and firmness is not at all unusual at this time. I tell my patients that it will take at least 3 months and probably closer to 6 months for all the swelling to go away. It also takes time for the skin and musle to stretch out and loosen so be patient. And continue to see your surgeon who will be able to help you evaluate your healing process.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

3 weeks after a breast augmentation

It is still very early in the healing process and it takes a couple months to see and feel your final result. Being that you had the implants inserted through the areola, it is going to take longer for the nerves and sensation to come back to the nipples. It is normal to feel firmness 3 weeks post-op. It is a good idea to wear steri-strips over the incisions for 3-4 weeks to protect from infection.

It is a good idea to continue follow up with your plastic surgeon as recommended to monitor your healing process.

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 47 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.