When will my breasts feel like mine again? (Photo)

I am 3 days post op and I find that I am not bothered by pain as much as the sensations in my breasts. They are hard and pointy and feel foreign on my chest. I also have lost some sensation particularly on the lower poles which results in an uncomfortable pins and needles feeling or sometimes nothing at all. One also seems to be dropping faster as it appears lower and fuller. I am just wondering when I will start to feel like myself again?

Doctor Answers 8

It is very common to experience all of the things that you are at 3 days post-op after breast augmentation

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The good news is that things will get better!  I have to admit that I'm a guy, so I haven't had breast implants put in myself; the real experts on this will be the many ladies you may know who have, or others whose experiences you read about here on RealSelf.com, who have had breast augmentation.  However, I have literally done thousands of these procedures over almost 20 years, and at some point I have found that most people have very similar experiences with these things you're discussing.  In speaking about my own patients' experience, I would say that over the next few months you will regain most, if not all, of your sensation, and the weird sense that you have something foreign in your body will slowly disappear.  Much of this has to do with swelling and tension being placed on tissues due to the sudden increase in volume from the implants.  As swelling resolves and tissues relax to accommodate to the new volume and shape of the implants, the nerves will begin to function more normally.  Sensation will return in areas where numbness is now, and things like hypersensitivity and "pins and needles" (we call that "paresthesias" in the business - so there's even a word for it, it's not all that rare!) will slowly resolve.  But, this all takes some time, and right now at 3 days post-op your swelling is probably actually at its maximum.  The same thing goes for any mild differences in position of implants or other asymmetries.  I actually joke with my patients and tell them we're not allowed to discuss those "un-mentionable" things until a sufficient time has elapsed - again, usually around 3 to 4 months minimum.  This is because it just takes that long for things to get to a stable equilibrium.  With regard to the sensory changes, one thing that I have found to be very helpful in my own patients is to steal a technique from my hand surgery days.  When we had patients with nerve injuries who would experience the typical sensory changes like painful hypersensitivity, pins and needles, burning, and the like, we would do all kinds of "desensitization" training for their injured body part.  Really it was more like sensory "re-education" for the brain.  We might have them put their hand in water of differing temperatures, maybe some warm wax like you get with a pedicure, or have them rub their fingers across things like denim or canvas, or sift through things like sand, rice, or dry beans.  All of this was to provide different sensory inputs to the brain and re-train it to get sensations more normal.  This same approach works for breasts too, I have found.  I tell my patients who have these issues to get some nice smelling body butter or oil and gently massage their skin (not necessarily the implants themselves, that's only as directed by your surgeon) just so that they get some sensory input to the areas of the skin with abnormal sensation on a regular basis.  The last thing you want to do, in my own opinion, is to keep areas like this "cooped up" in a bra and never touched because they are too sensitive.  That will actually make the sensory changes persist longer and delay the ultimate recovery of any normal sensation.  Again, check with your surgeon before trying this, and be sure all wounds are completely healed first as well.  The bottom line, however, is that it is very early, and things will definitely improve as time goes on.  Best of luck to you.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Your breasts should feel better in a few weeks.

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Breast augmentation is an adjustment both for your body and mind. At first, your breast implants can feel firm and sit too high on your chest. As your body heals in the next few weeks, your breast implants should begin to settle and your final results should begin to take shape. Your breasts should start to feel like your own again during this process, however, it can take as long as 6 months for breast implants to completely soften and drop. The changes in sensation and tingling are likely your nerves reconnecting after the surgery and should subside as your nerves regenerate.

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews


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Thanks you for your questions and pictures. You are way to early in the recovery period to make any determinations about shape etc.   As for the strange sensations, these are usually normal and will go away in a few weeks.

Ramiro Morales, Jr., MD
Pembroke Pines Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Healing after breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question. Healing after plastic surgery is a process and the earlier parts are the most challenging.  Emotions are a big part of the process as well. You are in the very early stage of healing and you may experience changes in feeling and size beacuse of swelling, some times one breast may swell more than the other or heal faster than the other which brings the difference in size. Patients usually experience the first phase of healing in the first 3 weeks and a slow steady improvement for 6 months or so after surgery which is where everything really settles. Best is to discuss specifically with your chosen surgeon for his or her opinion. 


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Recovery is a process, not an event. The swelling causes abnormal sensations as does the healing process. As the weeks and months pass, you will see/feel continued change. There will be a lot of change the first 2-3 weeks, the next phase will be 2-3 months and then some smaller slower continual change over the next 6-8 months.

Post breast augmentation

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You are still early in the healing process after breast augmentation. As the implants soften, settle and drop the breast shape will change along with cleavage. It can take 4-6 months before the implants look and feel like they belong to you. Be sure to keep any scheduled follow up appointments you have for his or her evaluation and advice . Good luck! 

Dean Vistnes,M.D.
Vistnes Plastic Surgery
San Francsico Bay Area

#realself #breastaugmentation #drdeanvistnes

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Back to myself!

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Hello,Thanks for the question and pictures!Based on your pictures, I would say your augmentation is recovering well. Since you are only 3 days post-op it is still early to worry! Often times one breast implant will drop more quickly than the other, and differences in swelling can also contribute to this discrepancy. As for the numbness, patients generally experience numbness in the area for months after surgery. While rare, it is possible for the numbness to last many months. If this tingling sensation reaches a point of discomfort, I would recommend seeing your board-certified plastic surgeon who performed your surgery to discuss. As long as you are following your physician's post-operative instructions and care guide, you should feel like yourself again in no time!
Best of luck

Breast augmentation recovery

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Congratulations on your recent surgery.  It is common for your breasts to feel "foreign" at this phase of recovery.  There are many changes that will happen over the next several months including swelling subsiding and the breasts softening as the implant finds a comfortable spot in the pocket.  Your final results aren't realized until 3-6 months after surgery.  Until then try to be patient, and continue to follow your surgeon's advice throughout the recovery process.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 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.