I'm 11 days post-op from breast implants and my left nipple is numb, was told a nerve had to be cut?

I asked today about it (2nd post op appt) and he said he's never seen it before but a nerve ran right in the middle of my breast and he had to cut it. I was told not to worry and in about 6 weeks or so I should have feeling back. when he pinched my nipple hard I could feel a slight swinge of pain. I also can touch it and it gets hard, but not sure if this is an positive indication or not. Ever heard of this occurring before? I guess my anatomy was different from the norm. Thanks

Doctor Answers 3

Loss of sensation after breast augmentation surgery?

I am sorry to hear about your concerns after breast augmentation surgery.  Given your description of some sensation and response to stimuli, it is quite likely that sensation will return, or at least improve, over the course of the next several months. 
 Generally speaking, there is a low percentage rate of patients (less than 5%) who lose sensation after breast augmentation surgery.  Some patients report numbness for a few months and then their sensation returns. Sometimes loss of sensation is permanent.  Results may vary from patient to patient depending on the severity and complexity of your case (the larger the implant and/or the more involved the procedure the greater the risk). There is also a risk of hyper-sensitivity (usually temporary).
I hope this helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Breast Augmentation Nipple Sensation

Sorry to hear about your nipple sensation difference.  Most of the sensation changes after all surgery return to almost normal after the swelling and healing is finished.  The fact that you can feel some sensation and that your nipple reacts to stimuli are good signs.  Follow your Plastic Surgeons recommendations and good luck with your recovery!

Saira Saini, MD
Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Injury to nerves and decrease in nipple sensation is not uncommon following breast augmentation

The good news is that these sensory changes are usually temporary and will resolve over time, but this may take a lot longer than 10 days.  I'm not sure what to make of the story about your anatomy or the "nerve" that had to be cut, but I can tell you that at some point, almost every procedure we do disrupts some of the nerve supply in the particular part of the body that we are operating on.  This is why we inform people that there is a distinct chance we may have permanent numbness after surgery.  Fortunately, there is way more than one nerve supplying the nipple on each side, and those nerves come from multiple different directions.  Thus, there is redundancy in the system, and even if one nerve gets injured, there are others to compensate.  Sometimes this compensation takes many months, or a year or longer to finish, but in all but a few percent of cases a year, ladies get back their full nipple sensation.  I think the slight sensation you do have and the nipple reactivity are all good indicators that you will likely get full sensation back.  At this point it's just a waiting game, so try to be patient an allow the tissues to heal.  Be sure to report any acute or sudden changes to your surgeon.  Best of luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 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.