Will nipple sensitivity return after 350cc implants?

It's been nearly 3 months since my surgery. Some sensation has returned, more so on the right than the left. I'm concerned about full sensitivity returning. Most women I've spoken to had the opposite issue of too much sensitivity. When can I expect it to return? I'm hopeful that it will since it has been improving, but I do know that 10-15% of women don't regain sensitivity. However, I was under the impression that was only with very large implants. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 7

Nipple sensitivty after breast augmentation

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The risks of losing routine breast sensation during breast surgery are usually very small.  In expert hands which would perform the procedure with gentle handling of the breast tissue, loss of sensation incidence is about 1%.  The incidence increases with larger implants as this can stretch the nerves that are on the side of the breasts.  It is a misconception that the periareolar approach has a higher chance of decreasing nipple sensation.  If the dissection plane avoids violating the breast tissue then the chance of decreasing sensation is extremely rare.  I have performed this technique thousands of times and have had only a couple patients describe decreased sensation in their areolas or nipples after a few months. You are still relatively early in your recovery process but if you are concerned, I recommend speaking to your physician.

Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Nipple sensation after breast augmentation

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Thanks for your question.  Don't be alarmed, it can take time for this sensation to return after surgery--it can take up to 6 months.  The nerves need to repair and come back.  But, I still recommend talking to your plastic surgeon about this to get his or her advice.  Best of luck.

Sensation Loss

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Typically, sensation will normalize by roughly 6 months post op as it takes time for nerves to repair. I recommend that you share your concerns with your Plastic Surgeon and let them advise you about what to expect as you heal. 

All the best 

Nipple sensation

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It's a good sign if the sensation is returning. Often this is due to swelling. It can take up to a year for it to  return.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Loss of Nipple Sensation

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Thank you for your question.

Please know that changes in nipple sensation are very common, especially this early in the recovery period. Your surgeon may have counselled you about this, but basically what happens is that implants, especially large implants, may press against sensory nerves near the breast tissue leading to either increased or decreased sensitivity in breast sensation. This is why going for a moderate sized implant is best.

1 in 7 women find their nipple less sensitive.

Nevertheless, the good news is that for most people changes in sensation are temporary, and everything returns to normal in a year or sooner. This is because as your breasts stretch to accommodate your implants, your sensory nerves will be less compressed over time. The final results from BBA can result anywhere from 3-6 months following surgery. So be patient, all will be well.

As always though, the future cannot be predicted, and in your case it is best to be in touch with you plastic surgeon for follow-ups and questions.

Hope this helps.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 508 reviews

Nipple sensitivity after breast augmentation

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It is a good sign that some of the sensation is returning at three months. As you know some women don't regain full sensation and this is more common through a periareolar incision, but usually it takes longer than 3 months to know if it is permanent. usually by 6 months it will return however there are reports of sensation improving up to 18 months later, so it is still early. Try to be patient as it should continue to improve.

W. John Bull, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


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Thank you for your question. Assuming you had an under the breast incision, sensitivity should return. It may take up to six months, but it typically does. When an implant is placed, the sensory nerves are stretched but not cut. Over time the sensitivity should return to normal. With a periareolar incision there is a higher likelihood of persistence of sensation loss. While it is true that a small percentage may not regain sensitivity, it is unlikely that numbness should persist. 

Best Wishes, 

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.