Sensation loss 2 months after breast augmentation

i've had a breast augmentation 2 months ago and one of the breast has lost some sensation? is this permanent? Will I ever recover? I have had 350cc saline inserted through the breast crease and the right breast is a bit numb from the nipple down. I have some sensation however when I touch the area I have a weird feeling. Is there a way to correct it? My surgeon says that this may take up to 6 months to heal but I feel like it may be their fault? Any advice??

Doctor Answers 9

Sensory loss after breast augmentation with implants

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Fault is a strong word and imples wrongdoing and will distance you from your surgeon. I would encourage you to avoud the use of this word. It suggests that you are seeking legal resolution. Nerve damage and sensory loss is a risk of the procedure. It is very likely that this will resolve with time as discussed by your surgeon. Give it at least 6 months and maybe even 2 years for the sensation to return or become stable.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Sensory Changes After Breast Augmentation

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Dear Marissa,

Changes in sensation are unpredictable and completely normal after breast augmentation. In most cases, the sensory changes are transient; if they are improving, it can take anywhere from 6-12 months for sensation to return to normal. In a few rare cases, the sensory changes remain and are permanent.  No one is at fault for this.

Best of luck. Hope this helps.


Sensation Loss After Augmentation RARELY Permanent

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What you are describing is completely normal!  Alot of women report that they are numb from the bottom of their areola to the inframammary fold for 1-6 months afterwards.  This is because those nerves can really get stretched out and take time to come back to normal.  They are not cut, just really stretched, and the nerves do not like to be stretched in any way.  They react by shutting down for a little while.  Just be patient and everything will bounce back in time.  I hope this helps.

Loss of sensation

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Loss of sensation in the nipple/areola is fortunately an uncommon occurrence.
In my experience, permanent loss of of sensation may be due to stretching of the sensory nerves by using very large implants causing a stretch injury or pressure on the nerves, extent of dissection which can damage the nerves, and the size of implant. I find that the location of the incision is not usually the reason for loss of sensation.
Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon is important when considering surgery, as it will lower your chances of complications.

Sensation loss 2 months after breast augmentation?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Your symptoms sound like your nerves regenerating. 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 28 reviews

Loss of sensation?

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Dear Marissa,
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 hyper-sensitivity.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Numbness and Breast Augmentation

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There can be some sensory changes in the skin and or nipple after breast augmentation but this does not happen often.  The best thing to due is to allow completion of the healing process and usually the numbness will resolve during this period.

Dr. ES

Sensation Changes can occur with Breast Augmentation

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A change in sensation after a breast augmentation may occur but is rarely permanent. The exact mechansim is unknown, but the risk seems to increase as the size of the implant increases. This may be due to stretching of the nerves, or because a wider dissection is required. Having said that, it can happen with any size of implant.

It can take up to a year for everything to return to normal, though most patients will have it resolve within 3- 6 months. If your symptoms are better than they were one month ago, that is a good sign; it signifies that the nerve is slowly recovering. At your stage, there is still much time for your sensation to normalize. 

Lawrence Tong, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Sensory Loss after Augmentation

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There is always a chance of having loss of nipple sensation which can be permanent following an augmentation.  I routinely discuss this possibility with my patients.  The fact that you are having some "weird feelings" is positive and probably increases the chance of more normal sensation returning.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

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.