Had a Breast Augmentation 6 Months Ago, Now my Nipples Hurt when You Touch or Rub Them, is This Normal?

Doctor Answers 14

Sensitive nipples after augmentation

Thank you for your question. Hypersensitivity to the nipple or other breast regions is normal after surgery. The nerves may have been stretched and transiently down for the count. As they wake up, they want to let you know they are still there by over signalling their presence. Hence very sensitive nipples. Things typically do resolve with time. In the meantime, you can take two approaches. Compression or tape to minimize friction on the nipples. The other approach could be desensitization with over stimulation (e.g. vibration).

Post Breast Augmentation Sensitivity

Thank you for your question. Nipple sensitivity usually resolves at 12-18 months.  Nipples can either be more or less sensitive, but usually resolve.  Avoid excessive irritation as the nerves heal.  Unfortunately, nerves heal slowly. I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Nipple Sensitivity

After breast augmentation there can be a significant amount of stretching on the nerves in your breasts. Depending on the size of your implants and your original breast size the amount of stretch can be quite substantial and can take a while for the nerve to adjust to its new position. This can lead to nerve pain. Gentle massage of your breasts and giving the nerve time to recover (6 months to a year) is the best way to relieve this pain and sensitivity that you have been experiencing. Should your discomfort become worse you should follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Had a breast augmentation 6 months ago, now my nipples hurt when you touch or rub them - is this nrmal?

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 22 reviews

Nipple hurt after augmentation

Dear divajai,
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. As far as incisions go, the peri-areolar incision is associated with about twice the incidence of nipple numbness vs. other incisions. At two years, however, it is unlikely to regain sensation.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

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

Change in sensation to nipples after breast augmentation

It is not uncommon to have some change in sensation to the nipples after surgery.  Some women will experience hypersensitivity like you're describing.  This hypersensitivity is usually due to the stretching of the nerves which go to the nipple.  Typically, these sensations will resolve over time.  Sometimes gentle massage along the side the breast and chest may help desensitize these nerves.  I would also suggest that you discuss these concerns with your plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Hypersensitive Nipples and Desensitization

Hypersensitive Nipples are common after breast augmentation.  The nerves that provide nipple sensation are stretched and "irritated" by breast augmentation surgery.  As they recover they are often hypersenstiive.  This almost always recovers.  What generally works for my patients (and applies to senstiive scars as well as hypersensitive nipples) is a program of active desensitization, by consciously touching and massaging the area with mosturizing cream and or body oil.  Our natural reaction to supersensitive areas is to avoid touching them, which is the opposite of what we need to do.  Check with your plastic surgeon first, but simple desensitization may well do the trick for you.  Good luck.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Nipple sensitivity

Thanks for your inquiry.  If it less common to have bilateral nipple sensitivity issues and pain six months after surgery, but it can happen.  I would reccomend you visit with your plastic surgeon to discuss and devise a plan to de-sensitize your nipples.

Hypersensitive Nipples After Breast Augmentation

Hi! Thank you for your question,

I am Dr. Speron, a proud member of both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS).  I am also certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

It is not uncommon to have hypersensitive nipples six months after your surgery. I highly recommend that you schedule an appointment with your plastic surgeon for a post-operative examination.

Below are some links for additional information and before and after pictures.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at 847.696.9900.

Best of luck and have a great day!


Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Healing after breast surgery , augmentation

healing after breast surgery , augmentation

sensation changes for months ,  even up to one or two years but this is less common.

advil, celebrex or other antiinflammatories  may provide some comfort

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 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.