Does a Breast Lift or Implants Cause Loss of Sensation in the Nipples?
Doctor Answers 13
Loss of sensation
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.
Loss of Nipple Sensation with Breast Lift
Loss of sensation in nipples
Nipple sensation can sometimes increase (to the point of irritating) or decrease (potentially completely numb). If changes do occur it is typically temporary and within 12 months most sensation returns to the pre operative state. However, permanently altered sensation can occur in up to 10% of women
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Nipple sensation and Implants?
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. 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. 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. usually 3 months or so. In the interim, I have them wear nipple covers or 'pasties' to protect them from rubbing.
Pablo Prichard, MD
Does a breast lift or implants cause loss of sensation in the nipples?
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.
Breast Augmentation/Lifting and Loss of Sensation?
Nipple sensory changes
It is difficult to predict why some women lose or have a change in sensation after a breast lift or implant placement. It happens to about 10-15%.
Breast lift and loss of nipple sensation
Loss of nipple sensation is relatively common with a breast lift but fortunately, it is rarely permanent. Most of the time the numbness resolves in several weeks.
What causes loss of sensation to the nipples after breast surgery?
Sensation to the nipple area goes through a nerve that comes into the breast from the lateral side, branching out from under a rib. With implant surgery, it is vulnerable to being strertched or injured when the implant pocket is being developed in the lateral direction. For that reason, bigger implants probably have a higher risk of damage to the nerve. With a lift, there is more rearrangement of the breast tissue so thenerve may be affected closer to the nipple. Most of the time sensation loss is temporary.
Loss of Sensation with Breast Implants or Breast Lift
There is always a risk of alternation in sensation to the nipples with any breast surgery. However, this risk is rare. In many instances, there is a temporary change in sensation as the breasts heal, but most people return to normal sensation. Good luck.
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