What Are the Chances of Full Sensation After Massive Gynecomastia Surgery?

I'm a guy with a hormonal problem (it's in the process of being corrected)looking to get chest surgery. My "man boobs" are a BIG problem and from what I've been told are approximately an F cup size. There is a lot of breast tissue and I do want surgery but not if there is a high risk of losing sensation (I can tolerate the compression vests). So, given that information, how high likely am I to lose or reduce nipple sensation, and about how long would it take to regain maximum sensation?

Doctor Answers 12

Loss of Sensation Depends on the Gynecomastia Surgery Technique Used

The chance of losing sensation following gynecomastia surgery is dependent on the technique used.  The more invasive the surgery, the more likely that nerves will be injured, which would lead to more numbness.  One of the advantages of liposuction in treating gynecomastia is that the nerves tend to be preserved more than if a periareolar incision is made and the tissue cut out as one piece. 

Interestingly, even when the entire nipple and areola is removed and reapplied as a skin graft, eventually, sensory nerves will grow up into the graft and restore some sensation.

I hope this answers your question.  Good luck!


But, I would say you are very likely to loose nipple sensation. If you are really that large, you may require skin excision and a nipple graft -- so I doubt you would have nipple sensation.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Nipple Contour After Gynecomastia Surgery

Hi 1866anon,

Thanks for the post.  There is always a risk of nipple sensation changes with gynecomastia surgery, but typically they are  temporary in cases where there is no skin excess and nipple position is normal. In larger breasts there is usually associated excess skin and low riding nipples. These can not be predictably corrected with just liposuction and breast tissue removal.

If you are indeed an F cup then I would imagine that your breasts have excess skin and are ptotic (i.e. droopy). To truly correct this would require skin excision and nipple repositioning, whether be it a free nipple graft or leaving the nipple attached to underlying tissue. When performing these larger procedure the risk of nipple sensation changes is much higher.  Only you can determine what is more important to you: better chest contour or nipple sensation.


Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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What Are the Chances of Full Sensation After Massive Gynecomastia Surgery?

It sounds like you may have a severe case of gynecomastia with excessive skin and sagging.  There are many techniques to resect excess skin and breast tissue.  Some may have higher risks of losing nipple sensation.  For example, if you require a free nipple graft technique, you likely would lose all nipple sensation.  Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck and be safe.

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Risk of Sensation Loss following Gynecomastia

Chances are very likely that you will loose erogenous sensation but have a reasonable chance of recovering protective sensation after significant gynecomastia surgery. For most men the surgery is worth it and few complaints about this loss of sensation occur, quite the opposite situation for most women. 

Sesation loss after Gynecomastia Surgery

You should consult an experienced board certified plastic/gynecomastia surgeon. See his web sites and his many before and after pictures, and if it is not necessity to perform nipple grafting(I have never had to performed nipple grafting in all my 30 years in practice,including for the very sever cases of gynecomastia) which may be in your case. The long term impact on your sensation may not be major, about 10% chance for a sbstential reduced sensation.

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Loss of sensation in male breast reduction (gynecomastia repair)

In all likelihood, it is probable that you will lose nearly all sensation to the nipples with a full correction of your gynecomastia. Some cutaneous sensation and deep pressure sensitivity (not true nipple sensation) may recover over a two year period.

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Gynecomastia excision

Without evaluating you it is hard to say.  If you have rather large breasts, some surgeons would do a free nipple graft type of resection and then you definitely would lose sensation.  Even if you have a "pedicled' type reduction, you can lose sensation.

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Sensation after large Gynecomastia removal

You will require a total mastectomy with nipple transplant. This entails removing the nipple/areola, doing a mastectomy (just like for cancer in women), and then replacing the nipple back on the chest as a skin graft in the proper position. The difference between this and a cancer operation is that not as much tissue is removed and the surface of the skin can be left smooth and even. The nipple complex usually grows back normally. The residual skin retains its normal sensation. The nipple, since it was cut totally free, will be insensate until the nerves from the underlying skin grow into it. This takes several months to a year. By then, however, sensation is usually back to near normal, particularly if you do some sensibility reeducation exercises.

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Nipple Sensation Retention would depend on the TYPE of Man Boob Surgery required

Gynecomastia is extremely common. Although the vast majority of teens outgrow it, it persists in a very large number of men and is a life time source of shame. Because Gynecomastia (Man Breasts) comes in different degrees, no one therapy and mode of treatment can adequately correct the full spectrum of Man Boob anomalies; Obviously, a small prominence of the breast would be a lot easier to correct than having sagging, large breasts hanging over ones chest. While many cases of gynecomastia can be treated with Liposuction (especially VASER liposelection), in cases of a large skin envelope and hanging breasts formal mastectomies must be done to flatten the chest. The nipples may be moved higher on the chest by leaving them attached to deeper breast tissues OR they may need to be placed higher up as full-thickness skin grafts. Under such circumstances the sensation to the nipples may well be compromised. If you are not willing to take the chance of scarring and decreased sensation to correct F cup breasts, by all means, you should NOT have this procedure. But be aware that there is NO other, less invasive operation that can handle this large skin excess and flatten your chest. Good Luck Peter A Aldea. , MD

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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.