I'm 4 Days Post Op and my Breast Are Numb Under my Nipple and Above my Incision on Both Sides?

My breast are numb on the skin below my nipples and above my incisions. Will this go away?

Doctor Answers 13

Numbness after breast augmentation

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During breast augmentation, nerves can be cut, stretched, or injured by heat from cautery used to stop bleeding. This can cause numbness, increased sensitivity, or decreased sensation.
Most of the time, if sensation isn't normal right after surgery, it will recover within a few weeks after surgery. For some patients it can take years, and a very small percentage never regain normal sensation. There is increased risk with larger implants, which is generally over 400ml, but is different for every person.

Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Numbness after Bam

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What you describe is quite normal.  Some is due to swelling, and some is due to small skin nerves that provide sensation and must be cut during the procedure.  Excellent chance of sensation return.  You need to be patient, which is very tough to do.

Numb nipple

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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. The Peri-areolar incision is associated with increased risk of nipple numbness due to the fact that the nerve is in close proximity.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

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

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Numb breast skin after augmentation

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Numbness of the skin on the breast under the areola is not uncommon after breast augmentation.  This is usually a temporary phenominon that results from tissue swelling and induration arround the nerve that supplies this area.  The lateral intercostal nerves supply sensation to the breast skin in the region that you are describing.  These nerves exit the lateral chest wall to intervate overlying skin and the breast implant may place tension on the nerve.  Hypersensitivity of the skin is most commonly decribed as a result of this added tension on the nerve.  This is a good sign as the nerve is intact but overly stimulated.  Hypersensitivity usually resolves within  6-12 weeks after surgery.  Hyposensitivity or lack of sensation also may result from streching the nerve. This may cause a temporary numbness in the lower pole of the breast.  The nerve function typically returns to normal over time, however this may take 6-12 months.  Tingling sensation (pins and needles) may occur as the nerve recovers. This is a good sign.  Very large implants have a higher chance of streching these nerves potentially leading to permanent numbness.

Geoffrey E. Leber, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Post Op Sensation Defitic

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Numbness after surgery is expected. After breast surgery give yourself 6-8 weeks to recover. Most likely the sensation will return. If by then you still have questions, check with your surgeon. Some areas might take longer to recover. Good luck!

Numbness Can Be Common After Surgery

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It's quite common to have numbness following a breast augmentation. While some women experience numbness, others are hypersensitive to touch. It's hard to predict ahead of time, but the effects you are experiencing should go away by themselves over time. Lack of sensation or extra sensitivity alone are not typically things you would need to worry about, but if you experience redness with swelling and pain you would want to contact your surgeon and have him/her take a look.

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
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Healing after Breast Implants

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Numbness on the skin oof the breast, especially above the incision and around the nipple area is common in the weeks after breast implant surgery. The larger the breast implant relative to the size of the patient, the more chance of getting some irritation, bruising or stretching of the nerves. Some patients even get over sensitive (hypersensitivity) in the nipple area. Generally, this dissipates within two months after surgery but some patients take as long as 6 months. There is a small subset of people in whom the numbness does not go away. As always, speak with your surgeon if there is something you think is out of the ordinary.

4 days after surgery nipple numb

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Nipple numbness is common just after surgery. Usually it will get better with time. Be patient.  If concerned speak with your surgeon.

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

Sensory changes following a breast augmentation

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Sensory nerve related problems are very common after breast augmentation surgery and in most cases they are temporary.  There are many factors involved.  The sensory nerves emanate around the periphery of the breast between the ribs.  The implant can place pressure on these nerves and this can cause either hypersensitivity or a decrease in sensation.  The hypersensitivity can be quite annoying to patients causing a deep burn or ache with only light touch.  This is self-limiting and generally massage will help to desensitize the problem.  In rare cases medication can be needed to help.  Temporary loss of sensation to the skin of the breast other than the nipple and areole is quite common and will get better over the first 3 months. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Numbness after breast augmentation

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Breast numbness after augmentation is uncommon but is possible and discussed often. Patients worry about nipple sensation however we find that the numb area is often just below the nipple and off to the side of the breast. For most the feeling will return over time as the nerves are stretched by the pressure of the implant. Implant size rather than location of the incision can matter most.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.