Options For Extremely Sensitive Nipple Even After a Year?

I have had hypersensitive nipple (mainly the right breast) for some time now. I was taking something to help (nuerontin, for about 6 months) but this made me gain weight so I had to stop taking it. Now it has come back and while it is not SEVERE, it is very bothersome. It can get painful and is a constant. My dr said 2 to 3 years would be the possible duration. Any feedback on this?

Doctor Answers 4

Sensitive nipples after augmentation

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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).

Nipple Pain Will Get Better Over Time

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The good news is the hypersensitivity will improve over time.  The bad news is it may take more months.

Your surgeon should look to see that there are not incision problems that can be corrected as areolar incisions have a higher rate of pain to the nipple than inframammary. Perhaps the scar may be released, subcised, or injected with some cortisone to soften it.

The nipple-areolar complex gets most of its nerve sensation from the fourth intercostal nerve.  Your doctor may need to consider if there is impingement, or scarring creating a problem with this nerve.  Feeling could be altered and would be a clue.  Your doctor could consider trying some nerve blocks with local anesthetic to see what relieves the pain.

I would consider also an injection of Botox around the nipple to see if this relieves the pain (and you are not pregnant or breast feeding).  Botox can minimize pain sensations and has been used for other nerve injuries and pain syndromes with some success.  It would be an off-label experimental use, but could be useful, and break your cycle of pain.  It should not affect feeling, or deeper muscular activity.

Good luck.

Hypersensitivity of the nipple

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It is very difficult to predict how a nipple will reast to surgery.  Sensory changes are tough to predict and even tougher to treat. The best suggestion is to see a pain specialist who might be able to offer desensitization exercises to help you.

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

Hypersensitive nipples one year after surgery.

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If patients do not lose their sensation after breast augmentation surgery is quite common for them to have hypersensitive nipples for about 12 weeks.  This is likely because the nerve to the nipple is being stretched at the time of surgery.

I have not seen someone complain of hypersensitivity within your timeframe.  That said, if you're seeing improvement beyond the year out it may be worth waiting even longer to see if it continues to improve.

If it is truly bothersome and does not get better you may wish to discuss with your surgeon undermining the nipple in an attempt to purposely divide the sensory nerve, but I would really look at this as a last resort.

Best wishes.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 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.