Hard and Numb Breast After Breast Lift - is It Normal?

I had a breast lift 1,1/2 weeks ago. They had to go twice in my right breast as I developed a hematoma, which they had to drain (its fine now, hardly any bruising/swelling). My left one seemed fine, until recently I notice it to be harder and somewhat numb inside the nipple area, with sign. more bruising. 2 days ago nurse told me it might be a scar tissue and I should massage the hard bumps. Can it still be a hematoma, and/or will I need additional surgery to remove it and scar tissue?

Doctor Answers 8

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

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Numbness in breast

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It would be best to speak with your plastic surgeon who is most familiar with your surgery and expected recovery. It is quite possible that this is a normal response to your surgery.
Tingling, burning or shooting pains, which will disappear with time and should not alarm you, indicate regeneration of the sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage helps.

Hard and Numb Breast After Breast LIft

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After having a breast lift done it is common for patients to experience numbness which is rarely permanent. This should improve within the next 6-8 weeks. Some people experience some firmness as well and this is not uncommon after a breast lift. It will take some time but will eventually resolve.

Breast Lift

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Hardness to the breasts immediately after breast lift is very common. It usually improve within a few weeks to few months. Because skin and breast tissue are incised during the procedure, numbness is also expected but it should improve after a few months.

Colin Hong, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Numbness and bruising

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Numbness a week and one-half after surgery is not uncommon and usually gets better over the next 6-8 weeks but it may take even longer. As for the lumps, that may be suturing or residual blood or firm tissue.

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

Hard lumps and bumps after breast lift.

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In general, areas of blood may cause the surrounding tissues to form more scar tissue (called fibrosis) and to possibly cause fat death (necrosis) which present as firm hard nodules. Many of these will be resorbed by your body while others may need to be excised in order to achieve removal.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Hard Areas After Breast Lift Normal

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It is normal after a breast lift to have a few areas that are firmer than the others. You probably developed a little bleeding around the areola area, which has turned into some bruising and a little collection of blood.  These things usually resolve on their own as long as they are small enough.  I would keep my eye on it, and as long as it is not getting any bigger, then I would just ice 20 min on/off.  If it does appear to get bigger or more painful, then I would let your surgeon know at once.  I hope this helps.

Firmness and numbness common after breastlift

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It is very common to be firm and hard after a breast lift for the first several weeks. Lumpiness is also common. All of these things should go away with time. You should not need any more surgery for the scar tissue. It may take six months or longer for the numbness to go away but, in the end, your sensation should be pretty normal.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 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.