I am 9 days post op. Is it normal if my armpits always feel numb?

Doctor Answers 4

Numbness in the armpit

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Thank you for you question. A little more information about the type of implant, incision location (fold versus axillary), size of implant will help answer your question more completely. It is not uncommon to have sensation changes after breast implants. If you had implants placed through your axilla, then it is quite common to have numbness. Also, 9 days after surgery, there is significant swelling, and this can also affect sensation. This numbness in the armpit is likely temporary, and will improve with time, especially when swelling goes away. I recommend speaking to your surgeon about this and being followed closely. Best of luck!

Axillary numbness after augmentation

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If your incision was made in the axilla (armpit), some of the nerves that supply the sensation to the skin were cut when the incision was made.  Over time the nerves should recover and most of the feeling should return to normal.  This process can take several months so should improve with time.  

I recommend follow-up with your plastic surgeon to make sure everything is healing properly.

Jeff T. Healy, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

9 Days Post Op - Is It Normal If My Armpits Always Feel Numb?

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Your question requires certain assumptions.  I am going to assume that you either had a transaxillary breast augmentation, or the drain to drain the breast implant pocket was brought out through the armpit, or both.

If any of the above is correct, than the transient numbness in the armpit is due to direct trauma either from an incision and/or a drain.  This type of localized numbness is also found when one makes an incision around the areola and/or an incision under the breast as a route of entry for the breast implant.  These localized numb areas regain normal sensation within months. 

The new nerve endings which provide normal post operative sensation to any operated area come from the nerves around that area, and are recruited from the surrounding uninjured nerves by a process known to neuro physiologists as "recruitment". 

All that mumbo jumbo means that the numbness will pass.

Numbness is early

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Numbness after breast augmentation is common in the early stages due to the trauma and swelling that stretches the nerves.
Check with your doctor at your next visit regarding the numbness in your axilla.
It should keep improving.

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.