Numbness After Breast Augmentation?

Hello, I had 400cc saline implants placed under the muscle through the inframammary crease. My surgery was done on August 3, 2013. On my left breast there is a small patch above my incision to just under my nipple that is numb. I have feeling all around except for area. My right breast has healed well and has no sensory problems. Is there anything I can do to help with the numbness on the left? Also, what do you think happened that such a small area is still numb after so long? Thank you

Doctor Answers 3

Should resolve over time

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Some temporary change in sensation after surgery is not unusual. Just a small patch between the nipple and incision is also not unusual, the area should get smaller and smaller over the next few months and resolve.

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

Breast Augmentation Recovery

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Numbness after breast augmentation is definitely a normal part of the recovery process. It can last for several months or more in some individuals. Typically, this will diminish over time and eventually not be an issue for you. Numbness in a small patch near the incision is also normal and should resolve over time. I would recommend being a bit more patient throughout your healing process and allow your breasts to recover properly. If you ever experience any symptoms out of the ordinary or that may cause you pain or discomfort, it's always a good idea to check with your surgeon to ensure that you are healing properly.

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.