Is Internal Breast Tingling a Sign of Nerve Regeneration 8 1/2 Months Post BA? Nipples Are Still Numb, So Hopeful!

I started off with total nipple numbness B/L post-op,but progressed to had 'crude touch' sensation only since most of the swelling subsided (about 2-3 months.) I started having tingling/twinge sensations (not painful)in both breasts about 2 weeks (8 month mark) ago and am hopeful that this is a sign that nerve regeneration is progressing and my nipple numbness may resolve! Is it possible or likely that this is the case? What are the chances of my regaining total normal nipple sensation? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 11

Tingling of Numb Nipples after Breast Augmentation is a sign of Nerve Regeneration.

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Yes, some tingling or other abnormal sensation in the Nipples which are numb after Breast Augmentation is a sign of Nerve Regeneration.

These are called Dysesthesias and are spontaneous discharges of the Nerves which are attempting to grow Myelin Sheaths ( Insulation ) around the nerve fibers.

This can be a very lengthy process-up to 5 years and the Nipple Sensation may never return to full normal.

Breast tingling is a positive sign

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Nipple numbness is not common after breast augmentation but as they say, it does happen. Sensation will return for most and signs such as tingling within the breast, or itching, is a positive sign. After 8 months you may not have 'normal' sensation, though odds are things will continue to improve for quite some time.

Best of luck,

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

Nerve regeneration

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Sensation of the nipples often diminishes at the time of surgery secondary to swelling.  Usually by 6-8 weeks they are normal. For some patients like yourself they may take up to a year to improve.  With tingling and weird sensation coming back, this is a good sign that the sensation is improving.

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

Nipple Sensation After Breast Augmentation

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Although not common, nipple sensation disruption can happen. However, it is very common for there to be some change related to the sensation (more or less) during the recovery period. If you are showing improvement (even if it is subtle), then it is possible you are starting to show some progress toward recovery. There is no way to speed up the process, or to predict how much you will recovery.  But, progress is a good sign and you can be hopeful that this will continue to improve.

Best of luck!

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Nipple/Areola Numbness After Breast lift?

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Thank you for the question.

The fact that you have gradually had increased sensation of the nipple/areola complexes is a positive sign. Hopefully the newer sensations you are experiencing are also positive signs.

Unfortunately, there is no way to know objectively what the chances of regaining "total normal nipple sensation" is  for an individual patient.

Best wishes for total recovery.

Is internal breast tingling a sign of nerve regeneration?

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I think the chances of you regaining normal nipple sensation is very good. It may take 1-2 years to totally return however. Your symptoms of tingling are signs that the nerves in your breasts are healing and returning to normal. When an implant is placed the surrounding breast tissue and skin stretch. Stretching also occurs in the surrounding nerves altering their function. As swelling diminishes and the nerves heal patient's describe feelings of "pins and needles" or "burning" or "a prickling feeling"during the return to normal feeling.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Tingling Nipples?

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Dear KS,
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. 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. 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. 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.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

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

Is internal breast tingling a sign of nerve regeneration 8.5 months post-breast augmentation?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Breast procedures such as the breast lift and breast reduction certainly result in a more shapely, perky, and fuller appearance of your breasts along with raising of the nipple-areolar complex to an appropriate position. Since there is an incision made around the areola along with some rearrangement of tissue of the breast, there is a risk, albeit very small, of change in sensation to the area. The reported rate of sensation changes (decreased, loss, or increased) is ~7%. In my experience, this rate is reportedly much lower, but is higher when tissue is excised or the amount of lift that is needed, so the breast reduction procedure has a slightly greater risk. It can take up to a year for sensation to return. It may take up to a year to regain sensation. After that time, chances are small that it will improve.  The description that you provide is one of the first signs.  Then, likely itching and sharp pains.  Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Sensation Returning After Breast Augmentation

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Tingling is a good sign and it most likely means that sensation is returning to your nipples. Changes in sensation are normally temporary and resolve in the weeks or months following surgery. It is very rare that permanent changes occur.

My nipples are numb after breast augmentation – help!

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Sensory recovery of the nipples following breast augmentation can and does occur for as long as two years postoperatively. Sensation, whether minimal or unpleasant usually improves over time and again can take 48 months To become fully healed. Sometimes we suggest nipple stimulation with rubbing to desensitize these areas if they are hypersensitive or uncomfortable. In addition, nipple covers such as small silicone sheets can help desensitize the nipple and are worn inside of a bra. Dr. Joseph P Hunstad

Joseph Hunstad, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 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.