How Long Will It Take to Recover Nipple Sensitivity After Breast Mastectomy?

Doctor Answers 4

Nipple sparing mastectomy, sensation, breast reconstruction, DIEP flap

As stated previously there is not enough information given but the assumption is you have a nipple preserving mastectomy.  I performed a reconstruction for a patient this week after a nipple sparing mastectomy.  The nipple will not regain sensation overall because of the mastectomy.  The most sensitive part of the breast is the upper breast skin above the areola.  I would evaluate the sensation on a 4 month basis.  Sensation in the skin can improve over time.  I use a time frame of a year before I feel the reulst is complete from a nerve and sensation standpoint.

Nipple Sensation after Mastectomy

The standard answer would be that sensation of an intimate nature does not return after a mastectomy. During a mastectomy the entire breast is remove and that includes the nerve to the nipple. This would be true with a nipple-sparing mastectomy as well. There could however be return of general skin sensation to the area but it is very unpredictable. The important issue is choosing the operation that gives you the best long term survival.

Roberta Gartside, MD, FACS
Reston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Nipple sensation after mastectomy

Unfortunately, you really don't give us all the info but I will answer based on what you are telling us.  First of all you should discuss this with your surgeon.  If you truly had a mastectomy, whether or not nipple sparing, I doubt you will regain sensation as the nerves that supply erotic sensation are removed as part of the mastectomy.  Again, spend some time talking to your doctor as he or she will know better than we will.  Good luck

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Nipple sensation after mastectomy

There are some missing details here regarding exactly what kind of surgery you had and what the condition was that was being treated.  But presuming that it was a nipple sparing mastectomy, unfortunately there is very little likelihood that you will ever have much feeling in the nipple again.  Time will tell over 2-3 years but if you needed a mastectomy, sensation needed to be sacrificed for your health.  Good luck.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

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