Loss of Feeling 13 Years After Breast Implants? (photo)

13 years ago I had a breast augmentation. 350 cc's, under the muscle and through the areola. Following surgery, I had total loss of sensation in both breasts and moderate to severe pain weeks longer than my doctor said was normal. 13 years have passed and I maybe gained 15% feeling in both breasts,not just numb nipples, but numb breasts. I still have occasional pain-at least a weekly basis. While I know there is a risk of nerve damage occurring during the surgery, doesn't this seem severe?

Doctor Answers 6

Loss of Sensation in your breasts is most likely related to damage to a small nerve which is located in the breast lateral part

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The loss of sensation in your breasts is most likely related to damage to a small nerve which is located in the lateral part of the breast, and provides sensation to the nipple areola. If the surgical dissection was too lateral, or too aggressing, this can be a common results. Unfortunately when this is the case, you are most likely to only ever get 15% of sensation back. And nothing can be done to regain sensation.

London Plastic Surgeon

Loss of sensation after breast augmentation is very rare.

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The 13 year history of poor sensibility of the breast after breast augmentation is almost unheard of. Breast augmentation may stretch nerves but does not divide them. I suggest you visit a qualified plastic surgeon for evaluation.

Loss of Sensation after Breast Augmentation

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    While loss of sensation after breast augmentation is usually temporary, some patients have permanent loss of sensation.  The periareolar incision may contribute to a greater loss of sensation, but the main nerve supply to the nipple areola complex comes in laterally from the intercostals at T3 and T4.  Placing implants does stretch these nerves as well, but after 13 years the nerve damage is permanent.  The nerve damage can and does occur in some patients and is one of the unfortunate downsides to breast augmentation.  Pain that you are feeling may be caused by something else, and I would recommend seeing a board certified plastic surgeon.

Loss of Sensation after Breast Augmentation?

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I'm sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced after breast augmentation surgery. Although your experience is unusual and unfortunate,  I would not necessarily classify it as "severeā€.  Unfortunately,  without knowing exactly how the procedure was performed,  I cannot provide you with a precise  explanation as to the cause of the nerve damage.

 At this point, given your continued discomfort, you may benefit from in-person examination/consultation with board certified plastic surgeons who can help you rule out breast implant encapsulation as a potential cause of the continued discomfort.

 Best wishes.

Loss of Feeling 13 Years After Breast Implants

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This is a common complication of the complication of the peri areolar approach in breast implantation. You unfortunately are one of the patients that has a significant decrease in sensory response. I ALWAYS have my patients sign a part of the informed consent concerning loss or decrease N/A sensation. Sorry for your long standing issues. 

Loss of sensation in breasts

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Loss of sensation that is 13 years old is permanent. Some patients lose sensation after implants.  No one knows for sure why this happens. One possiblity could be related to trauma or stretching of the nerves with the implants.

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