Loss of Nipple Sensation After Breast Augmentation? Does this frequently occur? And if so, is it permanent?
Doctor Answers 24
Loss of nipple sensation.
Nipple Numbness after augementation?
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 normally. Extremely rarely, 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.
Pablo Prichard, MD
Sensation Loss after Breast Augmentation
Although the risk of permanent sensation loss is very low, it is possible to see temporary sensation changes that take 3-6 months to return. I typically warn patients that the larger the implant that is placed, the higher the risk of sensation changes. This is because the sensory nerve to the nipple and areola will be stretched by the implant. The good news is that most cases stretch injury to the nerve results are temporary.
I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.
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Changes in nipple sensation after breast augmentation
I inform all my patients that several things can happen to breast nipple sensation after augmentation surgery:
- Nipple sensation can remain unchanged to that of the pre-operative state
- Or, the nipple sensation can increase to the point of being too sensitive and sometimes painful
- Or, the nipple sensation can decrease to the point of being numb.
In addition to the nipple, other parts of the breast can have altered sensation. For example, sensation between the scar within the lower breast fold and the lower edge of your areolar is often reduced. There is a good chance this will not return to normal.
Loss of nipple sensation
Loss of nipple sensation after breast implants not common
There is a definite risk of sensory changes to the nipple with breast augmentation, and there are several myths about what causes it. The medical literature shows that it is not related to where the incision is made, though many still make the claim that the periareolar location (incorrectly called "through the nipple") has a higher chance. What is known is that larger implants have a higher probability. The reason for this is that the nerve to the nipple courses into the breast from the side, and the dissection to make the pocket for the implant may need to come close to it there. The bigger the pocket, the more likely the nerve will be stretched or affected. Most of the time the chnages in sensation, when they do occur, are temporary.
Nipple Sensation After Breast Augmentation
While there is always a risk of permanent numbness and sensation loss with breast augmentation surgery, the risk is usually small. Normally there is temporary numbness initially after surgery that improves over time. Incisions at the areola seem to have an increased likelihood of losing sensation. Incision at the inframmamary crease can reduce the chance of sensation loss. I recommend having a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss all of your questions and concerns so that you can make an informed decision.
Nipple Sensation Loss with Breast Augmentation
Loss of nipple sensation is quite infrequent, about 5 percent. In most cases, the sensation will return. The key to success is in finding a board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in cosmetic breast surgery - know before you go!
Nipple numbness after breast augmentation
Loss of sensation
In my experience, permanent loss of of sensation may be due to stretching of the sensory nerves by using very large implants causing a stretch injury or pressure on the nerves, extent of dissection which can damage the nerves, and the size of implant. I find that the location of the incision is not usually the reason for loss of sensation.
Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon is important when considering surgery, as it will lower your chances of complications.