Loss of Nipple Sensation After Breast Augmentation? Does this frequently occur? And if so, is it permanent?
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Doctor Answers 25
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
Is is common to lose nipple sensation after Breast Augmentation?
Your risk of losing feeling in your nipples should be very low, but will depend on the technique used for your surgery, and your surgeon's experience.
It can be permanent.
This should highlight to you the importance of finding a surgeon with the proper credentials, experience, and training.
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.
It is rare
While temporary numbness is expected early after any surgery in the immediate area of the procedure, prolonged or permanent loss of sensation is very rare. The majority of breast augmentation regain complete sensation within a few days to weeks after surgery although occasionally it can take months to return. Rarely a small number (well less than 5%) of women may have some permanent areas of numbness.
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.
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.