Numbness After Surgery 12 Weeks Post?

I am about 12 weeks post surgery and I still have no sensation my my right nipple. It's VERY tender and I can bare touch it without hurting. My left nipple feels everything and it's fine. I have an IMF incision if that means anything... I don't know. I'm a bit concerned if I'l ever get any feeling back on my right nipple... Help. Thanks

Doctor Answers 11

Nipple Numbness

The sensory nerves to the nipple are very sensitive especially to stretching caused by the implant which I believe is the most common cause for numbness rather than being cut. Fortunately as the tissues soften, the sensation often returns with in the first year. If your nipples can become erect then in my experience you will have more of a chance to regain sensation.

Nipple erogenous sensation recovery and the rest of the skin of the breast where you describe numbness are from different nerves. Although it is highly likely that you may not have return of sensation, the good news is the vast majority of patients will have return of sensation within the first year after breast augmentation.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Sensation change in nipple

It can take up to 1 year or 2 for nipple sensation to return after a breast augmentation. However, usually it returns sooner, in a few months. In the meantime, you can apply pasties to cover up your nipples and improve comfort.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Numb nipple

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 but less with a smaller lift like a crescent lift. 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. In some cases the same occurs with contraction where some women have no contraction and some women have a constant contraction of the nipples. 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 in most cases. 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. Physical therapy with de-sensitivity techniques can help with this issue. The Peri-areolar incision is associated with increased risk of nipple numbness due to the fact that the nerve is in close proximity.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Numbness After Surgery 12 Weeks Post?

Sensory nerve function usually returns to normal in a few weeks; however, it can take as long as a year to return. The most important item is to followup with your physician.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Numbness 12 Weeks after Breast Augmentation

   Numbness after breast augmentation usually recovers over a period of months or a year. The sensitivity of the nipple areola complex intermingled with the numbness is a good sign.  Any sensitivity at all suggests that the nerve is returning.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Numbness After Surgery 12 Weeks Post?

Numbness in the breast especially at the nipple areolar complex can last for a year although it usually returns much sooner.  Please keep in touch with your plastic surgeon for followup.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Numbness After Surgery 12 Weeks Post

I am a little puzzled about the combination of numbness with pain and tenderness. Usually the presence of the latter sensations are a sign that normal or close to normal sensation will return. In most patients it is normal by 3 months, but can take up to a year. 

Continue to follow with your surgeon. All the best.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Nipple sensation issue

It is still a bit early to be overly concerned about the sensation in your nipple. It most likely will get back to normal.  But I will caution that about 10-15% will have a permanent change in sensation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Pain and numbness after breast aug

I agree with Dr. Andres. 

Both some numbness and pain can occur at the same time. This is from stretching or pulling on the nerves to the nipple. It is generally temporary but can take MANY months to resolve. 


Some patients use the pastie stick on nipple covers you can buy at V.secret to help prevent your clothing from rubbing against the nipple. 


I generally also recommend implant massage in the early postop period.


Hope that is helpful. 


Bennett Yang, MD

washington DC


Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Change in nipple sensation after breast augmentation

Thank you for the question!  Change or possible loss of nipple sensation after breast augmentation is reported as ~5-7% following this procedure.  It sometimes can take up to a year to fully regain sensation; 12 weeks is a little early to determine fully.  You are at least describing some sensation, with the tenderness, which is a sign that the changes may be due to neuropraxia and stretching of the nerve.  If this is the case, sensation should improve with time. Certainly an evaluation by your plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns and an evaluation of your tenderness.  Hope that this helps!  Good luck!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.