My Right Nipple Became Very Sensitive 9 Months Post-Op Implants, What is the Problem?

I am 30.I have got silicone implants 9 months ago.4 weeks ago,my right nipple became very sensitive like my nipple was sore or cracked from inside,nothing in the appearance.(I was doing stretching exercises alot)It got worse with bra.Without bra it got better each day.After 5 days my period started.My doctor examined my implants and lymph glands and said it is OK.Now I am fine except that there is still some sensitivity that doesnt get better over time.(when my nail touches my nipple or bending down)

Doctor Answers 10

Breast augmentation and post operative nipple sensation

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healing of nerves can continue for one or two years after surgery..  changes in hormone fluxes, weight , weather, temperature, excercise can all affect these nerves. 

most likely this will settle with time.  antiinflammatories can help

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Nipple hypersensitivity 9 mo. after augmentation.

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Hypersensitivity of the nipples is quite common immediately following breast augmentation.  It is much less common 9 mo. post-op, but not unheard of.  Vigorous exercising or stretching may well be irritating the nerves next to the breast implant.  This problem will usually correct itself with enough time.  It is good that you got checked by your doctor.  He or she is in the best position to evaluate you.

I have found that a short course of amitriptyline(an older drug, first used as an antidepressant) at low dose can sometimes settle down problems related to nerve irritation.  Give it time and talk to your surgeon if you don't improve.  Good luck.

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Sensitive nipples after augmentation

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Thank you for your question. Hypersensitivity to the nipple or other breast regions is normal after surgery. The nerves may have been stretched and transiently down for the count. As they wake up, they want to let you know they are still there by over signalling their presence. Hence very sensitive nipples. Things typically do resolve with time. In the meantime, you can take two approaches. Compression or tape to minimize friction on the nipples. The other approach could be desensitization with over stimulation (e.g. vibration).

My right nipple became very sensitive 9 months postop implants - what is the problem?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Your symptoms sound like your nerves regenerating. Breast procedures such as the breast augmentation and breast lift/reduction certainly result in a more shapely, perky, and fuller appearance of your breasts. With any breast procedure there is a risk, albeit very small, of change in sensation to the area. The reported rate of sensation changes (decreased, loss, or increased) is ~7% for lift/reductions and much smaller for breast augmentation. In my experience, this rate is reportedly much lower, but is higher when tissue is excised or the amount of lift that is needed, so the breast reduction procedure has a slightly greater risk. It can take up to a year for full sensation to return. Re-educating your nerves to these areas by using different textures when showering and putting on lotion often helps.  Consideration for downsizing or explantation should be considered if your symptoms worrsen and your pain is that significant.

It is one risk of such a procedure, and one that you must consider, amongst others, as with any surgical procedure. You should consult with a plastic surgeon well-trained in breast procedures who will examine and discuss with you the various risks and benefits of the procedure(s) and assist you in deciding if such a procedure will be the right decision for you.

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Delayed nipple sensativity?

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Dear FR,
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.  In your case, sensitivity that happens this far from surgery may be related to a capsular contraction that is affecting the nerve to the nipple.  This may be able to be lessened by a capsulotomy or capsulectomy.  Discuss with your PS.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Nipple Sensitivity after Breast Augmentation: More or Less but should get better.

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Nipple sensation after any breast surgery can be altered. In general, this does return to normal after about 3 months but can take upwards of over a year. In breast augmentation, the nerves that conduct the sensation to the nipple are typically at the most outer area of where the implant lays. Any surgery or stretching around these nerves can alter their conduction of sensation, making the sensation around the nipple either numb or really sensitive. If your nipple was somewhat numb and the nerve is regenerating it can be really sensitive. It usually will get better. Try to protect it with maybe a gel lactation pad and/or a comfortable bra. 

I hope this helps.

Dr. Trussler

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Sensory issues

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It sounds like you had irritation to the nipple and perhaps the resultant injury made the nipple sensitive. In this case, it probably will get better.

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

New hypersensitivity of the nipple 9 months after BA

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Moving the implants vigorously in the pocket, or repetitive trauma with running, can irritate the nerves that bring sensation to the nipple.  Since the brain does not know where the nerve it is irritated, the brain can only relay that it is the nerve that brings sensation to the nipple, therefore the discomfort is felt in the nipple.

The bra was probably not fitting properly and pressing on the irritated nerve in the fourth or fifth intercostal space on the side.

An appropriately fitted bra and rest should be complemented by a thorough physical examination to rule out any other issues.

Mario Diana, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon

Nipple has become sensitive nine months after implants

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Nipple sensation can be affected by breast implants, most often temporarily. We can't explain however why you have sensitivity develop nine months later. Good you've seen your surgeon.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Hypersensitivity after Breast Augmentation?

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Thank you for the question.

Your situation is somewhat unusual,  in that most patients who have nipple hypersensitivity have this sensation after surgery  and find that it gradually results.

New onset hypersensitivity is unusual and may not be related to your breast implants ( our breast surgery)  as opposed to  the overlying breast tissue. Evaluation by your GYN physician as well as your plastic surgeon may be helpful.

Sorry,  I cannot be of more help.

Best wishes.


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.