To start with my left breast was numb but from 6mths post op to now I am suffering massively from areas of hypersensitivity or neuropathic pain.I have seen various surgeons and doctors and nobody has been able to offer effective help.I have tried different drugs but none have worked in two years (ibuprofen,pregabalin,capsaicin cream,nortriptyline) Will the nerve damage heal or will the implants have to be removed to help? Nobody else seems to have the same problem.I feel so helpless and alone.
Neuropathic Pain / Hypersensitivity 2yrs Post Breast Augmentation
Doctor Answers 6
Pain with implants
Pain two years after having breast augmentation is extremely unsual. Assuming that you have seen your surgeon for possible implant related causes, you may want to consult a pain specialist.
What you are describing is definitely a rare phenomenon from breast augmentation. I have seen patients with similar nerve complaints after other surgeries, particularly abdominal operations. In those cases, the neuropathic pain is from an entrapment of the nerve or scar tissue within a nerve. This is commonly known as a neuroma. The treatment often times involves resection of the offending nerve and placement of the cut end of the nerve into muscle or bone. This placement of the nerve ending results in a reduced risk of symptomatic recurrence. The tradeoff is the loss of sensation in the distribution of the nerve.
For this to occur in the breast after an augmentation is highly unusual. Regardless, I believe you would benefit from a referral to a peripheral nerve specialist for an examination. If you would like, please contact me via the email link on RealSelf.com and I would be happy to give you the name of a peripheral nerve surgeon that I have worked with and trust.
Neuropathic pain/hypersensitivity 2 years post breast augmentation.
When conditions such as these are suspected it is best to proceed with conservative management for 6 months. This may include massage, desensitization, and sensory reeducation techniques. Specialists in pain management are able to direct this type of care. If conservative treatment fails surgical intervention may be necessary. Sometimes sometimes the offending nerve can be localized with a nerve block. The nerve block is placed in the vicinity of the suspected nerve. If pain is relieved immediately it is likely the targeted nerve is the source of the problem. Following localization of the suspected nerve a surgical approach can be considered. If you have pain or sensory alterations extending beyond the expected recovery time it is best to consult your plastic surgeon so that he or she can thoroughly evaluate you and help direct the appropriate care.
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Pain two years after breast augmentation
This is a difficult assessment to make. IF removing the implant would solve the problem, that would be an easy recommendation to make but it is impossible to know. I would consider that you seek pain physician consultations and possibly undergo diagnostic nerve blcoks to further localize the problem.
You degree,length and level of pain are unusual following a breast aug.there are sensory nerves that are cut during the normal course of the operation but these usually return to normal.I would try a course of steroids if you haven't already.Also maybe a pain specialist could do some blocks and if all else fails I would consider removal,capsulectomy and reinsertion.