Neuropathic Pain / Hypersensitivity 2yrs Post Breast Augmentation

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.

Doctor Answers 6

Pain with implants

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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.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Neuropathic pain

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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 and I would be happy to give you the name of a peripheral nerve surgeon that I have worked with and trust.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Neuropathic pain/hypersensitivity 2 years post breast augmentation.

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After a breast augmentation most sensory changes return to normal within 6 months. Occasionally however it may take up to 2 years to fully regain normal sensation. When pain and sensory changes extend past this expected recovery time other sources of pain, discomfort and sensory alteration should be explored. If present, underlying causes of neuropathies (functional peripheral nerve disturbances) such as diabetes mellitus need to be appropriately managed. Local conditions causing prolonged pain would include an entrapped nerve or the formation of a neuroma. Nerve entrapment or compression could be the result of a capsular contracture. Treatment in this situation may be a release or removal of the capsule. When nerves are injured it is possible to form a neuroma at the end of the cut nerve. A neuroma is a growth consisting of nerve fibers. If a neuroma is present pressure on or movement of the neuroma can result in pain along the distribution of the nerve.
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.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Pain two years after breast augmentation

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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.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breast hypersensitivity

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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.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Hypersensitivity after breast augmentation.

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This is extremely rare, but that doesn't help you at all.  I don't have any good news for you, I am afraid.  After two years this is probably permanent. And taking out the implants may not help. I am so sorry.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

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.