What are the chances of losing/maintaining nipple sensation after a breast augmentation?

I have tuberous breast and I am very very serious about having them corrected. However I am afraid of losing sensitivity in my nipples, this is extremely important to me. What are my chances/options to make it less of a factor?

Doctor Answers 9

What are the chances of losing/maintaining nipple sensation after a breast augmentation?

Thank you for the question.
There is a low percentage rate of patients (less than 5%) who lose sensation after breast augmentation surgery.  Some patients report numbness for a few months and then their sensation returns. Sometimes loss of sensation is permanent.  Results may vary from patient to patient depending on the severity and complexity of your case (the larger the implant and/or the more involved the procedure the greater the risk).

In my opinion, careful selection of plastic surgeon and avoidance of breast implants that are too wide on your frame,  are helpful  considerations when it comes to maintaining nipple sensation.
I hope this helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Nipple sensation

It is very rare to lose nipple sensation with a breast augmentation even with tuberous breast correction. The chances are greater for sensory loss but again not high with tuberous nipple correction. In fact it is more common to get transient hypersensitivity of the nipple if you have not had children.

Barry M. Schwartz, MD
Weston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Breast augmentation

Hello and thank you for your question. Loss of nipple sensation is extremely rare for a submuscular implant when good technique is used.  The size, shape, and profile of the implant is based on your desired breast size/shape, your chest wall measurements, and soft tissue quality.  This decision should be based on a detailed discussion with equal input from both you and your surgeon.  This entire surgery can be performed with a small incision technique.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.   The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Nipple sensation issue

Some patients do lose sensation , but the majority have normal sensation after about a year. It is difficult to predict who will have permanent diminished sensation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Nipple sensation

No matter how surgery is done, loss of sensation is always a risk. You need to balance risk vs reward. Then you make an educated decision. Even if the risk is 5% -- if it happens to you it is 100%. No one can guarantee you will not lose sensation. 

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nipple sensory loss after breast augmentation

Thanks for your question. In the U.S. estimates of nipple sensory loss after breast augmentation range from 5-10 percent. The risk is low, but not zero. Most patients will have hypersensitivity from stretching of the nerve that lasts about 12 weeks.

Incision under the fold, submuscular and common sense size implants can diminish the risk.

Best wishes.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Loss of sensation after tuberous breast correction

Using the infra-mammary approach, there is less likelihood of loss of nipple sensation. It is, nevertheless, a risk, although quite low.  It is more common for patients to experience neuropraxia, of alteration of sensation, initially after surgery based on swelling and disruption of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, which will resolve over time.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

What are the chances of losing/maintaining nipple sensation after a breast augmentation?

Thank you for your question.  The statistical risk of loss of nipple sensation after breast augmentation is about  5%.

Factors which may lessen the risk of nerve injury include

  1. Inframammary crease incision under the breast as opposed to areolar incision
  2. Implant placement beneath the muscle as opposed to under the breast

However impatience with true tuberous breasts and areolar incision and placement of the implant under the breast on top of the muscle is commonly necessary to expand the constricted breast.

I suggest to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate your breast and make appropriate recommendation.

Nipple Sensdation After Breast Augmentation

I appreciate your concern, however permanent loss of nipple sensation or erection is extremely rare after submuscular breast augmentation. Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 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.