I had breast implants (over the muscle) 5.5 months ago. One of my breasts is absolutely fine. With the other, I have sensation to the outer / upper / lower part, but my nipple and about 2 inches around it is numb. Do you think there is a chance this will not be permanent? I've read after 1 year it's likely to be permanent? My surgeon said it's because maybe one of the nerves got severed and has not grown back. He also said that it could take 2 years. Can it be corrected?
Nipple Numbness After Breast Implants (photo)
Doctor Answers 12
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. 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. 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. 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.
Pablo Prichard, MD
Wait one year for nipple sensation to return after breast augmentation
Statistically, about 5% of patients have loss of sensation after breast implant surgery. Nerve regeneration can take up to two years, however by one year most of the sensation should come back.
The encouraging thing for you is that sensation is returning to the outside of the nipple areola.
The nerve that suppies the nipple comes in from the side, so if this nerve was cut I would expect that your sensation would be gone on the side of the nipple towards your arm.
Because of this I expect the rest of the nipple to regain sensation over the next year.
There are nerves that emerge from your sternum-the breast bone that probably explain your numbness as these are often injured and leave the inside of the breast numb, but sensation usually returns.
Surgical nerve repair would not be feasible in most situations.
Loss of sensation
In my experience, permanent loss of of sensation may be due to stretching of the sensory nerves by using very large implants causing a stretch injury or pressure on the nerves, extent of dissection which can damage the nerves, and the size of implant. I find that the location of the incision is not usually the reason for loss of sensation.
Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon is important when considering surgery, as it will lower your chances of complications.
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In most cases, numbness will resolve with time.
The problem seems to occur more frequently when larger implants are used.This tends to stretch the nerves and compress them, as well, resulting in loss of sensation.The potential for this problem should always be discussed prior to surgery.Although relatively rare, there’s no question that loss of nipple areola sensation can potentially occur with this procedure.
Nipple Numbness After Breast Implants
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).
There is also a risk of hyper-sensitivity (usually temporary).
I hope this helps.
Nipple numbness after breast implants?
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.
Although the risk of permanent sensation loss is very low, it is possible to see temporary sensation changes that take up to 12 months to return. I typically warn patients that the larger the implant that is placed, the higher the risk of sensation changes. This is because the sensory nerve to the nipple and areola will be stretched by the implant. The good news is that most cases stretch injury to the nerve results are temporary.
I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.
Nipple numbness after breast implants very, very rare.
Hopefully, the sensory nerves were just stretched or bruised when the breast implants were put in, and feeling will come back. Numbness after 18 months is probably permanent, and cannot be repaired.
Numbness of the nipple after a breast augmentation can happen. It is thought that this may be mainly dues to stretching with larger implants. Some patiens have permanent sensory changes and maybe even complete loss, but you need to wait about a year to see if it improves.
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.