Nipple Numbness after Benilli Lift

I had benilli lift with 370 cc's 3 1/2 months ago. It was a great job, even according ob/gyn. Really hard recovery. I am still having incision pain and inside the tissue below my areola and have nipple numbness. Nipples become erect with cold. The sides of my breast were numb but seem it is going away and replaced with some pain.(good sign?) My PS says I am still very swollen(normal?) and nerves could still be compressed and it will still take time to get feeling back. Do you agree? THANKS!

Doctor Answers 15

Long recovery after BAM with Benelli lift

You should be a bit further along with recovery.  As long as the doctor says you are fine, well, then you should be.

You have a lot more swelling than I would predict.  Numbness may take many months to return.


Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Nipple numbness

Hello 7099anon,

Transient numbness of the breast skin or nipples is very common after breast augmentation, and has little to do with incision placement, eg. periareolar or circumareolar incision versus inframammary or armpit incision.  Most commonly numbness is due to pulling, stretching, or compressing the sensory nerves near there origin from the ribs at the time of surgery when the implant pocket is made and the implant is positioned.  This is not due to surgical negligence but only an unfortunate side effect of surgery.

Numbness is usually transient, and typically returns between a few weeks to a few months.  Tingling, pins and needles, and other uncomfortable sensations that occur in the numb areas indicate nerve regrowth and healing.  Longer periods of numbness, up to a year or more, may occur before regaining sensation.  However, the longer the period of numbness, the less likely sensation will be normal.  Permanent numbness can occur, but the risk is low, approximately 3%.

What you are experiencing sounds like you are healing, and I suspect you will have return of your nipple sensability.

I wish you the best of luck in your recovery!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Nipple Numbness after Benilli Lift

Three and a half months seems long for the swelling to still be there. Best to obtain a second opinion. From MIAMI DR. Darryl J. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Nipple sensation after a Benelli lift

The Benelli lift is a variation of an around the nipple breast lift used for mild breast droop, and the nipple position is often controlled by a blocking suture. Nipple sensory changes are not common as the sensation to the nipple areola come from a deeper tissue layer than the lift. Your breast implants on the other hand do cause considerable stretch to the tissues and nerves of the breast and nipple and sensory changes, especially with a very full implant are more common. These changes are most often temporary, and the tenderness is a good sign of recovery.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Nipple numbness

You have given a very explanation of how you are doing and every things seems appropriate and normal at this time.  Your surgeon has given you correct information and you are wise to keep close contact.  Most of the issues will take time to resolve and get better.  Nipple sensation loss can occur after any implant operation but it should continue to get better for at least a year.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Numbness in breast

It would be best to speak with your plastic surgeon who is most familiar with your surgery and expected recovery. It is quite possible that this is a normal response to your surgery.
Tingling, burning or shooting pains, which will disappear with time and should not alarm you, indicate regeneration of the sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage helps.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Numb nipple

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. The Peri-areolar incision is associated with increased risk of nipple numbness due to the fact that the nerve is in close proximity.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Nipple numbness after Benelli lift?

Hello! Thank you for your question! I do agree with what your plastic surgeon stated.  Breast procedures such as the breast lift and breast reduction certainly result in a more shapely, perky, and fuller appearance of your breasts along with raising of the nipple-areolar complex to an appropriate position. Since there is an incision made around the areola along with some rearrangement of tissue of the breast, 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%. 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 sensation to return.  It may take up to a year to regain sensation.  After that time, chances are slim that it will improve. 
Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast Lifting Results?

Thank you for the question.

Plastic surgeon is in a much better position to advise you ( as opposed to online consultants who do not have the benefit of knowing your situation and/or examining you). I would suggest continued follow-up with him/her. If still concerned  a 2nd opinion with in-person consultation may be helpful for reassurance and/or guidance.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Nipple numbness

The symptoms you express are very normal for the post surgical duration, of this type of surgery.  The fact that there is improvement at this early healing tim is very encouraging.  Continue foll0ow up office visits with your plastic surgeon.  Enjoy and good luck!

Rodger Wade Pielet, MD (in memoriam)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.