In short, yes. Also, there can be a difference in sensation on one side versus the other. Let your surgeon know, but don't worry at this early time, And can can you to follow your progress going forward.
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.
Pablo Prichard, MD
Thank you for your question about nipple numbness after breast implants.
Yes, the numbness is normal. It is typically from swelling and will subside over (on average) 6 - 12 weeks. Best wishes.
In the early postoperative period, it is not unusual to have some numbness of one or the other nipple. This usually occurs from inflammation or stretching of the nerves that supply the nipple as they travel around the breast implant. In rare occasions, these nerves can have permanent damage and the numbness will not resolve. In the majority of cases, however, this should improve as your healing progresses.
Were is permanent anesthesia of the nipple is rare after breast augmentation temporary anesthesia is fairly common. This will correct itself although occasionally takes a number of months.
Thank you for your question. The fact that you could feel the nipple yesterday and the numbness has only occurred 24 hours later suggests that this is caused by swelling. This type of numbness usually resolves over the next 2 weeks.
Of course, you should bring this to the attention of your plastic surgeon during your next visit.
It is not uncommon to have some numbness right after surgery. This is due to your nerves being stretched out. The numb sensation should go away over time. Another thing patients often experience is sharp or burning pains coming in from the sides. This is also due to nerves being put on stretch. This too resolves with time. You should let your surgeon know about this on your routine follow-up. Good luck.
Nipple erogenous sensation recovery and the rest of the skin of the breast where you describe numbness are from different nerves. Although it is highly likely that you may not have return of sensation, the good news is the vast majority of patients will have return of sensation within the first year after breast augmentation.