I Have Shooting on my Right Breast After my BA (12 Days Post Op) on the Outside Around my Stitches to my Nipple Area? (photo)

It has been so sharp and painful that it wakes me up at night multiple times a night. It seems to be close to the stitches area, however they are not infected or swollen etc. I also cannot sleep on either sides yet (which is my sleeping preference) because it is uncomfortable/causes the pains. When can I expect to start sleeping on my sides. I was a 36 A/B and received 435 'gummy bears' high profile. I am 5'10" and weigh 155.

Doctor Answers 11

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

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

I have shooting pain on my right breast after my BA (12 days postopP on the outside around my stitches to my nipple area?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Your symptoms sound like your nerves regenerating. Breast procedures such as the breast augmentation and breast lift/reduction certainly result in a more shapely, perky, and fuller appearance of your breasts. With any breast procedure 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% for lift/reductions and much smaller for breast augmentation. 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 full sensation to return. Re-educating your nerves to these areas by using different textures when showering and putting on lotion often helps.  You are still very early in the postop period. 

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.

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

I Have Shooting on my Right Breast After my BA (12 Days Post Op) on the Outside Around my Stitches to my Nipple Are

Most likely a normal occurrence after the surgery. But better to see your surgeon in person for an evaluation. 

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

What to Expect with Healing Following a Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question.  From your photo, it appears that a good sized implant was placed to enhance your breast volume.  It is common that the breast is really tight for a number of weeks following surgery.  The main sensation nerves to the nipple originate on the side of your breast and travel to the nipple.  It sounds like this is where your discomfort originates.  This is likely due to nerve stretch, and should settle down soon.  Options for providing more comfort include starting some anti-inflammatory medications, such as Advil, Aleve, or even a prescription strength medicine such as Celebrex.  Icing can also help.  I would review these options with your doctor.  Best wishes!

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Pain

Dear the-new-me2013,  Breast surgery and the swelling after surgery causes trauma to the breast tissues including the nerves in the breasts.  As the tissues heal and the swelling resolves, it is not uncommon for patients after a breast augmentation surgery to feel increased tenderness and even occasional sharp, shooting pains-our office calls them "zingers"-in their breasts.  This process usually resolves over the first month or so but in some cases can last longer.  It is also not uncommon for these pains to increase around your period when your breasts are normally more sensitive.  If your plastic surgeon will allow you to take NSAID meds such as Motrin or Alleve, these can really help decrease the discomfort you are feeling. 

As for as trying to get more comfortable sleeping, try wearing a very supportive sport bra to bed and placing a small soft gauze roll in between your breasts.  Also, snuggling up to a very soft pillow can help with more support and lessen the pain.


Hope this helps.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Pain at incisions

As the swelling dissipates, it is not uncommon for patients to have weird sensations. If they do not get better or really bother you, you may want to be seen by your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

I Have Shooting on my Right Breast

These symptoms are not uncommon. it can take from a few months to a year for some women to be able to sleep in their preferred positions. Not being able to sleep properly is a troublesome issue. Ask your surgeon about lidoderm or another topical local anesthetic, which can often help with this issue.

Thank you for your question, best wishes

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Shooting pain in breast following breast augmentation.

Thanks for your question.  It is very normal to have temporary numbness or pain following breast augmentation surgery.  It can take a few months for these temporary nerve effects to subside.  In terms of lying on your side, it likely will be fine to lay on your side by 3-4 weeks following your surgery.  Hope this helps.

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Shootin pain 12 days after BA

This is a normal phenomenon that is seen in many women for u 4 months and slowly settles down. No need to be worried. Wish all the best

Ashok Govila, FRCS, MCh, MS
Dubai Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Sharp Pain to Nipple Areola Complex 12 Days after Breast Augmentation

   The sharp pain is likely the result of pressure or trauma to T3, T4 nerve fibers, which contribute to nipple areola sensation.  This is usually transient and will resolve in several weeks to months.  An exam is always required to confirm the diagnosis.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 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.