Can Sensitive Nipples Return After Being Fine?

I had a breast augmentation in March of this year. I had very sensitive nipples which actually cured and were fine very quickly. A couple of weeks ago I had to have emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder. I did skip 2 days of my birth control pill (which I only take for endometriosis) and every since I have been home from the hospital I have EXTREMELY sensitive nipples again! Is this normal? Will it go away again? Anything I can do to make it better?

Doctor Answers 4

Sensitive nipples

It is unlikely that your nipple sensitivity is directly related to your previous breast surgery at this point. Swelling of the chest may cause this as well, having one's period may contribute, so can an infection. Without an exam it is difficult to say.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Sensitive Nipples

The time course is a bit unusual. Most of the time these resolve on their own. If too bothersome, local anesthetic cream (4 or 5% lidocaine) can relieve the symptoms. 

Desensitization usually works--Tapping the nipples with the eraser end of a pencil to try to overwhelm the sensory nerves. (Pressure overwhelms other sensations--consider how we press down on our fingernails when there is a nail tear.) Trying this for a minute each side a few times a day will often resolve the problem.

Thank you for your question, best wishes.

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

Hypersensitive Nipples…

Thank you for the question.

Although it is not possible to give you precise advice online, it is very likely that the hypersensitivity you are experiencing is temporary. This may be related to hormonal changes and/or the significant stress you experience recently (emergency surgery).  If there is a chance that you could be pregnant you may want to have this possibility checked out.  Otherwise, I would suggest you  follow up with your OB/GYN in a few months if your  “symptoms” do not resolve spontaneously.

 Best wishes.

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

Sensitive nipples after augmentation

Thank you for your question. Hypersensitivity to the nipple or other breast regions is normal after surgery. The nerves may have been stretched and transiently down for the count. As they wake up, they want to let you know they are still there by over signalling their presence. Hence very sensitive nipples. Things typically do resolve with time. In the meantime, you can take two approaches. Compression or tape to minimize friction on the nipples. The other approach could be desensitization with over stimulation (e.g. vibration).
Chances are that since it resolved the first time, it should resolve this time as well.  Likely the nerves were re-stretched after the gallbladder procedure.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 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.