Why is the Side of my Breast and Back Numb After Capsulorrhaphy?

I am 11 days post opp. Breast lift and smaller implants and capsulorrhaphy. The side of my body is kinda numb is this normal?

Doctor Answers 7

Why is the side of my breast and back numb after capsulorrhaphy?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Numbness following surgery.

Numbness following surgery can result from everything from swelling to actual nerve damage. In most cases, the stretching and pulling from surgery "stuns" the nerves and this numbness resolves in a matter of weeks, usually in concert with the resolution of swelling. Much less frequently, the small peripheral nerves may be injured during surgery. Even in these cases, it is not uncommon for sensation to return to normal or near normal levels.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Numbness after breast implant revision and breast lift

Some numbness in the area around the breasts or side of the chest may occure after mastopexy and breast implant revision surgery. This is usually due to nerves in the area being affected by the surgery, and should resolve over the course of several weeks. Always consult with your plastic surgeon if you have any concerns after your surgery.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Numbness after breast surgery

Some numbness can happen after surgery. This can be from swelling quite often and usually gets better within the first 6-8 weeks.  Inevitably some small sensory fibers to the skin may have also been affected byt he dissection of the pocket.  This too usually gets better with time.



Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Numbness after surgery

it is not unusual to have areas of numbness after the operation you describe. luckily a lot of this resolves with time.  relax and give it some time

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Numbness after breast surgery

There are many small nerves that innervate the side of the chest.  It is common to have numbness after breast surgery; fortunately this usually resolves over time.  Nipple numbness is more problematic since there is only one nerve to this area and if it is damaged there are no neighboring nerves to take over.

Numbness that persistes more than 8 months is probably permanent.

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Postoperative numbness is temporary.

During all surgical procedures small nearves which provide sensation to the skin may be cut or streached resulting in numbness in certain areas. This is almost always temporary but nerves heal slowly and therefore it may take months before the normal sensation returns.

William H. Gorman, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 20 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.