What are the chances in percentages that I will lose nipple sensation post procedure?

I really want this operation because I'm a size J and I'm only 18. The doctor has given me a few things I need to do such as stopping smoking and lose a bit of weight but I'm sort of scared to go through with it if the percentage is high for nipple sensation. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 3

Sensation after breast reduction procedure

‘Complete loss’ of nipple sensation after breast reduction is surgical technique dependent and is rare if the procedure is done by an experienced, fully qualified plastic surgeon. Sensation can however be ‘decreased’ in about 10% of cases. This is generally temporary and most of the sensation returns to normal in about 3 months. Sometimes it can take about 12 to 18 months to fully recover, but at the end of this period there will be no further recovery of sensation. Even more rarely, the nipples can sometimes end up being hypersensitive. At the end of the day, percentage of risk is irrelevant even if it is as low as 0.1%, as if you end up being in the 0.1%, then as far as you are concerned the risk has been 100% for you…!

In your case, it is important that you have a healthy BMI and stop smoking. There are significant risks of wound breakdown following surgery with both of these. Also, I note that you are only 18yrs of age. Although it must be difficult for you to manage with such heavy breasts, you do need to be aware that your breasts may continue to grow in size after the procedure. Ideally, your breasts should have stopped growing for about an year or so before you consider having surgery on them.

Breast reduction

The chances of nipple necrosis and loss of nipple sensation are small but are increased by the amount of reduction and the amount of lift and other factors such as smoking. Make sure you have consulted with a PS who can show you pre and postop images of patients similar to yourself. This is a difficult decision as you are only 18 and you need to be taken through the pros and cons carefully. 

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

What are the chances in percentages that I will lose nipple sensation breast reduction post procedure?

Thank you for the question.
Breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform for patients with symptomatic breast hypertrophy. Of course, like with any operation, patients and surgeons must weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks/ complications associated with the procedure.
A loss of nipple/areola sensation rate of 5 to 15% with  breastreduction surgery is probably accurate.
I hope this helps.

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.