I had a breast augmentation 2 weeks ago. (Inframammary incision, sub glandular, silicone, 375cc) They look great and soreness is minimal but my skin is tender and my nipples hurt. It feels like the pain in when you are first starting to nurse a baby. I hate to touch them because it almost burns but I have to in order to do my exercises. Is this normal or should I be concerned? Is it from the stretching? How long will this last? Help!
Why is the Skin on my Breasts and my Nipples So Tender After my Breast Augmentation?
Doctor Answers 19
Nipple and skin sensitivity after breast augmentation
The nerve to your nipple is the 4th intercostal nerve. It is a unique nerve supplying sensual sensation. The remainder of your skin is supplied by standard sensory nerves. However all nerves are simply living electrical wires and these living "wires" have insulation around them called myelin. This myelin layer can often disappear if it is stretched or traumatized, which can be expected after breast augmentation. Sometimes this change in the insulation layer can cause decreased sensation(numbness), but often it causes hypersensitivity. (increased sensitivity) These nerves with no insulation resemble "raw wires" which can explain this hypersensitivity.
Fortunately any decreased or increased sensation will usually normalize fairly quickly over the first few weeks as the myelin layer returns.
Hypersensitivity after breast implants not uncommon
Nipples may be very sensitive after breast augmentation through any of the available incisions.
Nipple sensitivity after BA is due to the nerves stretching around the implant. It is a temporary condition. In my practice:
- Nipple sensitivity is more common in young women who are a B cup and increase by approximately one cup
- It is most likely to resolve within two months
- Can be improved with a short course of anti-inflammatory meds and high dose vitamin E
Nipple sensitivity after breast augmentation
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An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.
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Tender nipples and breasts after breast augmentation.
Very often this stretching of the nerves can result in increased feeling in the nipple and the surrounding areola which can be very uncomfortable. Very commonly patients complain of discomfort with light touch such as their clothing rubbing on the area. Many patients cover the nipple and the surrounding area some type of bandage to prevent the discomfort.
As the breast heals and swelling diminishes the nerves recover and normal feeling returns. Recovery is usually complete within 3 months rarely however it might take up to 6 months.
These symptoms typical, and should resolve in 6-8 weeks.
Patients typically describe a painful tingling, burning sensation that can be very uncomfortable. In many cases, clothing rubbing against the area can elicit a pins and needles sensation.
These symptoms usually resolve in 6 to 8 weeks without intervention. In some cases, aggressive massage can desensitize the area and minimize the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.
Why is the skin on my breasts and my nipples so tender after my breast augmentation?
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.
Skin and nipple sensitivity
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.
Pablo Prichard, MD