Are there any studies/evidence connecting acupuncture with regaining sensation lost after mastectomy?
Doctor Answers 3
Regaining sensation after mastectomy
unfortunately with mastectomy surgeries, the nerves creating sensation are often cut out with the breast tissue. Surrounding nerves can sometimes send out new branches and sensation can improve over time, but this takes years. We don't know of any treatment, cream, maneuver, or medicine at this juncture that can cause nerve regrowth through soft tissue to regain lost sensation. Accupuncture has many useful applications. There are many healing arts that have mysterious effects that we don't understand. However I have not heard of accupuncture leading to increased sensation in an area of numbness caused by surgical nerve removal.
Sensation recovery after mastectomy is variable among women and a difficult issue for patient and physician alike. There are no definitive studies regarding the enhancement of sensation recovery beyond time alone (and this varies among individuals). However, acupuncture will not hurt and has been helpful in many situations that can not be fully explained by science alone. Good luck and take care.