Will I Lose Nipple Sensation After My Breast Augmentation?

Published: April 15, 2021
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Category: Dr. Christine Stewart, Breast Augmentation

The loss of nipple sensation after Breast Augmentation surgery is a significant concern for many women. After all, a woman doesn’t just want her breasts to look amazing after surgery; she also wants them to feel amazing! Although changes in nipple sensitivity are common, they usually don’t last. Here are some important things to understand about nipple sensation after Breast Augmentation surgery.

Nipple sensitivity

“I encourage patients to be very open about ALL of their concerns during their consultation for Breast Augmentation surgery,” says Dr. Christine Stewart, a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery. “Discussing nipple sensation can feel a bit awkward at first because patients may feel that this is more sexual in nature, but the truth is, your sexual health is a vital component to your overall health. As your plastic surgeon, I don’t just want you to be happy with how your results look, but also with how they feel. ALL of your concerns are important to me!”

Changes in nipple sensitivity are common after surgery, but they rarely last long.

Most women experience some degree of change in nipple sensitivity after their Breast Augmentation due to breast tissue swelling. For some, sensitivity is heightened and can be somewhat uncomfortable. For others, sensation in the nipple area may be temporarily dulled. In fact, a woman may experience BOTH reactions throughout her healing process. In most cases, these changes will diminish in the weeks and months following your surgery as swelling subsides and incisions heal.

nipple sensitivity

If nipples are overly sensitive after surgery, there are things you can do to ease the discomfort.

“When an implant is placed in a breast to increase volume, the projection of the implant can stretch the nerve that gives sensation to the nipple,” explains Dr. Stewart. “This strain can cause inflammation around the nerve and make nipples hypersensitive and, in some cases, painful. I recommend using bandages or nipple hydrogel pads over the nipples inside of your post-surgical bra to cut down on friction from clothing. Gently massaging the nipples with a light oil or moisturizer can also decrease sensitivity- it reminds the nerves to the nipple of what normal sensation feels like. In most cases, this discomfort subsides a 4-6 weeks after surgery.”

How common is the complete loss of nipple sensation after Breast Surgery?

Experiencing a complete loss of nipple sensation after a Breast Augmentation is rare. Although it may take a prolonged amount of time for sensation to return, most patients do not experience a permanent loss of feeling. There are multiple nerves that provide sensation to the nipple and it would be unusual for every nerve to be injured permanently after the surgery.

“How your Breast Augmentation was performed can increase the possibility of temporary sensation loss in some patients, “ explains Dr. Stewart. “Some incision types we use during surgery are more likely to cause a loss of sensation than others. These factors will be discussed at your consultation.”

incisions nipple sensitivity

Factors that may affect nipple sensation after Breast Augmentation Surgery:

Breast implant size : A larger implant may temporarily stretch the nerves affiliated with nipple sensation.

Breast implant incisions :Most incisions for Breast Augmentation are made along the crease of the breast, around the areola, and sometimes in the underarm area. Incisions around the areola will be most likely to cause changes in nipple sensation.

The placement of your breast implant – An implant placed behind the pectoral muscle will be less likely to affect nipple sensation after surgery. This is the most common plane for implant placement.

“Although the loss of nipple sensation after a Breast Augmentation can happen, the incidences are very low and most often temporary,” says Dr. Stewart. “I strongly encourage anyone considering Breast Augmentation to discuss these concerns with their plastic surgeon. A few weeks of mild discomfort or loss of sensitivity is well worth the reward of loving your new appearance!”

Would you like to discuss Breast Augmentation surgery with one of our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons? Call (612)688-3177 to schedule a complimentary consultation, or CLICK HERE to set up a virtual consultation!

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