Breast augmentation is the most common aesthetic surgery in America. The vast majority of patients are incredibly happy with their results after a breast enhancement. However, patients often do worry about sensitivity of their nipples after breast augmentation surgery.
It is impossible to predict if patients will lose sensitivity in their nipples after breast augmentation, but the majority of patients return to their baseline in terms of sensitivity several months after surgery.
Patients typically go through a several phases in terms of sensitivity after their breast augmentation surgery. Patients can lose sensitivity initially after their surgery as the nerves are stretched by the placement of the breast implant under the breast. However, the majority of the breast enhancement techniques have a very direct route to the breast pocket and thus have very limited actual nerve transection. That means the nerves are “stunned” for a short period of time and thus why many patients have some initial loss of sensation, but for the vast majority of patients this sensation returns overtime. It typically starts to return over the next couple months, but can vary greatly from patient to patient and last for months in some patients.
Patients can also experience a period of hypersensitivity after their breast augmentation. This hypersensitivity is typically the period when the nerves are “waking” back up and are sensitive to any type of contact. During this period of hypersensitivity, it is important to massage the breasts as this will help the nerves return to baseline. The nerves need to adjust to being touched again. Wearing a soft, sports bra typically helps until the sensitivity returns to baseline, however massaging the nipple areolar complex is key to helping calm down the hypersensitivity of the area. It is important to touch them or the hypersensitivity can linger for a period of time.
Some initial nerve sensation changes initially are normal in breast augmentation surgery; however, the majority of patients return to their baseline in terms of sensitivity several months after their surgery.
It is important to discuss this risk with your Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon. They can help guide you through the process and further discuss the risks of losing sensation after your surgery.