Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Breast Numb After Breast Augmentation

One frequent side effect of breast augmentation surgery is breast numbness. It can happen when the nerves are injured during surgery, or it could develop gradually as a result of the growth of scar tissue. One or both breasts may have numbness, which can be felt on the breast’s top or bottom, close to the nipple, or even on the chest wall.

After your procedure, if you are still having breast numbness, talk to your plastic surgeon about how to handle it. It’s possible that you’ll need to wear a bra to support and keep your breasts apart as you sleep. As well as helping to lessen swelling, this will stop any potential continued nerve damage. This can also aid in lowering swelling if your physician advises that you apply cold packs to your breasts for 24 hours following surgery.

In this article, we’ll also consider partial numbness in breast and permanent numbness after breast augmentation.


Numbness after breast augmentation is a typical part of the recovery process. You may experience numbness around the nipples, near the incision site or in other areas of your breast. You should regain feeling in the weeks and months following surgery.

Although rare, a certain degree of numbness can become permanent for some patients. By choosing your cosmetic surgeon carefully you can greatly reduce the chances of permanent numbness. A good cosmetic surgeon will be able to determine breast size options that work for you. One cause of permanent numbness is a breast implant that is too large for your breast diameter.

In addition to numbness, temporary side effects that you may experience after breast augmentation include:

  • Discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

If your breast implant was placed above the muscle, then these side effects should go away in a week or two. Placement below the muscle usually requires two to four weeks, although swelling may persist for a few months.

Choosing a qualified cosmetic surgeon is an important part of minimizing risks and possible complications. For breast augmentation in the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills areas, please contact the experienced cosmetic surgeon Dr. Eugene Kim to schedule a consultation.

Does Nipple Sensation Come Back After Breast Augmentation?

After a woman has received breast implants, she is likely to be flooded with a wide range of emotions and thoughts. Excitement, exhilaration, and boosted self-esteem are just a few of the feelings that patients typically report immediately after surgery. However, the breast augmentation recovery period is also often accompanied by questions about postoperative symptoms and results. Loss of nipple sensitivity and/or breast-wide numbness are two of the most frequent issues experienced by women who have had breast augmentations. While this can be a perfectly normal side effect of surgery and is usually temporary, it can, understandably, make patients nervous.

Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. James N. Romanelli and Dr. John Layliev, along with the exceptional and caring team at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery, are committed to educating their breast augmentation patients in the Long Island, NY area on what to expect before, during, and after surgery so that the entire process is as smooth and comfortable as possible. Read on to learn more about what you can expect during your breast augmentation recovery, including how long you may experience breast and nipple numbness.

Why are my nipples numb after breast augmentation?

It can come as a surprise to many patients that getting breast implants affects their nipple sensitivity, though your surgeon should cover these details during your preoperative consultation. Although some individuals may be more likely to suffer it than others, this loss of nipple sensation is fairly common and is brought on by a disruption in the nerves after surgery. Some of the factors that can contribute to a higher risk for temporary breast or nipple numbness include:

Implant size: Patients who select a larger implant size are more likely to experience a loss of nipple sensation, as the tissue has to be stretched considerably to accommodate the implant. In addition to the cc size, the diameter of the implant also plays a large role in this.

Body type: Likewise, women with a smaller frame or smaller breasts may be most prone to a temporary loss of sensation. Once more, this is a result of the considerable straining that will take place during the insertion of breast implants.

Implant position: Generally speaking, women who have their implants positioned above the pectoral muscle report feeling numbness more frequently or to a higher extent than women who have their implants positioned beneath the muscle.

Incision placement: A breast augmentation procedure that involves areolar incisions or a breast lift may be more likely than one that merely involves an incision in the inframammary crease to cause nipple feeling loss.

Health history:Whether or not a woman has nipple numbness after breast augmentation can also depend on her lifestyle and health. For example, patients with a history of smoking or nicotine use are at higher risk for numbness and other complications, while women who have breastfed may be at lower risk for a loss of sensation due to their breasts and skin already having been stretched out.

During your initial consultation at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Romanelli or Dr. Layliev will explain all of your surgical options in detail, answer your questions at length, and thoroughly discuss all of the risks and side effects that are possible after breast augmentation, including a temporary loss of nipple sensation.

How long will my breasts stay numb after breast augmentation?

Throughout your breast augmentation recovery, you should begin to experience a slow return of nipple and breast sensation as the neural pathways heal and re-establish themselves. Some women begin to notice a return of feeling after just a few weeks, while others may be numb for several months. In many cases, it can take up to 12 – 18 months for Long Island, NY area patients to regain normal sensation in their breasts and nipples. It is normal to experience shooting, sharp pains, or a burning sensation in the nipples as the nerves begin to awaken.

Though it is extremely rare, a permanent loss of nipple sensation can occur after breast surgery. If a woman has not had a return of feeling in her nipples two years after breast augmentation, it is unlikely that the nerves will ever regenerate. On the other hand, some patients claim that their surgery has actually increased their nipple sensitivity.

How can I regain nipple sensation after getting breast implants?

The most crucial thing you can do is not rush your recovery. While there are several things you can do to offer yourself the best chance for complete and thorough healing following your breast augmentation, this is the most crucial. It is essential that patients allow themselves an adequate amount of time to heal and closely follow their surgeon’s postoperative guidelines. These will include getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, taking any prescribed medications, wearing supportive undergarments, and avoiding certain physical activities. Your surgeon may also recommend light massage techniques, supplements, or other tips to promote the return of nipple sensation after breast augmentation.

To learn more about the temporary side effects that you may experience after getting breast implants, as well as the dramatic physical and emotional benefits of breast augmentation itself, schedule a consultation with Dr. James N. Romanelli and Dr. John Layliev, our board-certified plastic surgeons. At Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery, in Huntington, NY, we look forward to helping you achieve your ultimate aesthetic goals so that you look – and feel – better than ever!


One of the biggest concerns patients have regarding breast augmentation is the possibility of numbness, either of the nipple or the entire breast. While some loss of sensation is not that unusual right after a breast augmentation, the breasts will usually regain feeling over the course of a few months. One study showed that 40 percent of women reported some loss of breast sensation after augmentation surgery. The same study also found that only 2 percent of patients reported persistent numbness. Interestingly, nipple erection is generally not affected, regardless of sensation.

Causes of Breast Numbness after Breast Augmentation

One of the key factors in the occurrence of numbness is the diameter of the breast implants. The wider the implant, the more the surrounding nerves may be stretched, damaged, or even severed. For example, a woman with a 14-cm diameter implant placed in a breast that is only 13 cm in diameter will run a higher risk of breast numbness than a woman with a 15-cm diameter breast who has 14-cm diameter implants. Furthermore, implants of a smaller diameter require less dissection in order to be fitted inside the breast, thus less risk of nerves being damaged or severed.

Breast numbness may also depend on the placement of the implants and whether or not the incisions go through the nipple and surrounding areola. The areolar incision technique may be more likely to cause nipple numbness after surgery. Implants that are placed using the subglandular approach are also associated with a higher incidence of nipple numbness when compared to the submuscular approach.

Regaining Sensation after Breast Augmentation

Breast numbness is a typical side effect of breast augmentation during the initial healing phase. After surgery, patients may have a temporary loss of sensation that lasts for up to 12 months. There is a potential that a patient won’t fully restore sensation in their breasts if they are still experiencing loss of sensation more than a year following surgery.

There are some massage techniques patients can perform in hopes of regaining sensation in the breasts and nipples.The use of gentle touch, in which the patient softly rubs the breasts and nipples in a circular motion for a short period of time, several times per day, is one of the most efficient. If the patient massages her own breasts, she is helping to rebuild the neural pathways, thus helping to restore sensation. By the same token, this massage technique can also be used for nipples and breasts that have too much sensation after surgery.

It is important for the patient to work closely with her surgeon to reduce the chances of developing breast numbness. Selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon, the correct size of implant, the proper implant location, and surgical technique can greatly reduce the chances of permanent nerve damage to the breasts and nipples.

Partial Numbness In Breast

The numb sensation in your breast might be the result of the compression of small nerve fibers in the chest wall or breast tissue. This type of nerve compression can also cause a tingling sensation.

One possible culprit is wearing a bra that doesn’t fit properly.

Permanent Numbness After Breast Augmentation

Permanent numbness after breast augmentation is a risk, but occurs very uncommonly. It occurs due to damage to the sensory nerves during the operation, or pressure on the nerves from the implant.

The change in the nature of the numbness to pain after your last child is worth investigating. It could be as simple as a muscle tear from returning to the gym, but equally could be

infection or similar within the breast ducts.

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