Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Breast Numbness After Breast Augmentation

Breast numbness after breast augmentation is one of the most common side effects. It can range from mild to severe, and it can happen in one or both breasts. The good news is that it usually goes away on its own within a few days or weeks.

If you’re experiencing breast numbness after breast augmentation, here’s what you need to know:

What Is Breast Numbness?

Many women feel tingling or pins-and-needles sensations in their breasts during the first two weeks after surgery. This is perfectly normal and happens because there are small nerve endings under your skin that were stretched during your procedure. The nerves are sending signals to your brain about the pressure on them, which may feel like pain or irritation. Breast numbness usually goes away on its own within a few days or weeks, but if it doesn’t, talk to your doctor!

How Do I Know If I Have Breast Numbness?

There are some signs that breast numbness may be developing:

-Your breasts feel sore and tender when touched

-You feel tingling or pins-and-needles sensations in your breasts

-Your nipples look different than they did before surgery

Breast Numbness After Breast Augmentation

Breast numbness is a common side effect of breast augmentation surgery. It can occur as a result of the nerves being damaged during surgery, or it may develop over time due to scar tissue formation. Numbness typically occurs in one or both breasts and may be felt on the underside or top of the breast, near the nipple, or even on the chest wall.

If you are experiencing breast numbness after your surgery, talk with your plastic surgeon about ways to manage it. You may need to wear a bra that supports your breasts and keeps them separated during sleep. This will prevent any further damage to nerves that might be ongoing as well as help to reduce swelling. If your surgeon recommends that you use ice packs on your breasts for 24 hours after having surgery, this will also help with reducing swelling.

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. One of the most common concerns for breast augmentation patients is a loss of nipple sensitivity and/or numbness in the entire breast. 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. This loss of nipple sensation is caused by a disruption in the nerves during surgery and is extremely common, though some patients may be more likely to experience it than others. 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. Again, this is due to the significant amount of stretching that will occur with breast implant placement.
  • Implant position: Women whose implants are placed above the pectoral muscle typically experience numbness more often, or to a greater degree, than those who have the implants placed underneath the muscle.
  • Incision placement: A breast augmentation that utilizes areolar incisions or includes a breast lift may be more likely to result in a loss of nipple sensation than a surgery involving only an incision in the inframammary crease.
  • Health history: Certain lifestyle or health issues can also play a role in whether or not a woman experiences nipple numbness after breast augmentation. 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. Again, the risk of this complication is very low, but it is something to be aware of. At the other end of the spectrum, some patients actually report heightened nipple sensitivity as a result of their surgery.

How can I regain nipple sensation after getting breast implants?

While there are some things you can do to give yourself the best possible chance for complete and proper healing after your breast augmentation, the most important thing you can do is not rush your recovery. 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!

NUMBNESS AFTER BREAST AUGMENTATION SURGERY

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 during the initial healing phase after breast augmentation is common. Patients may experience a certain loss of sensation lasting anywhere from a few weeks to 12 months after surgery. If a patient is still experiencing loss of sensation more than a year after surgery, there is a chance that they will not regain full sensation to the breasts.

There are some massage techniques patients can perform in hopes of regaining sensation in the breasts and nipples. One of the most effective is the use of light touch, in which the patient gently massages the breasts and nipples in a circular motion for a few minutes, several times a day. 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.

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