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When does nipple sensation return after breast augmentation?

When does nipple sensation return after breast augmentation?

Charlotte, Lake Norman, Davidson, Mooresville, Huntersville, Cornelius Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation remains one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in the US. While patient satisfaction rates after this procedure are high, there are certain side effects that can be associated with the procedure. After breast augmentation surgery, women may find that the sensation in their nipples has changed. Some women find that their nipples are numb or have reduced sensation, while others have tingling or “zapping” sensations in the nipples.

Why does this happen? Will the sensation return to normal? How long will it take?

Nerves are affected by breast augmentation surgery

Changes in nipple sensation occur because of changes to the nerves of the breast after the breast augmentation procedure. Placing breast implants causes stretching of the skin and other tissues of the breast. The nerves run through these tissues, and stretching nerves can affect their function. In addition, swelling is a natural part of the healing process; swelling of the tissues can cause compression of the nerves, which also interferes with their function.

In some cases, nerves may be cut during the surgery. Using his experience, skills and detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the breast, Dr. Miles is very careful to avoid any nerves. However, it’s not always possible to avoid some of the tiniest branches of the nerves during the procedure. There are certainly also cases where an inexperienced surgeon inadvertently causes damage to the larger nerves of the breast during a breast augmentation surgery. (This is why choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon, and not the cheapest surgeon, is crucial!)

As a result of these factors, many women notice changes in how the nipple feels after the surgery. The nipple may have reduced sensation or may even feel completely numb. Some women may also experience tingling of the nipple, or feel “zingers” (quick, sharp sensations) from time to time.

Nipple sensation usually returns to normal over time

The good news is that the changes in sensation following surgery are almost always temporary. Nipple sensation returns after breast surgery, as the swelling goes down and the tissue adapts to its new shape. In most cases, sensation in the nipple should gradually return to normal within about two to three months, although it can sometimes take up to six months or even a little longer. 

Even if nerves are damaged during the procedure, the nervous system is surprisingly resilient. While brain tissue that’s lost generally does not grow back (think of stroke survivors), nerves that are cut in other parts of the body often do. However, it can take up to 1-2 years for nerves to grow back and sensation to fully return to the nipple.

Charlotte, Lake Norman, Davidson, Mooresville, Huntersville, Cornelius Breast Augmentation

If you’re looking for a great and experienced plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Miles. His exceptional credentials and results demonstrate his high level of surgical skill. While no plastic surgery can come with a guarantee, your chances of getting the great results you desire are increased by choosing the right surgeon. Contact our office for more information or to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Erik J. Miles
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