Plastic Surgery Associates of Redding

Will my nipples be numb after my breast augmentation?

This is a worry that many women considering breast augmentation surgery share.  Studies suggest that the risk of permanent loss of sensation to the nipple following breast implant placement ranges from 5 to 15%.  The flip-side, 85 to 95% have normal or near-normal sensation after this surgery.  Many women, perhaps most women, experience temporary numbness, which may or may not involve the nipple itself.  This may last for weeks, months, or even years.  Some of my patients have told me that it took 2 years for the numbness to go away. Long term pain in the breast following breast augmentation is extremely rare.

For the women who do experience permanent numbness, only rarely is it a major problem for them.  Some women find that, after breast feeding children, they are left with very little pleasureable feeling in their nipples anyway.  For them the risk is small.  For women who experience great pleasure from stimulation of their nipples (during sexual foreplay), the issue is more of a concern.

There are conflicting reports in the medical literature regarding whether placement of the incision for the surgery (around the edge of the areola, at the lower edge of the breast, or in the arm pit) makes a difference in the risk of numbness.  My personal experience suggests to me that the incision location plays a minor role in this issue.

This is one of many issues that a woman considering breast augmentation must weigh in making her decision.  Find a board certified plastic surgeon who will take the time to explain all the choices available to you and help you decide what is best for you.

Mark D. Ball, M.D., F.A.C.S.

About Mark Ball

With over 25 years as a plastic surgery professional, Dr. Ball has abundant time and effort invested into perfecting his techniques to give attention to even the most subtle details in the art of Plastic Surgery.