When you seek a cosmetic breast procedure like breast augmentation, breast lift or breast reduction, your primary goal is to improve the appearance of your breasts. Still, you may have concerns about some changes that may accompany the procedure, such as the way your breast tissue and nipples feel. In this blog, renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Jay Orringer, explains what kind of changes in sensitivity you might anticipate following a cosmetic breast surgery — and whether these changes are usually a long-term concern.
Temporary Changes in Sensitivity Are Common
Many women do experience changes in sensitivity immediately following their surgery. Nerves may be irritated and stretched during the surgery, which can alter the sensation that patients experience. The way in which women perceive these changes can vary. Some women experience an increase in tenderness and sensitivity (known as hyperesthesia), while others experience some loss of sensation.
The important thing to know is that in most women the changes are temporary. Over the course of the first few months following surgery, the sensitivity usually gradually improves. As the body repairs the myelin (the protective layer around the nerves), the nerves begin to function more normally again.
A Small Percentage of Women May Lose Nipple Sensation Permanently
When making an informed decision to have a breast procedure, you should be aware that there is a small risk of permanently losing the sensitivity in your nipples, or other parts of the breasts. Breast lift and breast reduction patients are more likely to experience this phenomenon than breast augmentation patients because an incision is placed around the areola which can affect nerves. In addition, tissue containing nerves is often removed with these procedures. If you do not feel that the slight possibility of losing sensitivity to the nipples is worth the potential benefits achieved with a breast procedure, then you may choose not to proceed. This is an individual decision.
Managing Discomfort Due to Sensitivity Changes
If breast tenderness or hypersensitivity has you feeling uncomfortable, you may try an anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medicine, like ibuprofen, to reduce the sensation. Additionally, you may wear nipple protectors over sensitive nipples to prevent them from rubbing against your clothing.
Ask Dr. Orringer Additional Questions
Dr. Orringer is an internationally known plastic surgeon, who throughout his more than 30-year career, has helped women to achieve their breast aesthetic and reconstructive goals. To schedule a consultation with double board-certified, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Jay Orringer, please call (310) 273-1663 or contact us via our website. Dr. Orringer welcomes patients from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Newport Beach, Northern California, nationally and internationally.