Nipple Sensation after Breast Implants

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One of the risks of having breast implants is an unfortunate effect on nipple sensitivity however, changes in sensation usually last from 6 – 18 months. After this period your nipples tend to reform back to their usual sensitivity.

Causes of the Change in Nipple Sensation

This (usually) temporary side effect occurs because nerves, during the surgery, have been disrupted or interfered with. This can be avoided if your surgeon manages to locate and circumvent the forth intercostal nerve branch which is connected to the nipple. Therefore if a change in nipple sensitivity is a real concern of yours, make sure you inform your surgeon so that he or she is aware of your unease. Be aware, though, that if you have chosen to have an implant that is much larger than your normal breast size, the stretching, and therefore thinning, of the skin can cause an unavoidable loss in nipple sensation.

Other factors can have an effect on nipple sensation, so consider this when opting for breast implants. Ageing skin and its effects (thinning skin and decrease in breast size) can cause a change in nipple sensitivity, so if you are an older patient this might aggravate the change in nipple sensation when having breast implants.

De-sensitivity of Nipples

There is an assumption, held by many, that after breast implants nipple sensitivity is completely lost. This can happen to some, but on the whole this is unlikely. For others, complete loss of sensation does not occur, but a decrease in sensitivity can take place for a period of time. Sometimes, by lightly massaging the nipple, sensation can improve more quickly, but this must be done several times a day.

Hypersensitivity of Nipples

Unfortunately, not only can you temporarily lose nipple sensation, but you can also gain increased sensitivity, ‘hypersensation.’ This can be irritating and uncomfortable. If it is severe hypersensation then it can even become painful. This sensation will in time return to normal, but massaging, as suggested above, can speed up the return to your previous sensitivity.

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