Are there any side effects such as loss of sensation after breast augmentation?
I am 31 and have been deliberating for a while about having breast implants to look better and more symmetrical (one breast is a A cup, the other is a B cup). However, I am really scared of losing sensation in my breasts. Is this a common side effect of breast augmentation?
Is there anything a plastic surgeon can do to avoid this, or is it inevitable if I undergo breast augmentation? Also, are there any other side effects I need to worry about? Thanks a lot!
With regard to loss of sensation to the breasts and nipple areolar complex, this depends largely on the placement of the incision. Overly large implants may also contribute to loss of sensation as they cause stretching of the nerves (neuropraxia). Incisions around or at the nipple areolar will also lead to loss of sensation.
In my practice, I usually site my incision in the breast fold, hence the scar is well hidden and the risk of numbness will be low. However, it must be noted that there are numerous side effects or complications that can be associated with breast implant surgery. While uncommon if done by a well-trained board-certified plastic surgeon, you should be well-informed about this before you commit to any surgery.
With the advances in methods of fat preparation, autologous structural fat grafting (using your own body fat) can now be done reliably in place of silicone implants. I have had quite a few patients who are starting to see the merits of this technique as your own fats are harvested from either the tummy or thighs and prepared before it is re-injected into the breasts for augmentation. This would reduce any risk of numbness to the nipple-areolar complex as there will be no incisions. The caveat for this technique is that patients must have sufficient donor sites for fat harvest.
Breast augmentation using silicone implants or structural fat grafting are complex procedures that can be very satisfying if performed correctly and safely. We are able to use sizers and also 3D simulation to estimate the different breast volumes and use implants of different sizes and projection. This will help to create the necessary fullness, cleavage and correct the asymmetry. Please make an in-person consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon if you are keen to find out more.
I hope I have answered your queries. Have a great week ahead!
Dr. Terence Goh
The information provided is purely for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice or create any physician/patient relationship. Results may vary between individuals.
While not common, there is a small risk of losing sensation in your nipple after breast augmentation with breast implants. The risk increases with larger implants and a subglandular placement of the implant.
I like to place the implants in a dual-plane pocket under the pectoralis muscle and I wouldn't advise using implants that are too large for your body's proportions.
The other option for breast augmentation is using your own fat to augment your breasts. This is basically liposuction of an area of your choice and injection of that fat into your breasts. There is no risk of losing sensation in your breasts with fat grafting as your nerves are not cut.
Sensory loss in the breast or more specifically, the nipple-areolar, complex is an uncommon complication of breast augmentation, occurring in less than 1% of simple breast augmentation. This is more associated with excessively large implants, poor breast pocket dissection and excessive retraction, and the use of surgical incisions around the areolar to place the implant in. I typically place my implants through a tiny incision in the fold on the underside of the breast. Excessively large implants result in the nerves to the nipple/areolar being stretched, thus proper implant selection is very important.
Any nipple numbness that occurs after breast augmentation is temporary and will resolved in a few weeks to a few months. Very rarely is the loss of sensation permanent.
Breast augmentation is a relatively simple procedure but it is vital that you go to a certified plastic surgeon that will best advise you on the implant and technique of breast augmentation.
I hope this has been helpful!