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Sensation changes after breast augmentation: what to expect

 Numbness is a normal part of any surgical procedure and can be expected for several weeks or months after surgery, as the nerves are traumatised by surgery and may be compressed by swelling. Sensation in the breast and nipple can increase or decrease after augmentation surgery – ranging from a total loss of feeling through to tingling or sharp twinges. 

breast augmentation implants surgeonWhen will it get better?

Most loss of feeling will resolve in 2 to 3 months, however, some areas – such as the nipples and the area directly around the scar line – can take up to 2 years to resolve. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision, as the nerves make their way from the periphery to the scarline. In some cases, sensation may never return to 100% of what it felt like previously over the scar area.

This is slightly more likely to be the case when breast lift surgery is performed along with the augmentation.

Pictured: before and 3 months after breast augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp. 

What are signs of nerves healing?

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp pains; these are normal. Sometimes women feel hesitant to touch the numb areas of their breast as they can feel strange and separate from their body, however, it is important to massage and stimulate the nerves to encourage regeneration – you can combine this with your daily scar minimisation massage.

The size of the implant relative to the size of your chest diameter is the most important factor that impacts sensory changes, especially numbness; which is why it is important to select an implant size that is appropriate for your body. Breasts are a normal aspect of female pleasure and there’s no point having the breast size you always wanted, if you can no longer enjoy normal sensation.

The smaller the implant, the less dissection required relative to the base of the breast, and the lower the likelihood that nerves innervating the breast from the periphery of the breast will be disturbed.

What happens if sensory issues impact my day to day life?

If persistent sensory changes concern you, it is important to discuss this with your surgeon.

See also: Can I Breastfeed After A Breast Reduction?


The above information is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice. All surgery carries benefits and risks, and we recommend visiting the specific page related to the procedure you are interested in to learn more.