Change in breast sensation after breast reduction

Change in breast sensation after breast reduction

22nd Jan 2018

Breast reduction surgery reduces the size of overly large breasts by removing the extra fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. When the breasts become very large, they affect the self-esteem of women and even create physical pain for them. There is no doubt that overly large breasts look unwelcoming and embarrassing. To get rid of the condition and restore self-confidence, many women decide to go under the knife. Breast reduction surgery can effectively decrease the size of the breasts, making you look aesthetically appealing and boosting your self-esteem.

The procedure involves major incisions, which is why there are many side effects and risks associated with the procedure. One of the problems that may happen is change in breast sensation. The change in breast sensation happens due to injury or damage to the nerves during the operation. The condition can be permanent or temporary.

Change in breast sensation

To understand why change in breast sensation may happen after breast reduction, you should know how the procedure is performed. Breast reduction is a major surgery, and you should only consider it as a last option to get rid of the problems associated with overly large breasts. If your breasts are overly developed, you should consult with a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon.

During the pre-operative consultation, the plastic surgeon will examine your breasts and determine whether you need breast reduction surgery. If you need a breast reduction, the doctor will then assess your overall health and ask how the problem is affecting your life. Be sure to discuss the problems with the surgeon clearly and frankly. Whether the condition is affecting your self-confidence or creating pain for you, you must discuss it with the doctor. Furthermore, the doctor will ask about your goals and expectations.

If you are a good candidate, the plastic surgeon will give you a date for the surgery. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, meaning you will be asleep throughout the procedure and not feel any pain. The doctor will make incisions on the breasts. The length and number of incisions depend on how large your breasts are and to what extent you want to reduce them. While making the incisions, there is a risk that the nerves may be injured or damaged. Keep in mind that the nerves maintain your natural breast sensation. When they are tampered with, you may experience a change or loss of breast sensation that can be temporary or permanent.

After making the incision, the plastic surgeon will access the glandular tissue. Remember that the breasts are made primarily of glandular tissue, fat, and muscles. The doctor will carefully remove the excess glandular tissue from the breasts. Again, it is possible that your nerves may be injured or damaged while removing the glandular issue. After removing the tissue, the plastic surgeon will remove the excess fat from the breasts. Liposuction may even be used to implement this step.

After removing the excess fat from the breasts, the plastic surgeon will reposition the nipples on the breasts. This step is important such that when the fat and tissue are removed from the breasts, the breasts may become saggy and the nipples will point downward. To restore your perky and youthful nipples, the doctor will remove and implant the breasts higher up on the chest. In the last step, the doctor will remove the excess skin from the breasts in order to prevent sagging. The skin removal is a sensitive process and must be performed with great care. There is a risk that while removing the excess skin, your nerves may be damaged or injured, which can lead to a change or loss of your natural breast sensation.

After removing the excess skin, the doctor will suture and close the wounds. The results of the intervention will transpire after some weeks or months. The patient is required to go through a complete recovery after the intervention. A major portion of the recovery will happen during the first two weeks; however, complete recovery will take many weeks.

Breast sensation loss or change

Even though breast reduction surgery can effectively reduce the size of very large breasts, it comes with risks and complications. The change or loss of breast sensation is one of the risks associated with the intervention. Fortunately, the condition is temporary in most cases. It is usually short-lived and the permanent change of breast sensitivity is rare.

So, what causes breast sensitivity to change? Well, the change of breast sensation is common and happens as a result of injury or damage to the nerves responsible for maintaining your natural skin sensation. Breast reduction is a highly invasive and traumatic surgery, and during the procedure, the nerves may be tampered with, which can cause a change in breast sensation. After the procedure, your natural breast sensation will slowly come back as the nerves heal. The more invasive and extensive the intervention, the more likely it is for the patient to experience a change in breast sensation.

Many patients are curious as to whether their breast sensation will change after breast reduction surgery. Keep in mind that if you have chosen a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon to operate, the risk of breast sensation change will reduce drastically. However, even with the most experienced and skilled plastic surgeon, the risk of change in breast sensation cannot be fully ruled out.

The change of breast sensation transpires in the form of lost or decreased sensitivity or numbness in the breasts. Also, it can happen in the form of nipple and areola sensitivity change. Some patients may experience overly sensitive breasts and nipples after the intervention. Furthermore, some patients may get radical change in the breast sensation, such as pinching pain when the nipples touch your clothes.

As mentioned above, these changes are short-lived in most cases. Some patients may regain their natural breast sensation within a few weeks, while others may require months and even years getting back their natural breast sensation. How long it will take you to get your natural breast sensitivity depends on the severity of the injury to the nerves. A good plastic surgeon will always perform the surgery carefully and protect the nerves. There are chances that the nerve paths may be damaged, depending on what surgical techniques and incisions the plastic surgeon uses.

In the past, it was assumed that the change in breast sensation after breast reduction surgery depended on the volume of fat and tissue removed from the breasts. But new studies have found that the change or loss of nipple sensitivity is linked to how the surgery is performed and what surgical techniques are used. According to a study conducted in 2005, the change in breast sensation is associated with breast reduction techniques used to remove the excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts.

If the nerves are severely damaged during the operation, they may fail to heal, leading to a permanent change or loss of breast sensation. Moreover, if your breasts have become numb, it may take about one or two years to get back your natural breast sensation. A permanent change in breast sensation happens in less than 5 percent of patients who experience it after the procedure.

It is important for the patient to discuss with the surgeon how likely it is for the breasts to experience a change in sensation after the surgery. Also, you must ask the surgeon what techniques he will use, what type of incisions will be made, and how long the incisions will be. All of these are linked to the change in breast sensation after breast reduction. The doctor will help you understand what may cause the change in breast sensation, how long it will take the sensation to become normal, and things you can do to get back your natural breast sensation after the procedure.


The breasts are among the most important aesthetic areas of the female body. Aesthetic flaws in the breasts can lead to many problems. One of the conditions many women suffer from is having overly large breasts that not only look aesthetically unwelcoming but also create physical pain. Breast reduction surgery effectively treats the condition; however, there are risks associated with the procedure, and the change in breast sensation is one of those risks. It happens when the nerves are injured during the surgery. In most cases, the condition is temporary.

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