Is the loss of nipple sensitivity possible after a breast lift?

Is the loss of nipple sensitivity possible after a breast lift?

05th Nov 2019


Patients resorting to plastic surgery to improve different features of the body (including the breasts) should make sure they are fully aware of what the procedure entails before scheduling it. When it comes to the breast lift, the most important details you should discuss with the plastic surgeon are related to the surgical plan and the post-operative period. The surgical plan that is followed during the breast lift is customized for each patient depending on her anatomical characteristics and her goals and expectations from the surgery. This means that there are no two patients with an identical surgical plan. For some patients, the incisions will be smaller or even localized in different areas of the breasts. At the same time, the side effects and potential complications that can occur after the breast lift are different from patient to patient.

First, let’s have a look at how the breast lift is performed. In a vast majority of cases, general anesthesia is preferred for the comfort of the patient. This means that the procedure starts with the patient put under general anesthetic. When the patient is asleep, the plastic surgeon will make the incisions on areas of the breasts marked beforehand. The patient will know exactly where these incisions will be placed and their dimensions as this are something that will be discussed during the consultation. Some patients require just one incision placed around the areola while others can have up to three incisions. The length and number of incisions are dependent on the level of breast ptosis, but all patients undergoing surgery will have the periareolar incision. After the incision is performed, the skin is detached from the mammary gland and the plastic surgeon will re-center the glandular tissue to elevate the breasts and make them perkier. Once this stage is completed, the skin is re-draped on the breasts, all excess removed, and the incisions are sutured.

Each time we make a periareolar incision, there is a risk for loss of nipple sensitivity. During the surgery, the nerves can be sectioned and the loss or changes in nipple sensitivity can occur after the breast lift. However, in a vast majority of cases, this is just a temporary side effect. Most of the side effects that will occur after the breast lift, such as swelling and bruising, will disappear without additional treatment within the first few weeks or months. The patient should have follow-up consultations scheduled with the plastic surgeon periodically during the first year post-op. Make sure to discuss with him any side effects that you are experiencing during the recovery period. Also, keep in mind that the loss or change of sensitivity after a breast lift can become permanent. 

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