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I had a breast lift with areola reduction. After this procedure, I lost sensation in...

Q:

I had a breast lift with areola reduction. After this procedure, I lost sensation in that area. Is there a procedure to correct this?

A:

The timing of the sensation loss is very important.  It is not uncommon to temporarily lose feeling in the skin for 2-3 weeks and even up to 2 years.  Beyond this, it is unlikely that it will recover.  However, in rare instances and I cannot scientifically explain this, I have had patients report improved sensation with additional surgery.

A:

 It is possible for a breast lift, or mastopexy, to result in loss of nipple sensation.  Often sensation will return over the course of weeks or months, but occasionally it may be permanent.

Olivia Hutchinson, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
New York, NY

A:

The main question is how long ago you had your surgery.  If your surgery was more than a year ago, this change is probably permanent.  If it is less than 1 year, I first recommend you talk to your surgeon.  There is not a "procedure" to restore sensation, but there are some treatments that may stimulate return of sensation, such as massage.

A:

If this procedure was done recently, realize it may take up to 1 year before the sensation returns.  It's not uncommon for sensation to be diminished following a procedure for several months.  Massaging the scar may help.

A:

There is no specific procedure to improve the sensation in the area although the feeling often improves over time.

A:

Unfortunately there is a chance of sensory loss with any type of surgery around the areola, and no specific procedure to correct it.  The good news though is that often the sensation returns over time, typically a matter of months.  If it has been more than a year the odds are not as good.

Richard A. Baxter, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Mountlake Terrace, WA

A:

You did not mention when the surgery was performed.  It is unusual to have complete loss of sensation by doing a periareolar lift.

You may lose sensation immediately after surgery, but it usually comes back in about 3-6 months.

A:

The nerves that supply sensation to the nipple and areola can be stretched or divided with a breast lift operation although this is certainly something we strive to avoid.  I have had patients who had a decrease in sensation early after surgery who regained sensation weeks to months after the procedure as the nerve repaired itself and the swelling subsided. I would discuss your concerns with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

I wish you well.

Dr. Edwards

A:

Any breast lift can result in a reduction and/or loss of nipple sensation. This risk may increase with placement of an implant. Generally this risk tends to be low and in the range of less than 4%.  In many instances, the sensation is lost temporarily and will return or increase over a period of two years.  If permanent, there is little that can be done to restore the sensation.  On two rare instances, in my experience, removal and replacement of implants with a lift resulted in improved sensation.  However, I cannot explain this other than relief of pressure or scar tissue on the nerve. www.youtube.com/results

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