Breast implants can offer a boost of self-esteem or restore a woman’s comfort in her own skin. While breast augmentation surgery is very common and has a fast recovery time (Over 99% of Dr. Adams’ patients return to normal activities within 24 hours after the surgery), some harmless side effects may occur post-op. Some patients experience a numbness or tingling, and one of the most common side effects women report after the procedure is that their breasts feel tender or sensitive.
Why Does Sensitivity Occur?
If you’re experiencing increased sensitivity after surgery, don’t fret. It’s likely only temporary and there are many reasons why this happens.
Nipple or breast sensitivity that occurs after you get implants is known as hypersthesias or neuropathic paion. When breast augmentation surgery is performed, skin and nerves are stretched in order to accommodate the breast implant. Whether or not you experience hypersthesia depends on many factors. If you are increasing your breast size significantly, there may be a higher chance you might experience this nerve-related discomfort.
The nerve-related discomfort typically arises after the initial recovery, about 3 weeks – 9 months post-surgery.
Regardless of the reason, most of these sensations are caused by temporary changes to the many nerves of your breast. The surrounding myelin, or “insulation,” around that nerve is affected during the surgery, and tenderness can persist until the body has time to repair the myelin and restore normal function to that nerve.
How Can You Relieve Breast Sensitivity After Surgery?
Most sensitivity or numbness will go away on its own within 3 – 4 months after breast augmentation surgery. By that time, the body has had a chance to repair any nerve and skin damage, and the implants have had a chance to “settle in.” However, during the time that you are experiencing discomfort, there are a few things you can try to provide some relief.
Anti-inflammatory medication, such as Ibuprofen (Advil) work well to help reduce any pain or tenderness you are experiencing.
Using nipple protectors, gauze pads or large bandaids over the nipples may also provide some relief. This will prevent your nipples from rubbing against your clothing, which tends to increase the sensitivity and discomfort.
Breast augmentation can have a very positive impact on the self-esteem and confidence of women, but there are potential side effects to be aware of. Numbness, tenderness or sensitivity are the most common side effects of the procedure, but they usually clear up relatively quickly and are easily treated. Dr. Adams has implemented several specific techniques that reduce tissue trauma during the surgery and minimize post-operative side effects. Contact us to learn more about our fast-track 24-hour recovery for breast augmentation or other plastic surgery options.