Will Breast Implant Surgery Affect My Nipple Sensation?
A common question we hear in our office is whether breast implant surgery will affect a woman’s nipple sensation. As a woman and a mom, I understand the importance of nipple sensation and strive to preserve that for my patients.
Why is nipple sensation important? For some women, nipple sensation is a critical component of sexual pleasure. In others it can be a helpful part of a successful breastfeeding experience. It is natural to wonder how nipple sensation might change after Breast Augmentation surgery.
What Does The Research Show About Nipple Sensitivity?
A recent study followed women for 10 years after their breast implants. Their findings add to the existing body of research on this important topic. I will summarize them below for you.
Changes in nipple sensation — either too sensitive (hypersensitivity) or no sensation – are incredibly rare after Breast Augmentation surgery. The chance based on the best data we have of women developing changes in nipple sensation are between 0.1% and 0.7%. Of the few women who develop nipple sensation changes, half of them improved within a year. The other half noted no change after one year.
In other words, if one hundred women have breast implants, there’s a less than one percent chance that any of them will develop long-term changes in nipple sensation.
Why Do Some People Have Nipple Sensation Changes Compared To Others?
What puts some women at a higher risk of developing nipple sensation changes? Overall larger implants and smaller breasts have a higher risk of nipple sensation changes compared to smaller implant volumes and larger breasts.
This makes sense when we think about the anatomy of the breast. The nerves to the nipple come out from underneath the ribs. They have to go through your muscle and your breast gland to get to your nipple. The more these nerves need to stretch (for instance, with a larger implant in a smaller space), the harder it is to work properly.
There is no magic number or volume for the breast implant to maximize your sensation chances. Instead, Breast Augmentation involves a delicate balance of finding the right size for you. That is why we size you together in my office. As a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in this procedure, I can help guide you as you select your breast implant size.
Will Nipple Sensation Be Better If We Go Above Or Below The Muscle?
“Are my chances for maintaining nipple sensation better if we go above or below the muscle?” This is another excellent question patients routinely ask us at Tannan Plastic Surgery. Well, the good news is that there is no demonstrable difference, based on the best research we have to date.
It makes sense that there is no difference. Regardless of whether the breast implant is above or below the muscle, it is still between the ribs and the nipple. That is the path taken by the nerves to the nipple. If that path is only gently stretched by a modest-sized breast implant, then chances are high that sensation will be maintained.
If you are feeling confused about the options outlined above and what is best for you – above or below the muscle, gummy bear implants or saline implants, or size of breast implant – don’t worry. I will review all of these options with you in the office during your consultation. We will have a thorough discussion that includes recovery time from work and potential risks of breast implants and anesthesia. We’ll also cover how our all-female team at Tannan Plastic Surgery ensures your safety in our AAAASF-certified operating room. In addition, we can discuss your other options like Breast Lift and Mommy Makeover to find the most appropriate procedure for you.
I will help you as you try on different sizes of breast implants in the office. I will personally assist you with selecting your breast implant size. Sizing your breast implant is an important decision for so many reasons, and nipple sensitivity is one of them. As your plastic surgeon and as a woman, I will give you my experienced perspective on this important decision.
Want to learn if breast implant surgery is right for you? Contact Tannan Plastic Surgery for a consultation today!