Will Breast Augmentation Affect My Nipple Sensitivity?

Dr. Robert Schwartz
October 17, 2018

Changes in nipple sensitivity are a possibility when having a breast augmentation procedure, but Dr. Schwartz wants his Dallas patients to know that these changes are much more likely to be temporary than permanent.

It helps to understand exactly how a breast augmentation can affect sensation:

  • There's a nerve that runs from between the ribs at the side of your body all the way to the nipple. Damaging this nerve can affect the sensitivity of your nipple.
  • In the vast majority of cases, the nerve isn't damaged at the nipple. Instead, it's damaged at the point where the breast meets the chest.
  • One of the most common causes for nerve damage is a surgeon who chooses an implant that's too big for your body. The further the implant extends behind your breast, the closer the surgery may get to the nerve. This increases the chance of injury.

Fortunately, changes in sensation after your procedure aren't necessarily a sign that your nerve has been damaged permanently.


Even Dallas patients who benefit from a perfectly-performed procedure may experience a difference in nipple sensitivity afterwards. The nerve that provides sensation to the nipples may stretch in the months following breast augmentation as the breasts continue to heal. This stretching can affect sensation to the area.

Reading this, you may be thinking that "changes in sensitivity" means that patients don't have as much feeling, but some women actually have increased sensation after surgery. Regardless, these cases are almost always temporary and work themselves out within six months. During your initial consultation, Dr. Schwartz can discuss this potential side effect as well as any other questions you have.


Research studies suggest that somewhere around 15% of breast augmentation patients will permanently lose some degree of nipple or breast sensation. Typically, this only happens if the nerve is cut.

As an expert in the field of plastic surgery and a practitioner with years of experience, Dr. Schwartz tracks his performance against these studies. The rate of complications for his Dallas patients is dramatically lower than the standard.

In part, this success has to do with the approach that he uses during the breast augmentation procedure:

  • Surgeons have the highest chance of severing the nerve to the nipple when they are creating the implant pocket within the breast.
  • To lower this risk, Dr. Schwartz doesn't use cutting tools to establish the pocket. Instead, he uses a much more manual process that lets him know exactly where the nerve is.
  • This technique helps him stay clear of the nerve and prevent injury to patients.

Dr. Schwartz wants his Dallas patients to understand these issues, to know that he will take steps to limit their risk, and to have confidence in the care they will receive. During your consultation and throughout your treatment, he encourages you to ask questions and to share any concerns you may have. Ultimately, your experience as a patient is just as important as getting beautiful, natural-looking results from your breast augmentation.

Don't forget to read how painful breast augmentation is!

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