Breast augmentation is one of the most popular, widely sought-after plastic surgery procedures available, so it should come as no surprise that many women have questions about it. One of the most common concerns for prospective patients is in regards to nipple sensitivity. While reduced nipple sensation is indeed a possibility, a skilled plastic surgeon will take great care to ensure that the nerves of a patient’s breasts are protected. The technique of your surgeon will also greatly factor into postoperative nipple sensitivity, which is why it is imperative to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in performing these types of procedures.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a minority of women who received saline-filled breast implants experienced nipple sensation changes in the aftermath of their breast augmentation surgery. Three years after the surgery, between 5% and 9% of women experienced more intense nipple sensation while another 8% of women lost nipple sensation.
Correlation Between Technique and Nipple Sensation
Surgeons have a few different approaches available to them when it comes to inserting the breast implant, which can not only affect whether a patient will experience a lack of nipple sensitivity, but the appearance of scars as well. These techniques include:
- Inframammary: The surgeon will make a short incision in the crease beneath the breast, which is referred to as the inframammary fold. It will leave a 1 to 2 inch scar that is easily concealed.
- Peri-areolar: The surgeon will make an incision around the outer edge of the areolar, resulting in a scar that naturally blends in with the nipple’s pigmentation.
- Trans-axillary: The surgeon will make a small incision within the armpit and place the breast implant while using a specialized camera and instruments for optimal placement. It will leave a small scar on the armpit, but none of the breasts themselves.
- Transumbilical: The surgeon will make an incision just above the belly button and each implant will be inserted through this incision and brought up to the breast. Much like the trans-axillary procedure, it will not leave any scarring on the breasts.
Generally, methods that involve the areolar present a higher risk of reduced nipple sensitivity since it is often difficult to leave the nerve branch ending that leads into the breast entirely intact. However, it is also one of the best methods to effectively conceal scars, so it is important for you to weigh your options with your plastic surgeon and decide what risks you are willing to accept.
Other Factors That Affect Nipple Sensitivity
Of course, there are other elements that can affect one’s nipple sensitivity besides the technique a surgeon uses. For example, when patients choose breast implants that are too large for their frame, this could put a strain on the nerves leading into the breast, which can affect nipple sensation. Additionally, placement of the implant can also affect nipple sensitivity. Positioning the implant below the chest muscle, also known as submuscular placement, presents a much lower risk of reduced nipple sensitivity compared to subglandular placement, which involves placing the implant behind the breast tissue.
Breast Augmentation in Las Vegas
At Smith Plastic Surgery, our plastic surgeon is board-certified and is considered to be one of the most experienced and well-trained plastic surgeons in the western United States. If you are considering breast augmentation, Dr. Lane Smith will ensure you receive exceptional results that will satisfy you and give you the boost in confidence you are seeking. Why settle for any less than the best?
Contact our office today at (702) 838-2455 to make an appointment and discuss your goals and concerns. If you live a long distance from Las Vegas, we can arrange an online consultation.