A: It’s difficult to answer “how much” sensitivity you can expect to lose after breast lift surgery but most patients report that they are able to retain complete or near complete sensation. During the initial postoperative period, there may be a temporary loss or decrease in sensation primarily due to swelling. As the swelling subsides, the sensation will return. There is the potential that you may experience a change in the sensitivity of your nipples and the skin of your breast. On occasion, patients have reported that their nipples are “supersensitive.” In this case desensitization, exercises can be performed to diminish the sensitivity. This involves gently rubbing the nipples with cotton ball and then progressing to a more course material.
Tip: Look for a board-certified plastic surgeon with plenty of experience performing breast surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons provides a free referral service. When you meet with a surgeon, discuss your expectations to find out whether they are realistic. Also discuss risks and disadvantages. One major disadvantage of the breast lift procedure is that it inevitably leaves scars, which can be red, bumpy and very noticeable. Also, the surgery can cause numbness, tingling and loss of sensation in the breasts and nipples, which usually, but not always, disappear over time.
Case 47: This patient’s primary surgery left her with valve collapse, nostril notching, persistent tip rounding and hanging columella. Secondary surgery involved correction of these issues with repositioning and reconstruction of the tip cartilages to improve tip contour. Although she is still a little swollen in the after photos, she is already happy with her new nose.