There are some questions in plastic surgery that there are absolute answers to. And, there are some that there are not!
Whether or not there is a bigger or lesser risk of sensation loss (to the breast and/or nipple) when breast implants are placed over or under the muscle is one example of a-bit-of-an-unknown.
What we DO know
If we don’t know precisely whether implant position above or below the muscle changes sensation, what do we know?!
Well, we can’t talk about levels of risk (or, the ‘chances of’) in response to this question about sensation loss BUT we can talk about what causes nipple or breast sensation to change following an augmentation surgery.
So, let’s do that!
Nerves and sensation
There are lots of nerves in your breasts and nipples. Their origins are either from near your sternum (the breast bone – done the center of your chest), or down the side of your breasts. Those nerves go through the breast tissue and up to the skin and nipples.
Surgery involves cutting so it’s a form of trauma ( or damage) to your tissues. This means nerves can get ‘injured’ during surgery.
Breast Augmentation and sensation loss
It’s quite common for you to experience decreased sensation immediately after surgery and for some time after.
It’s not very common that these sensation changes stick around for the long-term. In other words, sensation will return as your nerves recover as your body heals from surgery.
If breast and/or nipple sensation are super important to your well-being be sure to discuss this with your Board Certified plastic surgeon as it may be that you decide augmentation surgery is not for you. Because sensation changes can happen.
It’s a balance between what you want your breasts to look and feel like (aiming for better with implants) and any risks of sensation loss that helps you decide whether a BA procedure is worth it for you.