Alterations in breast sensitivity can occur over the course of a lifetime as a result of factors such as ageing skin, thinner skin, and a reduction in breast size. Breast sensitivity is also potentially influenced by conditions such as breast cancer.
Alterations like this can also be caused by breast surgery. You should be prepared for the potential side effect of a loss of sensitivity; nevertheless, in some people, the breast region may become more sensitive. Surgical procedures, on the other hand, often only induce transitory shifts in sensitivity.
Influencing Factors in Breast Sensitivity
Changes in breast sensitivity are possible as a response to the alteration in breast size brought on by surgery. During breast surgery, the surgeon will take extra precautions to safeguard the nerves in the breast; yet, nerve pathways may still be damaged on occasion. It is less common for sensitivity to be affected by surgical procedures that do not involve cutting the nerves that link to the nipple.
In breast reduction surgery, there are techniques that do not undermine the breast tissue, which preserve normal sensitivity. In breast augmentation surgery, when placing a reasonably sized implant, doctors can identify the fourth intercostal nerve branch, which extends to the nipple. Your breast’s normal sensitivity can be preserved when your doctor avoids interference with the fourth intercostal nerve branch. An implant that is too large, however, may stretch the nerve supply and affect sensitivity.
Preoperative testing to determine Breast Sensitivity
Prior to surgery, the surgeon may do a sensitivity test in order to determine the degree to which the breasts have become more or less sensitive. In order to assess breast sensitivity and nipple erection, medical professionals may make use of a wide number of diagnostic procedures. They could use an energy-based stimulation of the nipple or a cotton ball to stimulate the nipple. Alternatively, they might utilise a cotton ball. Nipple sensitivity tests might be challenging to conduct from a scientific perspective because of the variable nature of the data.
What Do the Studies Say About Sensitivity after Breast Surgery?
The findings of the following studies will provide you with a more accurate picture of what to expect:
- Courtiss and Goldwyn Clinical Study: A comparison of breast sensitivity before and after surgery was carried out, during which it was shown that smaller breasts are often more sensitive than larger breasts. (What this means is that overall sensitivity increases in proportion to the size of the breast.)
- Tairych et al. Study: According to the findings of the study, the usual denominators for breast sensitivity include the fact that the skin in the upper quadrant of the breast was the most sensitive, the nipple was the least sensitive, and the areola was located in the middle of these sensitivity spectrums. (This indicates that the skin that covered the uppermost portion of the breast was the most sensitive, the areola that around the nipple was medium sensitive, and the nipple itself was the least sensitive.)
- Gonzalez et al Study: In a study that looked at 84 women who had reduction mammoplasty, the researchers found that over 90 percent of the patients preserved nipple-areola sensitivity. The research also discovered that sensitivity retention was greater when the amount of breast tissue removed after the procedure was less than 550 gm. (What this implies is that breast sensitivity does not change in the nipple and areola region of the breast following breast reduction surgery for more than ninety percent of patients.) If you have fewer than 550 grammes of breast tissue removed, you will have the best possible chance of retaining complete breast sensitivity.