Objective Sensory Changes Following Subfascial Breast Augmentation

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Sensory changes occur following breast augmentation, and describing the incidence, pattern, and course of deficit is important for informed consent.


To examine sensory changes following subfascial breast augmentation, and the influence of change in breast volume caused by an implant.


One hundred and sixty-two consecutive patients undergoing subfascial breast augmentation were assessed for sensory changes using a Semmes Weinstein monofilament test before surgery, 2, 6, and 12 weeks postoperatively. Morphometric measurements allowed a breast volume to be calculated and the percentage change in volume produced by the implant.


Most women (92.5%) regained preoperative levels of sensation in all areas of the breast, excepting the lower-outer quadrants (16.15%) by 12 weeks following surgery. Four percent of nipple-areolar complexes (NAC) failed return to preoperative levels of sensitivity by 12 weeks after surgery. Younger patients or those who have a high BMI and a measurably thicker soft tissue envelope were more likely to experience sensory deficits. Breast augmentation in this series produced calculated volume changes by an implant of between 12.1% and 102.7%. Within these limits there is no association between percentage increase in breast volume and sensory deficits.


The study demonstrates that for calculated volume increases of up to 102% of the initial breast volume, sensory loss at 12 weeks after surgery is 4% at the NAC. The commonest area of diminished sensitivity is the lower-outer quadrant (16.15%), relating to the use of the inframammary crease incision. It provides a useful adjunct in monitoring patient recovery following subfascial breast augmentation.

Level of Evidence: 4


Level of Evidence: 4


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