As potential patients research all the pros and cons of male breast reduction surgery, there is one issue in particular that comes up from time to time. It is discussed extensively on the forums of this site, and that is the concern of the loss of nipple sensation.
Permanent loss of nipple sensation after gynecomastia surgery is possible although rare, but needs to be considered as a surgical risk. For some men, it may be a deal breaker, and for others the tradeoff is worth it, to be rid of their “man boobs.”
The degree of injury will depend on the extent of surgery and the technique used. Nerves regenerate slowly, depending on the amount of breast tissue that is removed. It is normal for the nipples to be hypersensitive or to lose sensation. This is usually temporary with sensation returning in a few weeks to a few months.
The temporary loss of sensation or numbness is known as neurapraxia and is caused by stretching or compression of the nerves during surgery. It is considered a mild injury with full recovery likely. As sensation starts to return and the nerves begin to regenerate the patient may feel pins and needles which are referred to as dysesthesia/paresthesia. This is a normal condition during the healing process.
After about three weeks into your recovery, gentle massage may help to reduce hypersensitivity, but this should be done only under the direction of your surgeon.