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Restoring Breast Sensation with Reconstruction

Breast Sensory Nerve Transfer Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, AZ


At the time of a mastectomy, sensory nerves to the skin of the breast are removed with the breast tissue causing loss of sensation and numbness to the remaining breast skin. Over time, some patients may experience limited sensory return, however, most patients are left insensate.


Whether a patient choses to have breast reconstruction with implants or their own tissue, return of breast skin sensation is limited at best. Surgeons at the Aesthetic and Restorative Breast Center are able to routinely perform a “nerve transfer” at the time of the flap (patient’s own tissue) reconstruction. Nerve transfer improves the return of sensation to the reconstructed breast by joining together a sensory nerve of the flap to the nerves of the breast or chest. Unfortunately, patients with previous radiation have a lower chance of regaining breast sensation.


Sensory breast reconstruction is only performed at a few centers in the country. This procedure is only possible with the DIEP, LTP (outer thigh), and sometimes the PAP (inner thigh) flaps. Nerve transfer is not possible with implant reconstruction.
Although return of breast sensation does not occur in all patients after the nerve transfer, we routinely perform this step during reconstructive surgery to give every woman a chance to feel whole again.


When you decide to have reconstructive breast surgery, it is a big decision to make, especially after aggressively treating breast cancer. At ARBC, we want to make your surgical decisions as easy as possible, and will answer all of your questions so you can make an informed decision about your care. If you would like a consultation for DIEP flap reconstruction, please contact our office and schedule your first appointment today.


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Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.