Will My Breast Reconstruction Site Have Normal Sensation?
Mastectomy is a surgical procedure that severs the sensory nerves that enervate the remaining skin of the chest wall. When breast implants are used for reconstruction, little if any protective sensation returns to the surgical site. If reconstruction is performed using autologous tissues, sensory nerves have been shown to grow into the tissues of the flap from the periphery. Protective sensation (pressure, temperature) can be seen in such cases. However, no report of erotic sensation has been noted in the literature. Some surgeons harvest sensory nerves in autologous flaps and connect them to sensory nerves in the chest wall. Studies have shown that protective sensation in these flaps occurs centrally and progresses to the periphery. This can be commonly done in DIEP flaps and less frequently in GAP flaps.
Dr. Marga would be pleased to work with you to provide you with a reconstruction with a sensory nerve allograft should this interest you.