Post-mastectomy numbness is a problem.

Loss of sensation following mastectomy and breast reconstruction can have a major impact on your patients’ lives. Resensation® is a surgical technique that can help your patients look–and feel–like themselves again.

Addressing the problem of numbness for breast cancer survivors and previvors

Nearly 80% of women experience pain, numbness, or both after breast cancer surgery.1

The loss of breast sensation impacts women as the prevalence of breast cancer continues to increase, and patients are living longer thanks to advances in treatment.

While mastectomy is a life-saving measure, loss of sensation can negatively affect a person’s sense of self and relationship to their body.

Talk about chronic numbness after mastectomy with your patients.

New research shows that women are often surprised by the loss of sensation after breast reconstruction.2

This loss also has a significant impact on their recovery and quality of life.

In fact, this common side effect can prevent some women from moving on and feeling like the best version of themselves.

It’s important to understand the long-term effects of breast cancer and mastectomy. But living life with a numb chest doesn’t have to be one of them.

With Resensation, patients have the potential to look—and feel—more like themselves. Learn more about this growing problem and how you and your care team can help minimize its impact for patients.

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in the news

From medical journals to the national news, explore how the impact of breast numbness is talked about by those who experience it first hand.

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FAQ

How does losing breast sensation after mastectomy affect women?

The loss of breast sensation may prevent some women from moving on from their mastectomy experience and from feeling like the best version of themselves. Women who recover little to no sensation post-operatively report experiencing daily reminders of what has been lost because of their cancer diagnosis, mastectomy and reconstruction.2

What are the potential benefits of returning sensation to the breasts?

Regaining sensation may improve quality of life by helping women recover and move on from their experience with cancer, the mastectomy and the reconstruction process. It may also help them feel more normal and more like their old selves.2

How does Resensation work?

Resensation is performed at the time of breast reconstruction. During the Resensation procedure, sensory nerves in the chest are reconnected using an allograft nerve to bridge the discontinuity caused by the mastectomy. The allograft acts a scaffold and a guide to allow the nerve to regenerate without tension in the reconstructed breast.3 Nerves regenerate slowly, typically at a rate of 1 mm/day, so the return of sensation in the reconstructed breast can occur over a period of months and up to two years.4

Where can I find a surgeon who performs Resensation?

Breast neurotization with Resensation is performed by a growing number of plastic surgeons with expertise in microsurgery. To find a surgeon who offers breast neurotization with Resensation, visit our surgeon locator or contact info@resensation.com.

More patient stories

Christine's story

Resensation® patient Christine learned that when it comes to breast cancer and reconstruction, numbness is one thing you should never be forced to accept.

Jessica's story

Jessica learned firsthand what an emotional and personal journey it is to lose sensation in your chest. Using tissue from her abdomen, Jessica’s surgeon performed Resensation—restoring feeling and her connection to her body.

Jane's Story

Jane lost sensation from her collarbone to her ribs as a result of her mastectomy. Resensation helped her regain sensation and the joy of feeling her daughter’s head rest on her chest.

I have no feeling in my breasts—they are just hanging flaps. I avoid looking in the mirror because it’s not what I want or expect to see. I think feeling like a woman is having feeling in your breasts. I can’t feel when I hug my kids. I might feel more confident and inclined to initiate intimacy if I had sensation.

–Megan, Diep Flap2

Axogen study

“I never thought about loss of sensation until I didn’t have it. When you’re diagnosed all you’re thinking about is that you have breast cancer. Once you go through the fact that you’re not going to die, you start setting your priorities in a different direction.

–Maureen, Implant1

Axogen study

When it comes to intimacy, I just don’t feel the same sensation as before. Sometimes I ‘fake it’ for my husband so he doesn’t feel bad

–Tammy, Implants1

Axogen study

References

  1. Flowers, K. et al. Pain, numbness, or both? Distinguishing the longitudinal course and predictors of positive, painful neuropathic features vs numbness after breast cancer surgery, PAIN Reports. 2021;6(4):e976. doi:10.1097/PR9.0000000000000976
  2. Crohan S, et al. Breast Sensations Research Report. Inspired Health. October, 2020. Report on file at Axogen.
  3. Ducic I, et al. Anatomical considerations to optimize sensory recovery in breast neurotization with allograft. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2018;6(11):e1985.
  4. Grinsell D, et al. Peripheral nerve reconstruction after injury: a review of clinical and experimental therapies. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:698256. doi:10.1155/2014/698256