All About Areola Reduction

Christie Auyeung Plastic Surgery Leave a Comment

Our topic of conversation today is one that isn’t discussed too often— the areola! If you’re not familiar with where (or what) the areola is, the areola is the brown or pink area surrounding the nipple. Areolas, just like nipples and breasts, are unique to each person.

They come in different shapes and sizes, and there is no “right” way an areola is supposed to look. But some women (and men) have strong feelings about the way their breasts look, to the point that it affects their self-esteem. Areola reduction is a fairly common procedure that can reduce the size of the areola or puffiness, and restore self-confidence.

Are you considering areola reduction? Let’s take a deeper dive into the procedure:

Why areola reduction surgery?

There are a number of reasons you may be unhappy with the size of your areolas. Maybe you want to restore the way your breasts looked before weight gain or pregnancy took a toll on your body. Aging can also cause the skin on your breasts to lose elasticity and sag. Or perhaps because of genetics or a breast lift surgery, you feel your areolas look disproportionate to your breasts.

There is no medical reason for areola reduction, but if you are suffering from low self-esteem because of your appearance, areola reduction can be a part of a program to help improve your confidence, along with other therapy or counseling, if necessary.

What is the procedure like?

Areola reduction entails removing a circular section of the brown or pink area around the nipple. The surrounding skin is then brought inwards and stitched to the remaining sections of areola. Stitches are used to ensure that the diameter of the areola stays in place after surgery. Areola reduction is typically conducted under local anesthesia. The procedure usually takes 1-2 hours, and you can return home on the same day. You will see a difference in the size and shape of your areolas immediately after surgery.

How is the recovery period?

To reduce swelling, you’ll need to ice the area and avoid lifting heavy objects and bending over for a few days. After a few days, you should be able to get back to normal activities. You’ll most likely have a follow-up visit with your surgeon after one week.

What are the risks?

All surgery comes with a degree of risk. You can reduce your risk by choosing a surgeon who has been trained and is experienced in areola reduction surgery. We have more tips on choosing a plastic surgeon in our previous blog post, “How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon.”

Other risks related to areola reduction surgery include:

  • Loss of sensitivity in the surgical area, usually temporary
  • Uncomfortably high sensitivity in the nipple area
  • Difficulty breastfeeding after surgery
  • Scarring and loss of pigmentation around the areola
  • Once the areola has been reduced, the procedure cannot be reversed

Areola surgery is performed on both men and women, and is usually a long-lasting and even permanent surgery. If your self-confidence is suffering due to the appearance of your breasts and areolas, then the procedure may be a quick and simple way to help boost your self-esteem.

Got more questions about areola reduction? Contact one of our plastic surgeons today!

Christie is a UChicago grad currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her free time, she enjoys tap dancing, learning to windsurf, and trying new foods.