Your areolas are the pigmented areas surrounding your nipples. Like breasts, areolas vary widely in size, color, and shape. It’s perfectly normal to have large or differently sized areolas. If you’re uncomfortable with the size of your areolas, reduction is possible.
Areola reduction surgery is a relatively simple procedure that can reduce the diameter of one or both of your areolas. It can be performed on its own, or together with a breast lift, Breast Reduction or breast augmentation.
Ideal candidates include people with protruding areolas. Some people with asymmetrical areolas choose to get one reduced to match the other.
Areola reduction surgery is a fairly simple procedure that can be completed in about one hour.
During the procedure:
- Your doctor will cut a doughnut-shaped piece of tissue out of your areola.
- This circular incision will be made along the border of your existing areola, where the scar can be more easily hidden.
- They’ll secure your new areola with a permanent suture deep inside your breast. This suture will prevent the areola from stretching.
- They’ll use removable or dissolvable stitches to close your incision site.
Areola reduction surgery is very safe, but like all surgeries, it comes with risks.
- Loss of sensation. During areola reduction surgery, doctors leave the center of your nipple in place to reduce the risk of sensation loss. You may have a temporary loss of sensation during the healing process, but this is rarely permanent.
- Scarring. There will be a scar running around the outer edge of your areola, and the severity of this scarring varies. Sometimes the scar fades so much it’s nearly invisible, other times it can be very noticeable. Scars are often darker or lighter than the surrounding skin.
- Inability to breastfeed. When your doctor removes a piece of your areola, there’s a risk of damage to the milk ducts. Although rare, there’s a chance that you’ll be unable to breastfeed in the future.
- Infection. Risk of infection can be reduced by following aftercare instructions carefully.