The areola is the area around your nipple. Areolas come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Though it’s normal for your areola to be large or uneven, some women are not happy with the way their areola looks and may consider an areola reduction to improve the size of the areola. Others may seek out an areola reduction after breastfeeding or because they want to achieve a certain look in bras, clothing or bathing suits. Women might also seek areola reduction just because they feel self-conscious about their areola.
An areola reduction is a routine surgery where the diameter of the areola is reduced. It can be performed as a solo operation and you can get one or both areolas reduced. Sometimes the surgery is performed during a breast reduction, breast augmentation, or a breast lift.
For your areola reduction surgery, you’ll get to meet with your surgeon to discuss what options are available. Your surgeon will take measurements and discuss with you why you are unhappy with your areola size. Together, you’ll talk about the options for crafting your areola into a new size that you’ll love, and that will inspire body confidence.
Both women and men can choose to have areola reduction surgery. You’ll just want to make sure that your breasts have finished growing. This usually happens in the late 20s, especially for women. You’ll also want to make sure you’re in good health and that you are finished gaining or losing weight and finished breastfeeding, both of which can cause your areola to continue to change. If you are unhappy with your areola size, if you have areolas that are uneven or are having trouble wearing bras, clothes or swimwear that you want to try, you’ll be a perfect candidate for areola reduction surgery.
A consultation before areola reduction is very important. Your surgeon will ask questions about what bothers you most about your areola. You’ll be given details about what you can expect from surgery, measurements will be taken and your surgeon will go over the best options for you to get the best results. You’ll see pictures from others before and after surgeries and you can get a good idea of what you can expect based on sketches by the surgeon.
Once a consultation has taken place and a surgery date has been selected, you’ll be given instructions to follow the day before your surgery. You’ll have your surgery in an outpatient surgery center like Pure Plastic Surgery and you will be able to go home the same day.
For your procedure, you can expect to be given general anesthesia which will prevent you from feeling any pain. Your surgery is very minimal and will take less than an hour to perform. Your anesthesia team will go over all the details of your pain maintenance before surgery.
During your procedure, your surgeon will start by taking out a donut-shaped piece of tissue from your areola. A round incision will then be made around the border of the areola; a new areola form will then be created and fixed into place with a suture inside your breast. You’ll then be stitched up to close your incision. If you’re having areola reduction in conjunction with breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction, your surgery will take a longer period of time to complete. Your areola reduction will most likely be performed near the end of surgery.
You’ll be monitored after surgery until you wake up from anesthesia and are able to go home. You will have to have someone drive you home from surgery and be present for your recovery for at least your first day at home.
You will be able to see your results almost immediately. There will be some scarring where the incision was made around the areola, but it should hide very well among the pigmented area of the areola. Over time, the scarring will fade. Make sure to keep all follow-up appointments and let your doctor know if there are any issues.
After your procedure, you’ll be given instructions for your recovery which might include pain management, healing, and looking for the following side effects:
After an areola reduction, you’ll be sore and have some pain for a few days after surgery. During your recovery, you’ll want to keep your breasts wrapped with a gauze bandage as you heal. Your doctor will give you exact instructions for rest and recovery time, as well as the proper instructions for taking care of yourself after surgery. You should be able to head back to work within one to two days.