At a Glance
Do you consider the size of your areolas to be too big? Does this negatively impact your confidence and body image? If this is the case, areola reduction surgery is a great solution.
The average diameter of the areola is considered to be 4.7cm. However, this will vary depending on your height and bust size. Those whose areolas are too large will appear as if they are out of proportion. The areola may appear too domed, or appeal more ovular rather than circular in appearance. Surgery will aim to reduce the areola to an average size.
Areola reduction surgery is performed under a local anaesthetic and is a day surgery, so you will be able to return home once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
Is areola reduction not quite the procedure you’re looking for? Centre for Surgery also offers nipple reduction.
What can areola reduction treat?
The main abnormalities that can occur in the areola are:
Large, wide areolas: the size of the areola will vary depending on factors such as your gender and height. Areola reduction will reduce wide areolas to a size that is in proportion.
Domed or raised areolas: breast tissue can sometimes push on the areola, causing it to look domed or raised. Areola reduction can remove this breast tissue and reduce the size of the areola.
Non-circular areolas: generally areolas are circular in shape. Areola reduction helps to re-shape the areolas and make them more circular.
Abnormalities: you may notice there are abnormalities in the surface of your areolas. This can include a colour difference or nodules on the surface which appears as glands. Areola reduction can help to remove these small glands.
All patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved with areola reduction surgery.
We do not treat patients below the age of 18 years of age.
Healing is better if patients refrain from or quit smoking.
Areola reduction is performed purely for cosmetic purposes, to help improve your image and self-esteem.
Prior to your surgery, you will have a consultation with your surgeon. You will be able to ask any questions you have, as well as been shown before and after photos, so you will have a good idea of how you will look post-surgery.
The procedure can be performed either under a local, twilight or general anaesthetic, so you will feel no pain and discomfort. You will be able to return home once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
The surgery involves:
- Removing the outer area of the areola
- Bring the surrounding skin inwards to be closer to the areola
- Absorbable stitches are used within the areola to help reduce the diameter
- Surgeons will also use deep tissue stitches, which help to prevent any future widening of the areola. This will help the areolas stay in the new, smaller position.
You will experience some soreness for 24-48 hours following your areola reduction surgery but you will be able to go back to your normal routine within the first week. However, you should avoid extensive physical activities for six weeks to ensure complete recovery.
All surgical procedures have some degree of risks and it is a good idea to discuss this with the surgeon during your consultation.
The most common risks associated with areola reduction surgery include:
- Bleeding and infection
- Temporary or loss of sensation on the nipples potentially due to nerve damage
- Difficulties in breastfeeding
Areola reduction before and after
Am I an ideal candidate for areola reduction?Areola reduction is for both women and men who wish to change the size, shape or appearance of their areola.
What is the minimum size of areola I can consider for an areola reduction?There is no minimum size. The size of your areola will vary depending on factors such as your gender and your height. For a woman of average height, the average areola size is about 4.7cm. Anything below the average size will not require further reduction.
How do I prepare for my areola reduction surgery?Prior to the surgical procedure, you will need to stop smoking, as well as stop taking any blood-thinning medications. This will help to minimise any complications during the procedure, as well as speed up the recovery process.
How is areola reduction performed?At Centre for Surgery, areola reduction surgery is performed by removing a circular area of the outer brown area of the areola. The skin surrounding this is then brought inwards in a purse string fashion to surround the areola and stitched in place to reduce the diameter of the areola.
What is the recovery period like?You will experience some soreness for 24-48 hours following your areola reduction surgery but you will be able to go back to your normal routine within the first week. However, you should avoid extensive physical activities for 6 weeks to ensure complete recovery.
What are the complications associated with areola reduction surgery?Bleeding and infection
Temporary or loss of sensation on the nipples potentially due to nerve damage
Difficulties in breastfeeding
Will I have a scar after the surgery?Small areola reduction will leave only an unnoticeable scar around the base of the nipple, whereas a larger reduction may leave a scar around the edge of the areola but will be hidden.
Is it going to be painful?During the procedure, you will be under local anaesthesia and will feel no pain but you may feel some soreness for 24-48 hours following the surgery. During the recovery period, you may feel some pain and discomfort. You can take medication to alleviate this pain.