Areola Reduction Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

Areola reduction surgery is a plastic surgery procedure that is done to alter the appearance of the areola. It can be performed on its own or can be done along with a breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation.

Your areola is the pigmented area around your nipples. It varies in size, colour, location, and positioning from person to person. If you feel your areolas are too large and you are not comfortable with that, a reduction is possible.


Men and women who are not comfortable with the size of their areolas opt for this procedure. However, there is no medical reason to get an areola reduction surgery.
Women often sign up for an areola reduction surgery to meet a desired standard of beauty.
The procedure works well if you have lost a good amount of weight and as a result, have stretched areolas or if your areolas change after pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Areola Reduction Surgery Cost

The actual cost of an areola reduction surgery depends on certain factors like the location, board-certified plastic surgeon, length and involvement of the plastic surgery, and patient’s recovery time.
Overall, an areola reduction surgery can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 especially in the US



An areola reduction surgery is performed to permanently change the size and shape of your areola. Here is a quick guide on what to expect during the surgery:

  • Areola reduction is usually done under local anesthetic and It can take about an hour.
  • The certified plastic surgeon will cut an incision on the circular area of the outer brown area of your areola.
  • The incision will be made along the border of your existing areola, where the scar can be easily hidden.
  • Your surgeon, then secured your new areola with a permanent suture deep inside your breast. The suture prevents the areola from stretching.
  • Absorbable stitches inside the areola are used to reduce the diameter of your areola.
  • Your surgeon will finally cover up your wound with dressings.
  • You may feel drowsy and sore after the surgery. You will be given some pain relief medication and should be able to go home on the day of surgery.
  • You may be required by your surgeon, to wear a special type of bra during your healing time.


There are some things you should do before getting an areola reduction surgery, which includes:

  • If you are a smoker, then you must abstain from smoking, at least 2 weeks before your operation.
  • There should be no shaving or waxing on the area where you are to be operated, in the week leading to the operation.
  • You should maintain a healthy weight, regular exercise can help.
  • Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain medications like aspirin, a week before your surgery date.


You may experience some swelling, pain, and bruising after the surgery, this is normal as you are healing.
There are some things you can do and your doctor may advise you to do, following the surgery, to maintain the desired shape a d size of your areolas and ensure healing.

  • Your doctor might prescribe some OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen.
  • You should wear a surgical bra or sports bra for some weeks after the surgery. 
  • Use ice on the area, to help with the swelling.
  • Avoid any heavy lifting for the first 2 weeks after the surgery.
  • Abstain from sex for the first week. 
  • Avoid any form of physical chest contact and any strenuous cardio for the first 2 weeks.


Specific complications that may occur after an areola reduction surgery include:

1) INFECTION: Like every other surgical procedure, you are at risk of an infection with an areola reduction surgery, but you can limit this risk if you follow the aftercare guidelines.

2) NUMBNESS: Loss of sensitivity and numbness can occur during your healing process. During the surgery, doctors leave the center of your nipple in place, to reduce the risk of loss of sensation. However, although it is rare, you could sometimes suffer permanent numbness and loss of sensitivity.

3) INABILITY TO BREASTFEED: During the surgical process, when your doctor removes a piece of your areola, there is a chance that he may cause damage to your milk ducts. Although this is rare also, should it happen, you will be unable to breastfeed in the future.

4) SCARRING: Your doctor will try to hide the outcome of the incision by cutting by the border of your areolas, but the severity of scars differs from person to person. Sometimes scars fade so much they are nearly invincible, other times, they are much noticeable.


It may take 2-3 weeks before you begin to notice the result of your surgery.
After the swelling subsides, your breasts will settle into their final position. You will notice your areolas appear smaller and more centered, just how you would like it.


Call your doctor immediately once you experience any of the following side effects:- fever- pus leaking from your incision area- a sudden increase in pain- severe redness- unusual slow healing


Areola reduction surgery is done to help people who are uncomfortable with the size or shape of their areolas to achieve their desired areola shape and size.
You are at risk of some complications after the surgery, but if you adhere to the guidelines your doctor provides you with, you will obtain your result without any complications.

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