Areola Reduction

I'd always felt a little self-conscious about the size of my areolas. It made me uncomfortable in certain clothes and even impacted how I felt in a swimsuit. After doing some research, I decided to explore areola reduction surgery. London Private Hospital's expert surgeons helped me feel confident again with their areola reduction surgery. Great experience, amazing results!Ess Tronson, Areola Reduction Patient
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  • Medically reviewed by Dr kam Singh Bsc(Hons), MRCGP, MBCAM
    Medical Advisory Committee for London Private Hospital
    Last Reviewed July 4th 2024

    Areolas are the circular pigmented skin around your nipples. Like breasts, they come in all shapes, sizes, and colours. It’s completely normal to have large or uneven areolas. But if you’re uncomfortable with their size, areola reduction surgery can help.

    What is Areola Reduction Surgery?

    Areola reduction is a cosmetic surgery designed to make the pigmented area surrounding your nipples (the areolas) smaller. This procedure is chosen by people who feel their areolas are larger than they’d prefer. During the surgery, a small ring of skin is removed from the outer edge of the areola. The remaining skin is then stitched together, creating a smaller, tighter circle. The surgery is done under local anaesthesia, so you’ll be awake. However, there will be no pain as the area will be numb. Areola reduction can be performed on its own or combined with other breast surgeries like a breast lift or breast reduction.

    Who are the Candidates for an Areola Reduction Surgery?

    Candidates for areola reduction surgery typically include individuals who are dissatisfied with the size or shape of their areolas, a common concern that can impact self-esteem and body image. This dissatisfaction may stem from naturally enlarged areolas, which may appear disproportionate to the size of the breasts, or from factors such as sagging breasts due to ageing, pregnancy, or weight fluctuations. Additionally, asymmetry between the areolas or functional issues such as interference with physical activities or clothing choices can also prompt individuals to seek surgical correction. For many, the decision to undergo areola reduction surgery is driven by a desire to enhance their confidence and overall well-being. It’s essential for candidates to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to assess their suitability for the procedure and discuss potential risks and benefits, ensuring they have realistic expectations and are in good overall health.

    What to Expect During an Areola Reduction Surgery?

    During an areola reduction surgery, patients can expect a comprehensive process guided by a qualified plastic surgeon. Typically performed under general anaesthesia, the procedure begins with the surgeon making careful incisions around the perimeter of the areolas, following a predetermined plan tailored to the patient’s desired outcome. Through these incisions, excess tissue is removed, and the areolas are reshaped to achieve the desired size and symmetry.

    In cases where the areolas need to be reduced significantly, additional incisions may be made vertically or horizontally along the breast crease to remove excess skin. Once the desired size and shape are achieved, the incisions are meticulously closed with sutures, and dressings or surgical tape may be applied to aid healing.

    Patients may have some swelling, discoloration, and pain after the procedure, which can be alleviated with pain medication and proper post-operative care. It’s important for patients to follow their surgeon’s instructions carefully regarding rest, wound care, and activity restrictions to promote optimal healing and achieve the desired results.

    What Can You Expect After an Areola Reduction Surgery?

    You’ll be monitored in a recovery room for a short period after the surgery. Your surgeon will provide instructions on bandage care and follow-up appointments. It is important that you follow all our surgeon’s guidelines to ensure you recover quickly and that there are no complications. You may experience some temporary discomfort, swelling, and bruising around the area. For this, our surgeons will prescribe pain medication to manage discomfort.

    Healing typically takes several weeks, with final results becoming more obvious over time.

    Recovery And Complications

    Recovery from areola reduction surgery involves a period of healing and adjustment for patients.

    • Immediately following the procedure, patients may experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort around the treated area.
    • Pain medication prescribed by the surgeon can help manage any discomfort, while cold compresses may be used to reduce swelling.
    • It’s important for patients to follow post-operative instructions carefully, which often include:
    • wearing a supportive bra
    • avoiding strenuous activities for a specified period to promote proper healing.

    Over the following weeks, the swelling and bruising will gradually subside, and patients will begin to see the final results of the surgery. However, it’s essential to note that full recovery can take several weeks to months, during which patients should attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon to monitor progress and address any concerns.

    As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with areola reduction surgery. These can include:

    • infection
    • bleeding
    • changes in sensation
    • scarring
    • asymmetry

    Patients should be aware of these risks and carefully follow their surgeon’s pre-operative and post-operative guidelines to minimise the likelihood of complications. Additionally, choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon can significantly reduce the risk of adverse outcomes and help ensure a successful recovery. If patients experience any unusual symptoms or complications during their recovery, such as excessive pain, fever, or abnormal swelling, they should contact their surgeon promptly for further evaluation and treatment.

    Book a Consultation

    If you’re looking to achieve a more balanced breast aesthetic, London Private Hospital offers highly skilled surgeons specialising in areola reduction. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your goals and see if areola reduction is right for you.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    When will the final results of my areola surgery become apparent?

    You will see some initial reduction in size right after your bandages come off, usually at your first appointment after surgery (about a week later). However, there will be swelling and bruising for a few weeks. It takes around 4-6 weeks for this to completely go away, and then you’ll be able to see the final results of your surgery.

    Does areola reduction cause scarring?

    Areola reduction causes minimal scarring. Typically, you will see a thin, circular line around the edge of your new areola. While the scar may be noticeable early on, it often fades significantly over time. Our skilled surgeons use techniques that minimise scarring, and scar management options can further improve its appearance.

    Can men have areola reduction surgery?

    These days, more and more men are opting for areola reduction surgery. This procedure addresses enlarged or protruding areolas in men, similar to what women might experience. The goal of the surgery is to achieve a more masculine chest appearance.

    Are there any risks with areola reduction surgery?

    While generally safe, areola reduction surgery does carry some risks. These include scarring, which often fades over time. Some people might also feel temporary or permanent loss of nipple sensation. Like with all surgeries, there is also a slight risk of infection, though there is a small chance of that if you follow our surgeon’s directions. Some people might experience difficulties in breastfeeding since the surgery may impact milk ducts.
    Discussing these risks thoroughly with your surgeon is essential before proceeding.

    Is areola reduction surgery painful?

    Don’t worry, areola reduction surgery is not typically painful during the procedure itself. This is because local anaesthesia is used to numb the area around the areolas. In some cases, sedation might be provided for additional relaxation.

    However, after surgery, you can expect some soreness and discomfort around the area for a few days. Our surgeon will prescribe pain medication to manage this discomfort during the initial healing phase.

    Is areola reduction surgery permanent?

    Yes, areola reduction surgery is considered a permanent procedure. Once the excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is stitched together, the smaller areola size is maintained. While some swelling and temporary changes might occur at first, the final outcome is generally long-lasting.

    Finance Options for Areola Reduction

    Want beautiful results without breaking the bank? We offer 0% finance options through Chrysalis Finance to help make your areola reduction surgery more affordable. Pay for your surgery in manageable monthly instalments with 0% interest! Approval is based on your individual circumstances (your credit score, etc.). Be sure to review the terms and conditions carefully. The exact cost of your surgery depends on your needs. We'll provide a guide price during your initial online consultation (eConsult) and a final price after your in-person consultation with your surgeon. Ready to learn more? Contact us today to discuss 0% finance options and schedule your consultation for a more confident you!

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