The areola is the coloured skin around your nipple. It can range massively in size and appearance from one person to another. They can range in size, shape, and colour, as well as be asymmetrical. Areola reduction surgery reduces the size of the areola and improves the proportions around the area.
What is Areola Reduction Surgery?
Often, there’s a lot of attention to breast surgery like breast implants, breast augmentation fat transfer, or a breast lift. Sometimes the nipple and areola are overlooked. But the areola and nipple can have a big impact on the overall look of the chest area for both men and women.
The nipple is the small projection in the centre of the breast or chest mound. The areola is the pigmented part around the nipple. As the name suggests, an areola reduction is a procedure to reduce the size and/or shape of the areola.
Areola Reduction Surgery UK: Quick Overview
Reasons to Have Areola Reduction Surgery
Oversized areolae can be the result of genetics, ageing, pregnancy, weight loss, or changes in the breasts, such as tuberous breasts. Sometimes the areola can appear out of proportion with the rest of the breast. This can make you feel self-conscious and impact your confidence. It can be frustrating and difficult for both men and women.
Some individuals also choose to undergo an areola reduction because of the following:
- Puffy areola – when the breast tissue pushes forward, it can create the appearance of a puffy areola. You sometimes see this in patients with tuberous breasts. You can target puffy areola through areola reduction surgery without an accompanying breast surgery.
- Asymmetrical areola – if your areola looks different to each other, for example, one is much larger, then this procedure can create a more symmetrical look.
- Non-circular areola – if you have non-circular areolas, then areola reduction can help create a more circular appearance.
What Happens During Areola Reduction Surgery?
Areola reduction surgery is a relatively simple procedure. It’s a day-case surgery, so you don’t need to stay overnight and can go home the same day. The procedure uses a local anaesthetic.
The exact techniques your plastic surgeon uses will depend on the areola size and the amount of tissue you have. In general, you can expect a circular incision around the edge of the areola. The incision should be small so as to leave minimal scars. Areola reduction surgery scars are not usually noticeable. They will then remove some of the pigmented tissue before closing the wound.
Areola Reduction Surgery Recovery
Areola reduction recovery is relatively straightforward. Immediately following the procedure, you may have some swelling or numbness. You should be able to ease any discomfort with over the counter painkillers. You can expect to return to normal activities in about 1 week.
Most patients recover from areola reduction surgery quickly. All swelling should subside after 6 weeks.
What Do Areola Reduction Surgery Scars Look Like?
Any surgery that makes an incision will leave a scar. Your plastic surgeon will do their utmost to create neat and naturally-concealed areaola reduction surgery scars. Any scarring should be minimal. Naturally, scars fade over time and gradually become less visible. This takes time, so give your body time to heal.
Who is a Suitable Candidate for Areola Reduction Surgery?
The ideal candidate for areola reduction surgery is healthy and has a realistic expectation of the procedure. They should be a non-smoker. Smoking can hinder the healing process and increases the risk of post-surgical complications. You should also be at a healthy weight as weight can impact the size and shape of the breast and nipple area.
A suitable candidate may have one of the following:
- Puffy areola
- Stretched areola from weight loss
- Changes in areola after breastfeeding or pregnancy
- Have asymmetrical areola
Nipple Treatment: Is There an Alternative to Areola Reduction Surgery?
There are no non-surgical alternatives that deliver similar results to nipple and areola reduction surgery.
Will You Lose Nipple Sensation After Areola Reduction Surgery?
You may experience a temporary loss of nipple sensation following your procedure. But the feeling should return after the swelling has subsided. At the Harley Clinic, your plastic surgeon uses specific techniques to reduce excess areola skin without damaging the underlying structures of the area. In general, there is a higher risk of changes to nipple sensation in procedures such as breast reduction or a breast lift.
Can You Breastfeed After Areola Reduction Surgery?
Areola reduction surgery shouldn’t impact your ability to breastfeed. The skin removed from the areola shouldn’t affect healthy breastfeeding function. But it’s important to know that weight gain and pregnancy can change the breast and areola size. So, ideally, you’re finished having a family before undergoing areola reduction surgery.
What are the Potential Side Effects, Risks, and Complications of Areola Reduction?
As with any surgical procedure, there are some potential side effects, risks, and complications of areola reduction surgery, including:
- Changes or loss in nipple sensation
- Reduced ability to breastfeed
Nipple Procedures at the Harley Clinic London
There is a range of nipple treatments available that all target slightly different areas of the nipple region. Depending on your individual case, your plastic surgeon may recommend one of the following:
- Areola reduction – focuses on reducing or changing the size or shape of the areola.
- Nipple reduction – reduce prominent or overly large nipples.
- Nipple reconstruction surgery – restores or creates new nipples typically following breast reconstruction surgery or gynaecomastia surgery.
- Inverted nipple correction – correct inverted nipples to an outward position.
- Third nipple removal – remove an extra nipple.