Areola Reduction Surgery

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


Areolas come in different shapes and sizes. At times some can be saggy, protruding, textured, or unevenly shaped. An areola reduction surgery can fix these issues. It can also decrease the size of the areola by shrinking the pigmented skin around the nipple.

This quick and simple procedure can be part of breast enhancement surgery. It is ideal for patients who have had significant weight loss or weight gain and maintained a stable weight for some time. Surgeons recommend areola reduction surgery once the breast has fully developed or after pregnancy and breastfeeding, as these factors can change the size of the areola.

Before the surgery, patients will have to undergo a medical examination. Surgeons need to analyze their medical history, and patients can discuss the desired look and options. The operation takes about an hour. Before the procedure, the patient will receive local or general anaesthetic. The surgeon will begin by cutting a circular-shaped tissue out of the areola. They make the incision on the outer outline of the existing areola so that the scar can remain hidden. The skin will then be brought inwards to reduce the size of the areola. It is then secured with sutures inside the breast. The incision will then be closed with removable or dissolvable stitches.

The surgeon will protect the wound with surgical dressings. Patients need to wear a post surgical bra to maintain support and ensure a smooth recovery. Patients can go home the same day.

Common after-effects of the surgery are bruising and swelling.  Patients can take over-the-counter pills to alleviate any pain. They can go back to work one or two days later. They need to avoid strenuous activity for up to 6 weeks. Once the swelling eases, the areola will sit in its final position and look smaller and centered. The incision made around the areola may be visible for up to one year but will eventually fade. Risks include prominent scarring, persistent asymmetry, infection, or wound breakdown.
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
3-4 days

Areola Reduction - How Do You Know if You are Suitable?

Are you considering having an areola reduction? Mr. Adrian Richards, a plastic surgeon from London, UK, answers questions on how to tell if you’re suitable for the procedure. He runs through the key issues people face that leads them to have this surgery done. He discusses the impact that a patient’s aims have on the treatment.

Areola Abnormalities

Plastic surgeon, Adrian Richards, discusses different abnormalities of the areola. He describes the ideal and considers the abnormalities in comparison to the average. He talks about the operation, explaining the techniques used. The techniques depend on the issue being corrected. He talks about the aftercare and scarring. If you have any concerns about the size, shape or puffiness of your areola, this is the video to watch.