The areola is the dark pigmented skin that surrounds the nipple. Areola Reduction surgery reduces the circle of pigmented skin found around the nipple. It can be performed for both men and women and can be combined with other procedures like Breast, Lift, Gynecomastia, Nipple Reduction or Inverted Nipple Correction. The areola naturally enlarges, and may darken, in response to the hormones released during puberty and pregnancy.
Women seek areola reduction for a number of reasons, but mainly to meet a desired standard of beauty or return to the time before weight gain, pregnancy or aging took its toll. Although the size of the areola is often genetic, it can increase with age as the skin loses elasticity and sags. Breast implants and weight change can also impact the size of the areola.
For men, a large areola is often associated with male breast enlargement (gynecomastia), and has a feminizing effect on the appearance of the breasts.
There are no medical reasons to opt for an areola reduction, but if you feel your areolas look large and out of proportion to your breasts, especially after a breast lift or breast reduction surgery; if your areolas have become enlarged or stretched after childbirth or after significant weight gain; or if, for any other reason, you don’t like the way your areolas look, areola reduction surgery may be for you.
Areolar Reduction As A Solo Procedure
When performed by itself, Areola Reduction is a minor surgical procedure. It is often performed under local anesthesia; however, conscious sedation or general anesthesia may be desirable in certain situations. A round ring-like strip of excess areola will be removed on the peripheral part of the operated areola. The edge of the new smaller areola will be sutured to the outer normal The nipple and central portion of the areola remain attached to the breast, and only the excess, peripheral areola is removed. Since the pigment is contained in the superficial portion of the skin, only a thin layer needs to be removed. Fine sutures are placed to reapproximate the areola to the surrounding skin.
Areola Reduction With Breast Reduction
When large areolae are associated with heavy breasts that cause neck and back pain, areola reduction make be incorporated as satisfying component of your Breast Reduction surgery (Reduction Mammoplasty). Breast Reduction surgery is performed to reduce the volume of, and relieve the symptoms associated with, enlarged breasts. Not only will Breast Reduction reduce your breasts’ volume, it will also lift the breasts, and reposition the nipple and areola higher on the breast mound. The nipple and areola remain attached to the breast tissue, but while they are being moved, reduction of the areola is very easy to include with no additional scars.
Areola Reduction With Breast Lift
For patients scheduled for a Breast Lift, the enlarged areolae associated with saggy breasts can be corrected during your procedure. The incision necessary for your breast lift is sufficient for areolar reduction surgery. Much like when large areolae are treated during breast reduction surgery, no additional incision is needed. The areolae are reduced and repositioned, without being detached from the under lying breast tissue, thus preserving maximal circulation and sensation.
Male Areola Reduction
Male Areola Reduction too can be performed by itself, or as part of another breast procedure. The most common breast procedure for men is for gynecomastia reduction or male breast reduction. With gynecomastia, the areola is often enlarged. Areola Reduction can reduce the overall size of the pigmented skin around the nipple, and provide a more masculine chest. When the nipple is large, nipple reduction may also be desirable.
Areola Reduction as a Solo Procedure
As with female Areola Reduction, when performed by itself, male areola reduction is a minor surgical procedure. It can be performed under local anesthesia; however, conscious sedation or general anesthesia can also be utilized when desired. Since the pigment is contained in the superficial portion of the skin, only a thin upper layer of skin needs to be excised. Once this excess peripheral pigmented areola skin is removed, fine sutures are placed to inset the new smaller areola into the surrounding skin. When the areola is full or projecting, Gynecomastia Reduction is done simultaneously.
Areola Reduction with Gynecomastia Reduction
Areola Reduction can be a component of gynecomastia reduction surgery. In cases where the areola is enlarged, reduction can provide a more masculine appearance. The male areolae are smaller, lower, more lateral and more oval than the female areolae. Careful attention to detail is required for optimal results. The periareolar incision used for the areola reduction can also provide access for removal of the enlarged male breast tissue. By removing the excess tissue, the areola is flattened.
You will be able to shower the following day. You will need to return one week after for follow up. Pain usually settles with simple pain killer Recovery time will depend on the patient, but most patients can return to work and resume their normal activities within a day or two.
Precautions After The Procedure
- Avoid lifting anything weighing over 1 kg in the first few days.
- Avoid bending over or reaching above your head for a few days.
- Wear a support bra for the first 3 weeks following surgery.
Following surgery your areola will be balanced and proportionate in size and shape to the nipples. In the first week they will already have a natural and presentable appearance, and over the next few months they will continue to improve. The results will last for the rest of your life.
Breast Feeding And Areola Reduction
The described above technique does not normally affect the ability to breastfeed.
Areola Reduction Risks And Complications
The most common risks are swelling, bruising, bleeding, infection, or a loss of sensation to the nipple and areola; however they are rare and almost always temporary.
Areola Reduction Costs
Total cost: 10-15k inclusive of all (Including Surgeon’s fee, surgical disposable, Anesthetist’s fee, operating theatre and all follow up visits cost).