Areola Reduction Surgery

The areola (the dark or pigmented area around the nipple) can sometimes appear too large and not in proportion to individuals. Areola reduction surgery may benefit you in helping by removing a circular area of the outer pigmented area of the areolar. The skin surrounding the areolar is then repositioned.

Areola reduction surgery is performed by removing a circular area of the outer brown area of the areola. The skin surrounding this is then brought inwards in a ‘purse string’ fashion to cover the areola.

Why Get Areola Reduction Surgery?

The areola (the dark or pigmented area around the nipple) can sometimes be perceived as too large or not in proportion. Therefore, areola reduction surgery is performed by removing a circular area of the outer pigmented area of the areola. The skin surrounding the areolar is then repositioned and secured in place with sutures.

The benefits of areola reduction surgery are both cosmetic and physical and include:

  • Quick procedure
  • Permanent reduction of enlarged or ‘puffy’ areola
  • Recontours irregularly shaped nipples (inverted or protruding)
  • Restore proportionate areola dimensions
  • Reduces self-consciousness when wearing tight-fitting clothing or swimwear
  • Improved sense of emotional wellbeing

Areola Reduction Surgery Explained

Areola reduction is a relatively simple procedure that can be completed anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour.

  • Step 1: Your doctor will cut a doughnut-shaped piece of tissue out of your areola
  • Step 2: This circular incision will be made along the border of your existing areola, where the scar can be more easily hidden
  • Step 3: They will secure your new areola with a permanent suture deep inside your breast. This suture will prevent the areola from stretching
  • Step 4: They will use removable or dissolvable stitches to close your incision site

Your doctor may fit you with a special post-surgical bra or apply surgical dressings. If you received a local anaesthetic, you would usually be able to go home almost immediately after surgery. If you received general anaesthesia, your doctor would monitor you for a few hours before discharging you.

What Are The Risks of Areola Surgery?

The risks always should be discussed in length with the surgeon performing the procedure, but generally speaking, the risks are:

  • Nipple could invert again
  • The milk duct may be damaged, impacting future breastfeeding
  • Scarring
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Asymmetry (nipples do not look the same on each side)

How Much Does Areola Reduction Surgery Cost?

  1. UK private cost: privately, the average price for areola reduction surgery under local anaesthetic is £2275, and £4050 under general anaesthetic.
  2. NHS: this treatment is not usually available on the NHS. However, it may occasionally be provided on the NHS for psychological or other health reasons.
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