Areola Reduction Surgery: Technique, Risks, Recovery

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Areola Reduction Surgery: Technique, Risks, Recovery

This article provides information about how Areola Reduction Surgery is a type of plastic surgery that reduces the size of the areola, a large pigmented area around the nipple. The technique can help reduce embarrassment and pain from enlarged areolas.

What is Areola Reduction Surgery?

Areola Reduction Surgery is the reduction of one or both of a woman’s breasts, as well as the surrounding tissue. The procedure is typically done to reduce the size and shape of areolae, which can look unusual on a woman with a large cup size. There is also a risk for breast cancer, which doctors recommend that women discuss with their doctor before undergoing the surgery.

When was the first time it was done?

The first time an areola reduction surgery was done was in 1885. Doctors would use a scalpel to cut out the “obturator” or “neo-urethral skin flap”. The flap was then positioned in order to give the patient a more natural shape and size. Before, this procedure required the use of a large incision, but there are now minimally invasive techniques.

How long is the recovery time?

There is a lot of talk about the risks involved with breast reduction surgery, but it is important to remember that there are different techniques and each come with its own risks. For example, in some techniques, the entire areola and nipple are removed, whereas in others, only part of the areola is removed. The breasts may also be reduced by tightening the skin surrounding them or by creating a new shape.

What are the risks involved?

The risk of permanent scarring is not a significant one. However, the patient should be aware that they will be required to wear bandages for up to ten days and that they will feel some discomfort from pulling them on. The patient should also know that there is a possibility that the wound may get infected at any point in time and will require antibiotics.

What to expect in the recovery process

Recovery from the procedure is slow and can take weeks. It is advised for patients to not get up for at least two days after their operation. In the first few weeks, the skin around the areola may be sensitive and itchy. There will also be bruising and swelling which could last as long as six months. Patients will experience an increased sensitivity to light and wind. The decrease in sensation may last up to five years after the surgery.

Would you consider having the procedure done yourself?

The procedure can be used to reduce the size of your areolas. When done correctly, it can be effective. However, when not done correctly, injuries can occur to your nipples and they may become hard or sore. Other risks of this procedure include infection, scarring, pain during sex, and bleeding. It is important that you make sure that your doctor has the proper training before having this procedure done on you.


After the surgery, a patient’s nipples may be very sore and will often have some bruising. The skin around the areola will also likely be red and swollen. The size of the areola is usually reduced anywhere from 25-50 percent of its original size, so patients can expect to see some scarring as well.

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