Can The Size of My Areolas Be Reduced?

Q: I am interested in areola reduction surgery. I am fairly sure that I may have to lose more weight before I undergo any procedures. I was just wanting to know specifics about what I would need to do before I move forward.

A:  There is usually a strong relationship between the size of the areola (diameter) and the size of one’s breasts. Although this isn’t 100% true, the larger the breast the larger the areola. Areolar reduction is a common part of almost every breast reduction and many types of breast lifts. But it can also be done as an isolated procedure if one is otherwise happy with the size and shape of their breast and just feel that their areolas are just too big.

Areolar reduction is done by a circumferential reduction, often called the donut procedure. A ring of the enlarged areola is removed and the surrounding skin sewn down around the smaller areola. This does result in a scar at the edge of the areola. How well that scar becomes in appearance in affected by how much the areola is downsized and how tight the surrounding skin of the breast mound is. For the best result in areolar reduction, the size and shape of the breast should be stable. Therefore, if you intend to lose more weight, it would be advised that you wait until you have achieved your maximal weight loss. By then the breast size will be stable and the resultant looseness of the breast skin will be an asset towards final areolar scar appearance.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana