The Aesthetic Guide is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Nipple/Areola Reduction

Article-Nipple/Areola Reduction

Procedure Description: Large areolas may look out of proportion with the rest of the breast - especially if the patient has had a breast reduction or breast lift.

Areolar reduction is done by removing some of the pigmented areola, either by an incision around the outside of the areola or by an incision around the base of the nipple. Very large areolas may require a lollypop-shaped closure. This is where a vertical incision runs down from the nipple, as well as around the areola, and then is closed in the shape of a lollypop. The goal is to minimize scarring and this is achieved by making the smallest incision necessary.

Large nipples — either in circumference or in length — can affect a woman's appearance both nude and in clothing. Depending on the shape of the nipple, surgery to correct the problem could involve a reduction in length, a reduction in width or both. Areola reduction is often performed under a local anesthesia.

Length reduction : Nipples that are too long either droop down or project too far out can be shortened. Usually, to create a shorter nipple length, the tip of the nipple will be removed and sutured for closure. Sometimes the skin along the neck of the nipple will be removed. In those circumstances, the tip of the nipple is then sutured to the bottom of the nipple, creating a shorted nipple length. Width reduction : If the nipple is too wide (or thick), but not too long, a pie-shaped wedge will be removed from the undersurface of the nipple. This allows the nipple to be "taken in" and the circumference reduced.

Length of Procedure: The procedure takes 30 to 90 minutes.

Recovery: Recovery time will depend on the patient, but most patients can return to work and resume their normal activity within a day or two. This treatment does not usually affect the ability to breastfeed. Some women are unable to breastfeed even without surgery.

Risks: Risks include infection, as with any surgery, along with loss of nipple sensation and scarring.

Results: This is a permanent one-time procedure. Sensitivity is usually maintained and all steps are taken to maintain the patient's ability to breastfeed. The swelling and pain are minimal, and results are almost instantaneous and very natural in appearance, with nipples that have normal sensation and reduced projection.

Estimated Cost: The average cost is $1,500.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.