Enlargement of the nipple-areolar complex can occur at any time during development but is most common after pregnancy and breastfeeding. The pigmented area, areola, can stretch with pregnancy to a size which is out of proportion with the breast. While the average dimension is 1:3:9 (nipple:areola:breast) or 42 – 45 mm for the areola, the ideal appearance remains a very personal preference.

Areola reduction is generally done by removing a portion of the outer circle of pigment in a procedure known as a circumferential mastopexy. The resulting tightening of the skin will generally restore a more perky appearance to the breast in addition to correcting for areolar enlargement. Overly large nipples can become a very sensitive issue for many women as they can show through most clothing. The nipple can be reduced in both the diameter and projection to restore a more normal appearance.

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Patient Focus 1

Procedures: Implant exchange, capsulectomy, periareolar mastopexy with areola reduction


*All patients are unique and results may vary


Length: 1 hour

Anesthesia: General or local conscious sedation

In/Outpatient: Outpatient

Side Effects: Temporary swelling, mild bruising and some pain

Risks: Pain, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, changes in nipple sensation, widening of the areola over time

Recovery: Back to work:  2 days to 1 week.  More strenuous activity:  1 - 3 weeks

Final Appearance: 4 - 6 weeks 

Duration of Results: Permanent but gravitational and age related changes will occur

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