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Is Nipple-Areola Reduction Part of Breast Reduction?

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A majority of women considering breast reduction for their oversized breasts also have enlarged areolas (the pigmented area surrounding the nipples). Many are bothered by this and want to know if it is addressed during breast reduction surgery. 

This particular issue should be discussed as part of their consultation.

Woman sitting on bed wearing bra and underwear.

Areola Reduction as Part of Breast Reduction

The ultimate purpose of a breast reduction is to reduce the size of the breasts. This can be done for a number of reasons. 

Typically, it is desired to alleviate symptoms related to their enlarged sizes, such as neck, back, and shoulder pains, headaches, and fatigue. It may also be performed to create better proportionality, reduce visual focus on them, or allow for greater comfort when engaging in a wide array of physical activities.

An intrinsic part of a breast reduction is a breast lift — when needed — which is most of the time. Along with that is an areola reduction, which usually is necessary. This allows for the nipple-areola complexes to be more proportional to the reduced size of the breasts, creating a far more aesthetically pleasing and more youthful look.

The standard and most commonly used incision for a primary breast reduction involves an anchor-shaped (also called an inverted-T) incision. This extends from around the areola down to the crease at the bottom of the breast and then along this crease. The part of the incision that encircles the areola is used both to elevate it to a more appropriate level and reduce its size.

With the reduction in the size of the nipple-areola complexes, there is often flexibility in selecting the final size within a range that would still provide a “normal” appearance. 

Some women may prefer that their areolas remain at the larger end of this range, whereas others desire them to be relatively small. Most, in my experience, leave this choice to my discretion and experience. 

Interested in Learning More?

If you are considering having a breast reduction and dislike the appearance of your stretched areolas, you can rest easy knowing that with the help of Dr. Turkeltaub, you can reduce the size of your breasts and simultaneously create a cosmetic reduction in the nipple/areola size. 

Contact us today at 480-451-3000 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.