Areolar Reduction

Areolar Reduction


Areola is the circular pigmented skin surrounding the nipple. The colour of areolae can range from pink to brown to dark brown or nearly black. The size and shape of areolae and nipples are highly variable, with areolae of women usually being larger than areolae of men and prepubescent girls. Areolae are mostly circular in shape, but many women have large areolae that are elliptical. The average diameter of male areolae is around 28mm. Women’s areolae have an average diameter of 38mm. Lactating women, and women with particularly large breasts, may have larger areolae.


Some patients are not happy to have areolae that are too large or irregular-shaped.  Areolar reduction is a minor surgery to reduce the diameter and size of the areola. Areolar reduction can also change the irregular shape of areolae to the normal round shape. In areolar reduction, redundant areolar skin and surrounding breast skin are removed and so there are additional effects of skin tightening and breast lifting.





  1. Inform the doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions and drug allergy. All medical conditions must be treated and stabilized before surgery.
  2. Stop smoking at least one week before surgery. Smoking is harmful to wound healing and increases the risks of other post-operation complications.
  3. Stop the following medications and supplements from one week before surgery until one week after surgery.
    1. All supplements containing vitamin E, ginseng, ginkgo, garlic, fish oil, and other ingredients that increase bleeding during the procedure. Other supplements, traditional medicine, and herbs, in which ingredients are unknown, have to stop as well.
    2. Medicine that increases bleeding during the procedure such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and warfarin. However, you may need to consult your physician who prescribed the medication before you stop them.
  4. On the day of surgery, wear simple and comfortable clothing. Do not wear any makeup. Do not wear any jewelry and metal objects on the face and body.





Duration: 1-2 hours

Anaesthesia: Local anaesthesia

Hospitalization: Not required

Recovery*: Back to work in 3-7 days, light exercise after one week, heavy exercise after 3-4 weeks. *The actual speed of recovery may vary from person to person.

Technique: The desired size and shape of the areolae is determined and marked. Incisions are made around the areola to remove excess areolar skin and some adjacent breast skin. The surgical scar is located along  the border between the darker areolar skin and lighter breast skin. The scar is inconspicuous after complete recovery.




Post-operative Care**

  1. What to expect: Swelling usually peaks on the second to third day after surgery and will gradually subside after that. Post-operative pain is usually minimal.
  2. General care:
    1. Avoid smoking for at least one month. Smoking increases the risk of wound complications.
    2. Adequate rest and adequate sleep are helpful for a speedy recovery.
    3. Be relaxed and calm. Contact the clinic if there are any queries.
  3. Medicine: Finish the oral antibiotics as prescribed. Take the painkiller when necessary.
  4. Wound care:Leave the wound dressing on until coming back for review. Change the dressing if it gets dirty or soaked. After the removal of the wound dressing, clean the wound with a clean cotton tip soaked with sterile water/saline. Apply antibiotic ointment.
  5. Physical activity:Avoid heavy physical activity and exercise for at least one month.
  6. Follow-up: Come back one week after surgery for review and removal of sutures.
  7. Emergency: If there is heavy bleeding, a rapid increase in swelling or severe pain, contact the clinic/doctor for advice immediately.


**The instructions in this list are only for general guidance. If you have any specific queries or concerns during the post-operative recovery, please contact the clinic for further advice.


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