Do you have image insecurities from huge areolas or nipples that give you anxiety and cause you to be overly critical of your body? Full breasts with evenly shaped areolas and perky nipples are what most patients dream about having during puberty. When that does not happen, and instead, large areola or nipples appear, it can affect body confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes to the point of not wanting to look in the mirror when naked or at all. It can even affect having healthy intimate relationships.
Did you know areolas can vary in size, shape, and color, depending on your age, genetics, and lifestyle changes? Weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and breastfeeding can cause these changes too. Having misshapen or irregular nipples or areola is certainly not your fault. Please do not feel like you have done something wrong or caused it to happen. Reducing the areola shape and size can improve the aesthetics and balance your chest. If you are questioning if areola and nipple reduction surgery is commonplace and straightforward, well, wonder no more. Dr. Barrett is a board-certified plastic surgeon with a passion for natural-looking outcomes and has provided the following information should you consider surgery.
Areola & Nipple Reduction Surgery Candidates
Anyone experiencing enlarged, droopy, or long nipples, distorted, stretched, or huge areolas, 18 years of age or older, since the shape and size of breasts tend to change until adulthood, are prime candidates for the procedure.
- Have body image issues because of your chest?
- Wished your breasts and areolas were perky, round, and shaped evenly?
- Embarrassment due to the size and shape of your areolas?
- Avoid intimacy because of the shape of your breasts?
Areola & Nipple Reduction Surgery
The procedure is uncomplicated and short, lasting about one hour and requiring little if any downtime. Dr. Barrett will cut around the areola to lessen the area’s size by removing some tissue, then pulling the skin toward the nipple and closing stitches, and carefully minimizing scarring. Your disposable sutures are safely placed deep within the breast tissue to ensure the shape of your areola stays in place over time.
Nipple & Areola Reduction: Pros & Cons
- The surgery takes less time than other plastic surgeries. It can be performed under general or local anesthesia.
- The recovery time is relatively quick, with some patients returning to work in 2-4 days.
- Patients’ reported an increase in self-confidence and improved intimate relationships.
- Areola reduction surgery is long-lasting, with relatively no reported cases of an increase in size reoccurring.
- Unless complications arise during surgery, patients who are nursing should have no problem breastfeeding. Dr. Barrett provides extra care to ensure the safety of milk ducts.
- Most insurance companies do not cover elective procedures, meaning it is purely cosmetic like areola or nipple reduction. Something to discuss with Dr. Barrett during your consultation is the circumstance of your situation. Insurance might partially or fully cover the costs; however, the procedure is regularly considered elective.
- Complications can occur in nipple and areola size due to hormonal imbalances, weight loss or gain, or aging effects.
- A flatten projection is possible in patients with sagging breasts who chose not to have a breast lift.
- Patients have reported breast pain well after the surgery.
Preparing for Surgery
Your consultation is the time to discuss apprehensions, expectations, medical history, and current medications. Dr. Barrett will examine your breast size and shape. Once it is determined you are fit for surgery, he will guide you through the procedure and provide you an idea of what to expect before, during, and after.
Recovering After Surgery
The recovery from nipple and areola reduction surgery is relatively quick. At first, you may have some swelling, numbness, and bruising, but it will settle in a few days.
- Take over the counter pain medication to manage the discomfort for a few days.
- Wearing a compression bra for a brief time.
- Avoid direct contact with breasts and any strenuous activity for a week or more.
- Stay away from lifting any heavy objects for 3-4 weeks or until fully recovered.
There are no non-surgical alternatives for reducing the size and shape of the nipple or areola. Consulting with an experienced and well-respected board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Barrett will give you peace of mind as you continue your cosmetic journey.
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