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Frank Agullo, MD En Español

Areola Reduction

The areola is the area of brown or pink skin that surrounds the nipple. While many women have proportional, symmetrical areolas, others have overly large, misshapen, or stretched areolas that contribute to physical insecurities and a decreased sense of confidence. Enlarged areolas can be genetic; however, they can also develop later in life because of weight fluctuations or pregnancy. Areola reduction removes a section of tissue from around the edge of the areola to allow patients to regain smaller, shapelier areolas.

Do you...

  • Struggle with the appearance of your areolas?
  • Feel self-conscious in intimate settings?
  • Notice that your areolas are raised?
  • Have wide or enlarged areolas?
  • Wish the size of your areolas were more symmetrical?

Areola Procedure

This procedure is performed in our El Paso office under local or general anesthesia. Areola reduction is very simple and straightforward, and patients can return home shortly afterward.

Dr. Agullo makes an incision around the areola and removes some tissue along the outer edge. The surrounding skin is gently pulled toward the new, smaller areola, and permanent stitches are placed on the inside of the tissue, hidden in the darker region. The permanent stitches will help to ensure that the areola maintains its new shape as it heals.

Conditions Corrected By Areola Reduction

Large Areolas

Some women have naturally large areolas, whereas others may experience stretching and enlargement after weight loss, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. This procedure can help anyone unsatisfied with the excessive size of their areolas.

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Puffy Areolas

Puffy nipples can develop during times of hormonal changes; however, they can also be a sign of excess breast tissue pushing the areolas and nipples forward. By reducing some of the breast tissue, you can eliminate the raised appearance and restore a flatter nipple-areolar complex.

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Color Abnormalities

The color of the areolas is typically a shade of brown or pink that is even across the areola. In some patients, however, there can be color irregularities or the presence of small bumps and nodules. Areola reduction can help restore a more normal areola appearance.

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Asymmetrical Areolas

Asymmetrical areolas are another condition that can be congenital or developed later in life. Areola reduction can restore symmetry to uneven areolas by reducing the size of the larger areola, and by reshaping one or both areolas for a more circular appearance.

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Preparing for Your Surgery

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Dr. Agullo will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare before and on the day of your surgery. This will help ensure a safe procedure and a smooth recovery. To best prepare, you should:
  • Stop smoking at least two weeks before your surgery to reduce the risk of infection, blood clots, stroke, and delayed wound healing.
  • When advised by your physician, halt the use of blood thinners or any medication that may thin the blood.
  • Avoid eating or drinking after midnight on the evening before your areola reduction.
  • Refrain from using any lotions, creams, or scented bath products on your breasts or the surrounding areas.
  • Have someone available to drive you to and from your procedure, and help you around the house for the first day.
  • Be sure that you have your ID and paperwork.
  • Wear a button-up, loose-fitting shirt to your procedure, so you do not have to stretch over your head.

Areola Reduction FAQs

What will your recovery entail?

Areola reduction is a short and simple surgery; however, you will still be required to rest and relax for the first week. Patients will be tired and groggy immediately following your procedure, as the anesthesia takes time to wear off.

Any discomfort can be remedied with over-the-counter pain medications like TYLENOL®. Patients should refrain from any strenuous activity that would raise the heart rate but should take leisurely walks to keep the blood circulating.

You will see Dr. Agullo for a follow-up appointment one week after your surgery to ensure that you are healing correctly.

Can any procedures be combined with an areola reduction?

Absolutely. Areola reduction is commonly combined with breast lift surgery (to lift sagging breasts) or breast reduction surgery (to create smaller breasts). During your consultation, Dr. Agullo will discuss any combination procedure that might be beneficial to you.

What does an areola reduction cost?

Pricing varies depending on the extent of the treatment or surgery. You can see a list of the approximate prices of each procedure on our current fee schedule. Dr. Agullo charges a consultation fee of $100, which is applied to the cost of your treatment. Generally speaking, cosmetic plastic surgery is considered “elective” and is not covered by most insurance plans.

The prices listed on our fee schedule represent the minimum cost of the procedures, including anesthesia and surgical facility fees, medical tests, garments, and recovery products. The cost of prescription medications, however, is not included. The exact price of each procedure can only be determined after a thorough consultation. All fees must be paid in full prior to the scheduled treatment.

Are there any potential risks and complications after areola reduction?

Areola reduction is a minor surgery; however, risks are still present. While typical side effects consist of minimal pain and scarring, more serious potential complications include:

  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Numbness
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Fluid collection

You can reduce your risk of complications by following all of Dr. Agullo’s recommendations before and after your procedure.

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