Will Breast Augmentation Stretch the Areola Permanently?

Does a Breast Augmentation permanently stretch the areola and causing nipples to stay hard all the time. My boyfriend says all the Breast Augmentation he looked at looks the same because of the areola and nipple. Do they always stretch areola?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast augmentation and areola stretching

Obviously, your boyfriend has a vast experience.

I would disagree with his assessment however. BIt has been my experience that the breast gets larger with implants, and the areola may slightly increase proportionately, or not at all, depending on the size of the implant, and laxity of the skin.

I have seen some patients who seem to have erect nipples almost permanently, but that tends to fade as the nerves "wake up" over time.

Nipples and Areolas will stretch a minimal amount with breast augmentation

Hi there-

You should expect your nipple/areola complexes to stretch a minor amount with breast augmentation, as will (obviously) the skin of the rest of your breast.

In the vast majority of patients the nipples remain in good proportion to the breast, and because the breast enlarges more than the nipple, patients who before surgery thought their nipples/areolas were too large, find them in BETTER proportion after surgery- so I'm not sure where your boyfriend is looking...

Find a surgeon you like first- and ask to see photos of their work. This should not be something that causes you regret with your augmentation.

Will Breast Augmentation Stretch the Areola?

In general, if one does not do an out of dimension breast augmentation (excessively large breast implants), the stretching of the areola is not significant.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Stretching the areola with breast implants

The stretching of the areola will depend on the size of the implant relative to the available skin. The bigger the implant relative to the skin the more the skin must and will stretch.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Areola size will depend on the breast implant size

Your areola size will not change much if moderate size implants used (not more than double the patient breast size). The stretch marks happens with too large implant.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Breast implants can stretch your areolas a little.


Small breast implants will not change your areolas. Moderate size breast implants (what we usually use in New York City) will stretch your areolas a little, but not unattractive. And very large breast implants we don't use because they age so badly.

The nipples themselves don't change.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Areola size and breast implants

If you have a very large implant put in, your areola will generally stretch out int he same way that the skin does. The nipples should not stay hard all the time following augmentation, but they may be swollen for the first month or two after surgery. 

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Size of areola and nipple before and after pregnancy and augmentation with implants

It has also been my observation that patients who undergo a relatively signficant change in breast volume (more than 1 cup), experience an enlarged areola. Although the nipples are initially more firm and prominent, they tend to settle back to their baseline by 6-9 months after surgery. Please note that enlargement of the areola occurs with pregnancy as well with the average pre-nursing areola measuring about 35mm and the post partum areola averaging 42mm.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Breast Augmentation will not permanently stretch the areola

No. There are %'s of this result/risk that occur in BREAST IMPLANTS, but it is very low. If your areolae are already large than expect them to be larger. The nipple being erect is very rare. Regards.

Stretching of the Areolas During Breast Augmentation

Minimal stretching of the areolas probably occurs to some degree in the majority of breast augmentation patients. This stretching in the presence of enlarged breasts following breast augmentation may not even be noticed by the average patient. However, in some cases this stretching can be significant and extremely bothersome to patients.

Several factors are associated with areola stretching. These include large implant size, sub glandular implant position, and poor patient skin tone. When large implants are used in a sub glandular position stretching of the areola is more likely. The elasticity of the patient’s skin is also important. Patients with poor elasticity are more likely to have stretching of their areolas. Also when patients undergo simultaneous breast lift procedures, stretching of the areola is more likely as well.

The best way to avoid areola stretching is to avoid these risk factors. Whenever possible smaller implants placed in a submuscular position should be utilized.

It’s not unusual for patients to have extremely prominent nipples following breast augmentation surgery. This usually resolves over the course of two to three months and doesn’t usually represent a long term problem.

If you’re concerned about this issue consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate. This surgeon should be able to make an appropriate recommendation. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.