Combining Breast Lift and Areola Reduction?

I'm interested in getting a Breast lift and areola reduction. Are these procedures usually done together? Would I have scars or lose sensation in the areola afterwards?

Doctor Answers 23

These are part of the same operation

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An areola reduction is usually part of a breast lift. There are sacrs all of the way around the areola and unless there is an implant inserted, the scars usually extend down the middle of the breast and sometimes in the crease below the breast. Almost all patients will trade the shape improvement for the scars as long as the shape is excellent. This is what separates one surgeon from another - their ability to sculpt and shape the breast in a lift varies widely.

Check the photos in the web site below.

Two-in-One Surgery

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Yes, it is indeed possible to have an areola reduction performed at the same time as your breast reduction. This is something you should bring up to your doctor in the visits leading up to your surgery, so that he or she can better determine what can be done to make your breasts look more aesthetically pleasing while still working in a reasonable range. And, if all goes according to plan, you should also maintain nipple sensation after the surgery.

Jonathan Hall, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Breast Lift & Areola Reduction

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         It’s not unusual for patients with breast sag to request breast lift surgery. A variety of surgical options exist for managing this condition. The vast majority of these procedures not only lift the breast, but reduce the areola as well.


         In cases of mild breast sag, the excess skin and sag can be treated with a donut mastopexy. This procedure removes and tightens the excess skin around the areola. This leaves a scar at the junction between the areola and surrounding tissue.


         In more severe cases of sag; a lollipop incision can be utilized to deal with the excess skin. This leaves a circular incision around the areola with a vertical extension that extends to the infra mammary fold.


         When extreme sag is present, excision of excess skin requires not only a vertical incision, but an incision transversely in the infra mammary fold as well. This results in a circular incision around the areola, a vertical incision, and a transverse incision hidden in the folds beneath the breasts.


         The vast majority of patients who undergo breast lift surgery are happy with their result. Scarring is unavoidable, but in most cases is acceptable to the patient. Decreased nipple areola sensation can occur, but is fortunately uncommon.


         If you’re considering breast lift with areola reduction, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate. This surgeon should be able to help you formulate a treatment plan that will solve your problem.

Types of Breast Lifts

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There are many types of breast lifts performed and in general the areola reduction is part of any type of breast lift. Breast lifts can involve an incision just around the new small areola, or they can be the lollipop, which goes around the areola and then down the breast, and lastly around the areola, down the breast and then under the breast fold (full lift).

Loss of nipple sensation is higher when an implant is performed with a lift.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Areola reduction scar can be the ONLY scar in a lift

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Depending on how much sag you have or how large your breast is, the areolar reduction incision can provide all the necessary skin excision to give you a lift without any scars other than that delineating the areola.

My personal opinion is that the "inverted T" (also known as "Wise pattern scar", "anchor" scar) is no longer necessary as there are alternatives that cause less scarring.

Good luck!

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Breast Lift with Areola Reduction

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If you have large areolas without much sagging (ptosis) of your breasts, often an areola reduction alone can lift the breasts slightly and give a great appearance. This would involve a scar around the areola only.

However, if there is significant sagging of your breasts, a full breast lift would be needed and would reduce the size of the areolas as well. This would involve a circumvertical (lollipop) or Wise (anchor) pattern scar. 

Simultaneous Breast Lift and Areola Reduction

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Yes, breast lift surgery and areola reduction are performed together fairly often. It is essentially up to the patient’s discretion whether or not she wants to have the size of the areola reduced, but it is often recommended to make the breasts look more aesthetically pleasing. In terms of losing sensation in the areola, while it is possible, you should not let this slight possibility deter you from this potentially life-altering surgery. As long as you choose a board certified and experienced surgeon, you can rest assured that you will most likely regain all sensation. 

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Can I combine a Breast Lift with an Areola Reduction?

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It is very common to reduce or correct the #areola during a Breast Lift. In addition to #sagging, women with #asymmetric or enlarged nipples or areolae (pigmented areas around nipples) are also candidates for a breast lift.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Breast Lift & Areola Reduction

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Normally, an areolar reduction is part of a mastopexy. A mastopexy is intended to preserve the underlying volume of the breast but tighten the overlying skin envelope. There are different degrees of breast lifts. Each procedure normally entails some degree of areolar reduction. The simplest form of breast lift surgery is the so-called donut mastopexy. In this situation, excess areolar skin and possibly some breast skin is removed. When this is done, two circles remain. The inner circle is the residual areola and the outer circle is the breast skin. When these two circles are brought together, a wider outside circle is sutured to a smaller inside circle. If this difference is excessive then residual pleating of the incision may persist after healing is completed. When the incision around the areola is combined with removal of skin between the areola and the fold of the breast, the difference between the two circles around the areola is diminished. In addition to diminishing the difference between these two circles, much of the tension of the suturing surrounding the areola is diminished. This would be expected to lead to a more predictable aesthetically pleasing scar around the areola. In more extensive mastopexies, an additional incision in the fold of the breast may be required. Normally, a well-performed breast lift leaves an often imperceptible scar around the areola.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Breast Lifting and Areola Reduction?

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Thank you for the question.

 Areola reduction is usually part of any breast lifting operation performed.  The location and degree/nature of scarring will vary from one patient to another. Loss of sensation is always a risk with breast surgery.

Generally breast  lifting incisions are placed around the areola, vertical breast incisions, and transverse incisions (“anchor”).

Most patients (If properly selected and who are doing the operations and the right time of their lives) accept the scars associated with breast augmentation/breast lifting surgery as long as they are happy with the improvement in contour, size, and symmetry. This acceptance of the scars is the essential “trade-off” associated with many of the procedures we do and the field of plastic surgery.

It may be in your best interest to meet with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss options.

Best wishes.

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.