When Getting a Breast Lift How Small Can I Reasonably Ask a PS to Make my Areola.?

I am going in for a breast lift in a few weeks and one of my main concerns is the size of my areolas. I would like them smaller, preferably the size of a quarter. Is this feasible and if so what should I request as far as size in diameter?

Doctor Answers 12

Natural diameter of the areola is about 1 inch or size if a quarter

You can discuss your preferred size of your areola with your plastic surgeon and it is possible to change the size at the time of breast lift surgery.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

I Want Smaller Areolas When I Get my Lift. How Small is Reasonable?

Generally 4 cm. A quarter is hardly 2.5 cm. If the nipples are large, the areola can't be made too small or it will not look aesthetically pleasing.

Some women do have 2.5 to 3 cm areolas. Some women with small areolas have large nipples which look disproportionate, and if they want a change it is usually to request a nipple reduction.

It is desirable to have a nice proportion between the size of the breast, the nipple size and the areola size. For most women this is about 4.0 to 4.5 cm. This is particularly pleasing when women start out with 6-8 cm areolas and want them smaller. When having a lift, the larger the areola and the greater the amount of skin to be removed, the less flexibility you have in areola size if the lift is strictly peri-areolar.  If you are having a vertical or inverted-T lift, then the areola can be smaller, according to the criteria above, because the breast skin can be matched exactly to the new areola. In a peri-areolar technique the larger the area of skin removed, the more difficult it is to gather the outer circle of skin down to the new areola without bunching and radiating pleats.  These usually go away, but there are limits if you want to minimize the chance of a revision.

A word of caution. If the areola is made too small, it does not look good, particularly when the nipple is relatively large and fills too much of the circle of the nipple/areola complex. This is uncorrectable and leads to unhappiness with the result.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Areola Size and Breast Lift?

In planning your surgery, communication with your plastic surgeon will be  a crucial step in the process of helping you achieve your goals. You should demonstrate the size of  areola that you would prefer to have and ask your surgeon to do his/her best to achieve your goals ( without compromising safety and/or increasing complication rates).

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

SEE VIDEO BELOW: Breast lift (mastopexy) to achieve small and reduced areola

In order to achieve a definitive redcution inthe areola size, you will most likely require a vertical lift. Althoug the areolas can be set at this size initally, it may be difficult to predicit the long term resutls and this may reuquire revision af 6-9 months. THis is easier if done without an implant whcih can stretch out the reduced areola as they settle.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Areola size

You shoudl voice your concenrs with your operating surgeon.  Most areola are between 38- 50 mm's in size or about the size of a half dollar coin.  In fact, these are standard size "cookie cutters" that we use in surgery.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

areolar Size

By all means ask the surgeon exactly what you would like size wise.There will be some shrinking with the incision around the areola but you certainly can give him/her some input.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Areolar size following breast lift surgery

Since you are asking this question it is likely that you have an overly large areola and that this is a concern for you.  A quarter is approximately 25 mm in diameter.   A normal areloar size is between 37 to 45 mm in diameter.  A bigger concern should be, will the breast lift that I have plan contribute to a smaller areola or will it over time stretch out the areola.  A doughnut type life will have the potential to stretch the areola diameter out over time while a vertical pattern breast lift will keep the size smaller and is more likely to prevent late stretch.  Discuss your goals with your plastic surgeon and you will likely get a very nice result.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Areola size in a lift procedure

A properly done lift procedure involves an incision all the way around the areola and thus it can be reduced in diameter as part of the process of moving it up to a higher position still attached to the breast below it. Unfortunately the forces acting on the sides of the areola cannot be controlled perfectly and the ultimate diameter of the areola cannot be guaranteed just as the exact characteristics of a scar cannot be completely controlled. The smaller the diameter of the areola, the more the forces act to stretch it out, particularly if a circumvertical or "lollipop" incision approach is used for the lift procedure. 

The average diameter of an areola in an average size breast is about 4 1/2 cm which is bigger than a quarter but obviously there is no exact correct size. I would communicate your desire for areola size and perhaps set it a bit smaller than usual and expect it to stretch back out a bit. I would also try to avoid using a permanent pursestring suture to try to control the areola size. Often this seems to work short term but develops long term problems and there are techniques to get the areola healed in place with non-permanent sutures that avoid long term suture problems.

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Areola size after a breast lift.

The size of the areola is usually reduced in a breast lift, however the exact size cannot be guarantied , the size can be estimated.

A good conversation with your Plastic Surgeon is needed to help determine the approximate size that you are aiming for as well as the breast size.

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Areolar size after breast lift

Change or reduction in areolar size is a frequent request with a breast lift procedure. The size is a matter of taste and aesthetics, as there is no one correct size for all. The quarter size may be perfect for your breast and chest size, and photos which represent what you want will help your surgeon. Some breast lift patterns will have a more stable areolar diameter, such as the vertical lift. The around the nipple pattern tends to place the stress on the areola which can enlarge again over time. With a stable areolar and if size is important to you, a vertical lift is worth investing in.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

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.