Large, Puffy Areolas, Inverted Nipples, but Small Breasts-- is There a Procedure to Help?

My breasts are a size 34A, but my areolas are about 6.5cm in diameter (they pretty much take up the entire breast). My nipples are also inverted-- these problems make me extremely insecure and self conscious. Is there a procedure out there for me? I'm only 20 and have a somewhat limited budget as a college student, but intimacy has become a huge dilemma, and I don't want to spend the rest of my 20s in hiding!

Doctor Answers 5

Correction of Large Puffy Areolas and Inverted Nipples

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Yes there is a way of correcting both large nipples and inverted nipples.

The size of the areola is corrected by an operation called a peri-areolar mastopexy. This is also known as a Benelli mastopexy. In this technique a doughnut of areola skin is removed from around the nipple and then the sutured back into place. This procedure leaves a faint scar around the edge of the areola at the junction of the pigmented areola skin and the lighter normal breast skin.

Inverted nipple repair is an operation where the shortened ducts leading to the nipple are released so that the nipple can come back out into an exposed position rather than being remaining inverted. 

Patients are usually delighted with their new look and feel more confident about their appearance.

Tuberous Breasts?

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Thank you for the question.

If you are dealing with a tuberous (constricted) breast  anomaly some of the characteristics you may notice are: short distance from areola to inframammary folds, wide distance between breasts and relatively large "puffy" areola.

Generally, the procedure  most commonly used to improve the situation involves breast augmentation with or without areola reduction / mastopexy procedure. The distance from the inframammary fold is increased (to create a more rounded out appearance). The implants will help improve the cleavage area as well (decrease space between the breasts).

In the most severe cases of tuberous breasts, a breast lift can be done through an incision around the areola, making the breast into a more rounded shape that the patient will be happy with. In many cases however, a lift is not necessary.


I hope this helps.

Breast augmentation and periareolar lift for correction of puffy nipples

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It does sound like you have tuberous breasts.  Breast augmentation and periareolar lift can help correct this problem  The inverted nipples can usually be corrected at the same time.  The tethering ducts are released and some method to hold the mipples out is used.  A nipple piercing can be very effective at this.

Large areola and small breast

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There are a wide variety of problems that might be described as you have written, but most of them can be significantly improved with surgery.  If you post a photo, we can be more helpful, but your best bet is to see a plastic surgeon.

Even if you cannot afford surgery now while you are in college, there is no reason for you not to find out what the options are.  Many plastic surgeons will see you without charging for the consult (depending on where you live), and in any case, I am certain that you will feel better with some expert advice regarding your options.

James Nachbar, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Large areola with small breasts

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It sounds like what is known as a tuberous deformity. A photograph would have been helpful to be sure. Tuberous deformity is a combination of large prominent areola with a small breast with a very tight breast-base. I am sure you will be able to find some photgraphs by searching online with the terms of 'tubular breast' or 'tuberous breast'.

This is a distressing problem, but can be improved with surgery. Please see a fully qualified Plastic Surgeon.

Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

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.