Areola Diameter reduction - will it continue to shrink as I heal?

Hello. I am 8 days post-op from my gynecomastia surgery, which was direct excision and VASER liposuction. I know it is very early to start gauging results, and that full results will be realized around the 6 month mark. A major reason why I had this surgery was to reduce the diameter of my areola. Should I expect to see additional reduction of the diameter as I heal further, or has all of the shrinkage occurred and I should not expect additional diameter reduction over the next few months?

Doctor Answers 7

Areola diameter

Congratulations on having your procedure done!  As for the areola diameter after surgery, the truth is only time will tell.   There are some patients who have significant swelling after surgery and the skin is distended.  As the swelling resolves and the skin is under less pressure, the areola may contract a bit.  Alternatively, there are cases when skin is removed around the areola that the closure is under tension, and the areola consequently may dilate over time.  Some surgeons close the incision with a permanent suture to try to counteract the forces that tension on the closure.  I would advise that you discuss your concerns with your surgeon.  Best of luck with your continued recovery.  


Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Does the areola get smaller after gynecomastia surgery?

Gynecomastia surgery with direct excision and ultrasonic liposuction is a great way to go.  Areolas are tricky things.  Areolas are made of skin, so when the breast is fuller, the areola skin stretches just like normal skin stretches. When you reduce the underlying tissue, the skin shrinks to accommodate the smaller size, and the areola tend to shrink as well.So how much will it shrink?That depends on many factors:  How long was it stretched? how good is your skin tone? How much tissue was removed?  How long has it been since surgery? (8 days is not much.  We gauge healing in terms of months.)Give it time.  One of the other things after surgery is frequently the nerves are off.  The areola has small muscle fibers in it which help it contract.  When the nerves are not functioning you tend to have decreased sensation and the areola has a shiny appearance.  As the nerve function returns, the areola will crinkle and shrink again in size.

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Too many factors

HiThere are too many factors to consider, the swelling, how much of reduction, how tight the closure etc.  It really will require you to wait this out a little longer.  In the early days after surgery swelling may make things look bigger, but as the swelling resolves and the scarring begins, things will typically contract and get smaller and tighter.  Hope this helps"The above answer has been given without seeing this patient and cannot be substituted for actual in-person examination and medical advice; it is only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

Areola Diameter reduction after gynecomastia surgery...

Often, after gynecomastia surgery,  the skin overlying the area treated  contracts back (reduces in size).   As the skin in general contracts, the areola size may decrease in size also.  Of course, much will depend on exactly what procedure was performed. 

As you mentioned, this may be one of those things that only time will tell in your case. Best to continue to exercise patience and follow-up with your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource for accurate assessment, advice, and meaningful predictions.
In the longer term, if you remain concerned about areola size, areola reduction surgery may be an option (after careful consideration of the trade-off of a scar around the areola).   Best wishes.

If your main focus is to shrink the size of your areolar, you can just have it reduced in the office

Reducing the size of the areolar may occur secondarily after gynecomastia excision but only because there is less volume beneath it. if you have large areola, it is a relatively simple matter for a PS to excise some of it. You should wait at least 3 months before doing this to give your chest time to settle.
david berman

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Areola diameter reduction - will it continue to shrink as I heal?

Thank you for your question.  Without a full series of photographs it is difficult to offer definite advice but the majority of areola reduction should have taken place as soon as the true gynecomastia tissue is removed.  Though some size changes will occur during the healing process, you will always maintain some size fluctuation with temperature and emotional changes. Talk to your surgeon to voice your concerns, they are in the best position to answer your question.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

What to Expect Post Gynecomastia Surgery

It's still soon into your healing. Following #Gynecomastia #surgery, your incisions will go through a maturation #process. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the #healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms will disappear. Some people are prone to keloids, which is an abnormal scar that becomes prominent. If you or a blood relative has a tendency to keloid formation, please inform the doctor. Bruising and #swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely. 

Also, as you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue. The #compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will #heal. It can also assist in the retraction of the skin. If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 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.