Should I Get Nipple Reduction Surgery?

I have no complaint with the size/perkiness of my breasts. I am 23 and wear a 36C/D bra. However, I am EXTREMELY unhappy with my enormous areolas. They disgust me and make me ashamed to bear my breasts. While my nipples are above the fold of my breast, the areola (about 2- 2 1/2 inches in diameter)stretches down to the base. I have read that I should wait until after having children, but I'm not sure if I ever want to have children. Even if I did, I would rather have attractive breasts at 23 than at 35+.

Doctor Answers 10

Areola Reduction Surgery

It sounds like you need an areola reduction rather than a nipple reduction. The areola is the dark or pink pigmented skin around the nipple. Areola reduction is performed with a scar around the areola. This is usually performed in the operating room and can also lift the breasts as well. A permanent stitch is used to prevent widening again after surgery. 

Fairfield Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Areola reduction?

Yes, you may be a good candidate for areola reduction. Fortunately, this is a procedure that can often be done under local or general anesthesia.

You are wise to consider the scar that will result, around the  areola. The appearance of the scar may range from a fine line to a wide/thick/raise scar (that may require scar revision surgery).

You should also consider  other unfavorable sequelae resulting from this procedure. This may include asymmetric areola, loss or change of sensation, wound healing problems (possibly suture related), recurrence of the “spreading of the areola”, hypo or hyperpigmentation around the incision line, and potential changing/flattening of the breasts' profiles.

Please make sure you're working with a well experienced/board-certified plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Areolar reduction surgery may help you

Please seek a personal consultation with a surgeon who is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  There may definitely be a procedure that will help you enjoy your breasts.  Areolar reduction can be done, usually in the office under local anesthesia. If you need something more than that, you surgeon will certainly discusss that with you.  Best of luck!

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

You should consider areolar reduction surgery

Areolar reduction surgery is a very successful procedure.  It can be performed alone or in combination with a breast augmentation and/or a breast lift.  It will leave a patient with a fine circular scar around the areola.  It will also produce a lifted result to the breast.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 213 reviews

Options in nipple reduction surgery


Patients have many options in breast surgery. With different surgical technique, we can modify the shape size position and contour of the breast. If you only need to address the areola or the nipple, surgical techniques can be limited to this area of the breast alone. Small surgeries of the areola or nipple may be performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient or as an office procedure.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Enlarger Areolas

Sounds like you would be a good candidate for areola reduction surgery. This can be performed under local anesthesia, no need to go to sleep and is done as an outpatient.

It is a relatively simple procedure where a donut like area of your areola is remove (the most outer part) resulting in a smaller areola around 40-42 mm. The the outer skin is sutured to the new areola size with a special suture.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Areola reduction

The areola should be approximately 40 to 45 mm in diameter to be aesthetic. The areola is prone to deformity and stretching from surgery and aging. I routinely am asked to perform areolar reduction in patients who have undergone a procedure known as a Benneli mastopexy by another surgeon. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and requires meticulous attention to detail in order to reproduce the aesthetic dimensions of the breast and nipple.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Areolar reduction

This is really not an uncommon request. The best way to see what your options are will be to met with a board-certified plastic sureon to go over your options. I often have patients send photos to me ahead of time and you can do that if you want depending where you live. My practice is in Las Vegas and you can send photos to If you are farther away, make sure that you see a board-certified plastic surgeon near you. I hope this helps.

Dr Edwards

Michael C. Edwards, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Areolar reduction

So sorry to hear that the size of the areola distresses you. A reduction procedure limited to the areolae can be performed. Generally, I see large areolae in women whose breasts are large and saggy. You may also need a mastopexy to lift the breasts but it is advisable to see a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Nipple reduction before childbearing

Get thee to a board certified plastic surgeon.  You need to live your best life now. You sound like an ideal candidate for a breast and nipple lift.  You should not be miserable because of your breasts.  Most breast lift procedures don't interfere with breast feeding but even if it did, I would not put this off.   We often do reductions on young women knowing that they will not be able to breast feed.   Breast feeding, in my opinion as a mother of three children, is highly overrated.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 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.