Will Shrinking Areolas Affect Healing Process of Breast Augmentation?

Hi. I notice my areolas shrink and expand due to temperature changes. They're usually pretty small because I tend to have very sensitive nipples that will be hard 95% of the time. I'm wondering if this will affect the healing process if I choose to get areola incision due to expanding and shrinking of areolas? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 9

Small areolas and augmentation

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If your areola is small another choice for incision may be necessary. I have been very successful however still using the periareolar approach with relatively smaller and thinner women who require smaller implants for augmentation.

New York Plastic Surgeon

Areola size does determine whether you can use that approach

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and if your are very small, you have to consider another approach.  Otherwise you have to accept extension of your scar laterally from the lateral-most part of the areola.  The inframammary approach is the safest and you do not risk 'contamination' of the field with ductal contents that are often spilled when cutting through the areola.

Changing Areolar Size

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Changes in the size of your areolae should not affect your ability to have an incision in this area.  The size will determine if a periarolar incision is feasible and this may depend on your choice of implant (saline or silicone).  You should also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the incision, such as numbness, scarring and risk of capsular contracture, with your plastic surgeon.

Shrinking areola

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No this will not affect your healing!  The fact that your areola are "small", however, may make this incision location a poor choice.

Andrew Stewart, MD
Charleston Plastic Surgeon

Breast implants most commonly put in through short scar in fold under breast.

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There are different opinions, but I think this is the approach for most women that gives the best, most natural shape.  You see, the scar fades.  If you are not happy with your result, it is almost never because of the scar.  It is because the shape or the symmetry isn't right.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

No problem

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As has been stated below, it is normal for areolaes to shrink and expand. As long as yours is at least 3cm in diameter (stretched) an implant can be inserted through a circumareolar approach. Which I think gives you the best cosmetic result.

All areolas expand and contract to cold

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The expansion and contraction of the areola is very normal for almost all. There should be no problem with your augmentation. The areolar size might determine if the implant chosen will work with a periareolar approach however.

Will shrinking areolas affect the healing process after a breast augmentation using the periareaolr approach?

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Nipples expand and contract in response to multiple factors and this will not affect the healing. What is important is for the plastic surgeon to measure your areolas to see if they are large enough for the periarolar approach. You should consult with a Board Certified plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Shrinking Areolas

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Almost all areolae expand and contract to various stimuli, including temperature. This should have no bearing upon your choice of incision.

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank your for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle 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.