What Size Should my Nipples Be if I Am Estimated to Be a C Cup After Breast Lift?

I am trying to decide what size nipples I should be reduced to when I have my upcoming major lift / mommy makeover. My doc said he uses a 3.5 cm marking ring but I find that a little small. In your opinion what size would you recommend for an estimated C cup 36. Thanks

Doctor Answers 14

Proper areolar size

I have changed my view on this topic after 25 years of being a plastic surgeon. 

To be honest, as plastic surgeons , more of us were taught to use an areolar sizer of 38-42 on average. That is how most of us were trained and these sizes were chosen based on averages. In every standard breast instrument set, it comes with 38 to 42 mm sizers. 

However, my viewpoint and practice changed a few years ago when a patient demanded that I give her a 28mm areola. I knew her from past surgeries but was very concerned about this size being too small. However after a very lengthy discussion, she was absolutely sure of her decision.  

I gave her this size areola and it was the most attractive youthful areola I have ever produced. It stretched slightly as they all do post operatively but it was small youthful and perky. I do them all that way currently and have developed a following in some cases because of the preference of this smaller areolar complex. 

However you can choose any size you want. Just know that the size immediately after surgery will expand to some variable degree that is out of the doctor's control. 

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

You can literally chose to have just about any areola size you wish


The aesthetically ideal size of an areola is completely dependent on the individual.  Most will agree that a little too small is better than a little too big but you have the freedom of choosing whatever size areola you think will look best on you. I have had many patients request around 3.5 cm areola size diameter with C and D cup breast size.  I have also had a few that have requested to maintain their rather large areolas.  I think 3.5-4.0 cm is close to ideal for a C cup.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Areola size is a matter of preference

Areola size is a matter of preference - larger breasts tend to have larger areolae. If you are used to having large areolae you may prefer a 4.2 cm size. It may be helpful to look through photos of women with your estimated final breast size and find areolae that you think are the right size. Show these to your surgeon. Good luck!

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Areola Size Is Personal Preference

         In the vast majority of patients, areola size is a matter of personal preference. When patients have larger breasts, they generally require larger areolas to achieve harmony and balance. In most breast lifts, we prefer the utilization of 38 to 45 mm areola sizers. The exact choice is dependent upon the patient’s anatomy and personal preference.


         It’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon before proceeding with breast lift surgery. Your surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that will meet your aesthetic goals. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Nipple size - Proportionate is Best

I always try to make the nipple proportionate to the breast size.  If my patient has a preference on size, I will honor their wishes.  (In some cases, their anatomy might make their wishes impossible to attain, but this is obvious pre-operatively, and we can discuss this issue during the consultation.)  The final result of nipple size depends on how the body heals and tissue stretch, but this is strongly influenced by how the surgery was designed / performed.

Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Nipple Size Reduction

Hello. Areola size is purely aesthetic. For this reason, the decision will be up to you. 3.5 cm is fairly small; I usually use a 3.8 cm or 4.2 cm marking ring. If you do not agree with your doctor, make sure they are aware so that you can both be on the same page.

Jaime Perez, MD
Breast Lift Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Adjustment of areolar diameter with breast lift

Hi there-

I would discuss this with your surgeon before surgery, as there is some "wiggle room" with regard to the diameter of your aureolas after surgery. This is going to be a matter of personal preference (yours)- there is no commonly agreed on number at which all areolas will look best.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Areola size after breast lift

Please communicate your concerns to your surgeon.  But keep in mind the areolas do stretch a bit after a breast lift.  This is true if you opt for implants.  The final size will depend on 1) surgical technique  and 2) your skin quality and healing potential.    Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Nipple Areolar Complex Size on a 36C Breast

Thank you for this excellent question.  I have always used a 35 - 38 mm cookie cutter for C cup breasts.  One of your earlier responders, Jay Burns M.D. of Dallas, Texas, makes an excellent point about an even smaller post op areolar diameter.  Since you consider 35 mm small, I probably wouldn't go any smaller if I were you. 


Two things to remember.  One, this is your body and you have a choice.  Two, don't forget they all stretch out a little bit post surgery. 

Areola Size after Breast Lifting?

Keep in mind, that the size of the areola after breast lifting surgery can be adjusted  according to patients' preferences ( to some degree).  Keep in mind also that some degree of spreading of the areola does occur in most cases postoperatively. Communicate your preferences with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 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.