If the Areola is Cut Open, Would It Heal Back to How It Was Before or with "Normal" Skin?

Theoretically. I know you can, for example, reduce the size of the areola with surgery, but then you pull the other skin over the wound and it heals that way. If you left the wound open without pulling it together like this, would it heal back as areola-skin or normal-skin? I'm sorry I don't have pictures, but it is a theoretical question...

Doctor Answers 13

Scars After Breast Lift

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 All incisions heal with a scar. The skin adjacent to the scar is your skin. Scarring is unpredictable and a lot of your healing tendencies are genetically predetermined.

New York Plastic Surgeon

Would It Heal Back to How It Was

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All incisions heal with scars. An accurate approximation with sutures or some alternative (steri-strips, glue) gives the best chance of a nice scar. If left open, the incision will heal, but has a greater chance of a wider scar. 

Thanks and best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Areolar reduction

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  • If you reduce the areola and do not close the incision, it will leave an open wound.
  • Your body fibroblasts will then close the wound by contraction and scar formation. This will take 2-6 weeks.
  • It will heal skin to areola - the question is what will it look like. Such healing sometimes leaves good scars. But it more likely to leave a wide scar and a widened areola. That would make no sense to me, if the purpose was to reduce the areola.

Hope this helps!

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Wound Healing by Secondary Intention

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Thank you for the question. Leaving a wound open will produce a wide scar which will most likely distort the breast as well. The purpose of closing the wound is to get the thinnest, imperceptible scar, with the least amount of architectural distortion possible.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Areola surgery

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I'm not sure that you really understand how the surgery is performed. If you leave a wound open to heal on its own, it will heal with a scar with poor cosmesis. It will also take a long time to heal, not to mention be quite painful. The healing process would also involve skin contraction that will distort your breasts. No board certified plastic surgeon would recommend such a thing. 


I suggest you see a board certified plastic surgeon in person to provide you with a better description/pictures/diagrams so you can better understand what happens. 



Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C) 

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Areola reduction

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It is always better to have a controlled situation when it comes to scarring or healing.  Or at least as best as possible. Sewing the two sides together will probably produce a better result.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Theoretical Question about Wound Healing?

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Thank you for the theoretical question.

Allowing a wound to heal as you described would result in a wide  and (probably) depressed scar.  The resulting scar would not necessarily look like areola skin or “normal skin”.

I hope this helps.

If the Areola is Cut Open, Would It Heal Back to How It Was Before or with "Normal" Skin?

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I think you misunderstand the procedure. Normal skin is not pulled over the areola. It is brought up to the reduced areola edge and held with a cinching suture. If yuo leave the wound open to heal, which is never done, there will be extensive scar tissue. It will be neither skin nor areola.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Consequences of allowing a Breast Wound to Heal by Itself

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It has been known for Thousands of years that wounds can heal by a variety of ways
1- Primary or healing byfirst intention - gives the BEST results - the tissue is cut with a scalpel, the underlying operation, if one is carried out is completed, the skin is then brought together with well placed stitches which guide the healing. incised

2. Secondary or healing by secondary intention - leaves a wide scar. When the wound edges are not brought together (bwecause the wound was heavily contaminated, because it busted open or because it was not stitched) the wound heals with granulation tissue, followed by scar contraction and is then covered with a layer of epithelial cells which may be fragile..

3. Third intention healing (delayed primary) - an in between cosmetic result. In cases where the wound is too contaminated for a safe primary closure, the wound is left open and dressed UNTIL it looks nice and pink/red, at that point the wound can be stitched safely. (May be seen in intestine surgery cases, gunshots to the belly etc). 


Allowing a breast incision to heal by secondary healing is NOT a good idea. The resulting scar would be much more noticeable and disappointing.


Good Luck


Peter a Aldea, MD
Memphis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Areola Reduction

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If you make a cut between the areola and skin and leave it open, it will heal slowly by secondary intention. This heals with scar tissue, most likely leaving a wide scar of neither areola skin nor normal skin. Theoretically, this would need then to be repaired with surgery.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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