Is There Really a Quick Fix for a Stretched Areola?

I received a breast augmentation with a crescent lift on the right side this past January. The areola on the side of the lift is about 2 or 3 time bigger than the other side. It is more embarrassing than before I had anything done. It sticks out of all of the bras and bathing suits I wear. I am due to go back in to the PS next week and he said it will be a quick 30 minute in office procedure to fix it. I am a little skeptical now and afraid he will make things worse. Should I run the other way?

Doctor Answers 6

The ideal technique for correcting a stretched areola depends on severity

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Correction of a stretched areola depends on various factors including what (if any) previous procedures have been performed, how large the areola is, whether or not the nipple and areola need to be lifted, whether or not an implant is present, etc.

If the nipple and areola are too high, which is possible based on your description, lowering them may be possible, but is complex.

A real assessment cannot be done without a physical exam, but making the areola smaller should be possible. A short vertical incision may be necessary. Permanent sutures are possible but have some disadvantages.

Don't rush into a revision you are not comfortable with. Discuss this further with your surgeon or obtain a second opinion. You should have options. Good luck.


Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Fix for areolar stretching

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The fix can be failry quick (more like an hour though). What you need is a circumareolar mastopexy that gets rid of the excess areola and closes the skin down to a smaller areola. The key is that a "purse-string" stitch with a permanent suture needs to be used. This will help ensure that the areola doesn't stretch out again. This can be accopmplished under local anesthesia.




D. Medalie, MD

Stretched Areola after Crescent Breast Lift?

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Thank you for the question.

As you can imagine, it is not possible to give you precise advice without direct examination and a full discussion of your goals.

Based on your description, it sounds like you may benefit from a circumareolar ( incision all the way around the areola).  This operation can be done under local anesthesia and will serve to reduce the areola size and improve circularity. However, every operation has its potential risk/complications;  make sure you discuss these with your plastic surgeon as well. For example, unsatisfactory scarring and/or recurrent “stretching” of the areola may occur. Further surgery may become necessary.

Ultimately, you will need to  develop confidence (see examples of your plastic surgeons work)  before proceeding.

Best wishes.

The areola can be reduced in size with a quick procedure under local anaesthesia

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Hi Nikki,  It sounds like the areola that was treated has either stretched out (relative to the other one) or it has not regained it's normal contractability.  If the original operation was January 2012, and the areola which is large, is still is not contracting normally, you may want to wait 6 more months and see if the contractability returns.  If it does, the normal contraction in the areola may reduce the diameter and "puffiness" dramatically.  If this occurs it will often make the areolas more symmetrical.  If the contraction and sensation in the larger areola is normal already, then you could procede on with the peri-areolar mastopexy that your surgeon is most likely recommending.  It is a small procedure done under local where the diameter of the larger areola is reduced and the excess skin is tightened around the new, smaller areola with a perminant suture in a purse string fashion.  This perminant suture prevents the areola from stretching out at a later date.  He will match the location and size of you "smaller areoal".  I hope everything goes well. 

Scott Barr, MD
Sudbury Plastic Surgeon

Stretched areola

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Please post a photo. If one areola is simply larger than the other, then it would be a simple office procedure to reduce it in size. If the size is reflective of sagging or another condition (for example, if the height of the nipple is different than the other side), then you may need more surgery Best of luck.

Is Quick Fix the Right Answer?

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Thank you for the question.   It's hard to know how to answer this without seeing the problem and knowing what procedure will be done to rectify it.  It sounds like you need a peri-areolar (or "donut") mastopexy.  This involves making 2  incisions around the areola to remove the extra skin that's causing the oval look.  A deep stitich is placed under the skin around the outer incision and tightened like a pursestring.  This will turn the oval into a circle, but of course, you will end up with a scar all the way around the areola. You may want to go over just what your surgeon plans to do before you undergo more surgery and be sure you feel comfortable with what he is saying.  If in doubt, get another opinion.  Hope this helps.

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.