Areola Reduction

Farbod Esmailian | Plastic Surgery


The nipple areolar complex is comprised of the areola (the pigmented glandular tissue surrounding the nipple) and the nipple (the small projection near the center of the mammary gland containing the milk ducts). Enlarged areolas can be reduced in size with a relatively simple surgical procedure in order to enhance the overall aesthetic appearance of the breast.

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Following pregnancy and breast-feeding, or in cases of naturally enlarged breasts, areolas can become distended, in some cases stretching to a size of 8-10 cm in circumference. Areola reduction involves the circumferential removal of excess areolar tissue through an incision made around the perimeter of the areola, with the goal of decreasing the areolar circumference to approximately 3.5-4.5 cm. During areola reduction surgery, the nipple and central portion of the areola remain attached to the breast, and only the surplus, peripheral areola is excised. Because the pigment is contained in the superficial portion of the skin, only a thin layer needs to be removed, and when the excess skin has been removed, fine sutures are utilized to re-attach the areola to the skin.

Although areolar reduction can be accomplished without additional breast surgery, it is most often performed in conjunction with a breast lift or breast reduction surgery, and may also be performed together with a nipple reduction procedure. Men suffering from gynecomastia (abnormally enlarged breasts) also elect to undergo areola reduction surgery in order to enhance the masculine appearance of the chest. As with women, male areola reduction is often performed concurrently with a male breast reduction surgery and/or nipple reduction procedure.

At our plastic surgery practice, Dr. Farbod Esmailian, M.D., is a double board certified plastic surgeon who is highly experienced performing areola reduction procedures in Orange County for both men and women. Dr. Esmailian understands that the field of breast aesthetics is very subjective, and will work closely with you to customize a unique treatment plan that will enable you to safely and successfully fulfill all of your breast surgery goals.


Areola reduction surgery is performed under local anesthesia and takes approximately one hour—unless executed as part of a breast lift or breast reduction surgery, in which case, general anesthesia would be utilized, and the procedural time would increase. Following your areola reduction in Orange County, most of Dr. Esmailian’s patients are able to return to work or school within a day; however, strenuous exercise should be avoided for approximately 2-3 weeks. You will be advised to sleep on your back and to wear a surgical bra for the first week after surgery, and your stitches will be removed after 5-7 days. You may experience post-surgical bruising and temporary numbness, which will generally dissipate 2-5 weeks after your procedure, depending on your body’s individual capacity to heal.


Dr. Esmailian is a skillful and compassionate surgeon, who specializes in the field of breast surgery, and is dedicated to guiding his patients throughout their aesthetic enhancement journey. During your initial consultation, Dr. Esmailian will take the time to thoroughly discuss your areola reduction surgery, helping you to understand all of your surgical options, and assessing your current health and aesthetic goals. If you would like more information about areola reduction surgery, please contact our office in Orange County. We are happy to answer any and all of your questions, and to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Esmailian.