Areola Reduction: Do You Need It?
Many gynecomastia patients are concerned about overly large areolas. Therefore, it’s not unusual for patients who make appointments to discuss male breast reduction to ask about areola reduction too.
Although we specialize in helping men feel content with their physiques with procedures like gynecomastia surgery, liposuction, torsoplasty and even nipple reduction, we don’t do areola reduction. Let me explain.
One reason we don’t perform areola reduction is that it’s too risky. If you cut a doughnut shape from around the edge of the areola, you’re essentially disconnecting an important part of the blood supply. This means there’s a very real possibility of loss of sensation. If you need to remove some tissue from beneath the nipple/areola complex as well, as most gynecomastia patients require, you will cut off most of the rest of the blood supply. In this case, the entire nipple can easily die.
If you do decide to remove a doughnut of skin from the areola to reduce its size, you then have to suture a larger diameter circle to a circle that’s much smaller. This results in a series of small pleats or puckers of skin that take time to iron out, and may not ever lie fully flat. This kind of wound is under tension as it heals, so some plastic surgeons use a permanent circular stitch to hold the incision together and prevent wide scars. Patients often complain that they can feel these sutures and find them annoying.
But the primary reason we don’t perform areola reduction is that our New York gynecomastia patients don’t need it. We often use a balloon analogy to explain. If you inflate a balloon and draw a dark circle on it, then let the air out, the circle shrinks. Right? That’s a good way to visualize what gynecomastia surgery does for areola size. As you remove the tissue that caused the man boobs and re-contour the chest, the areolas shrink. In fact, in all our years performing gynecomastia surgery in New York, we have never seen overly large areolas on a man without gynecomastia.
After male breast reduction, our patients are usually quite satisfied with the look of their chest – including the areolas. Still think you need areola reduction? Make an appointment with a highly experienced male breast reduction surgeon and see what he or she thinks.