Nipple Reduction / Areola Reduction

Treatment information

A reduction of the nipple or areola is a relatively simple, quick and uncomplicated procedure, which can help people, who feel that their nipples or areolas are too big.

Generally about the treatment

Breast enlargement and breast reduction operations are very popular among women, but sometimes the problem is not their breasts, but rather their nipples.

Many feel that their areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) is too large or puffy, whereas others are unhappy with the length or width of the nipple. These are all problems that can really affect a woman's (or man's) self-esteem. Fortunately, nipple surgery is a relatively simple and brief operation, which can give a very pleasing cosmetic result.

Even though the nipple reduction operation is relatively risk-free, it is important to be aware that once the nipple or areola has been reduced, there is no way back. Due to this, it is very important to discuss with the surgeon what would be suitable in your case.

Nipple surgery is often combined with a breast lift, breast augmentation, or a breast reduction.


Fit and healthy people over the age of 18, who wish to have their nipples or areola reduced.

The procedure

The procedure for a nipple reduction varies as it depends on the patient's individual situation, and so there are several variations of this form of procedure.

Most often the surgeon will remove some of the nipple, after which he will stitch everything together, using self-dissolving sutures.

For an areola reduction the surgeon will usually remove the outer or inner part of areola, after which he will stitch everything together. If the areola is very large, the so-called lollipop method may be most suitable. For this the surgeon will make an incision around areola, as well as a vertical incision from the nipple, down to the lower part of the breast, after which the incisions are closed using self-dissolving sutures. The cut will be in the form of a lollipop, hence the name of the procedure.

For some, an areola reduction will automatically lift the breast a little. This will depend on the amount of skin that is to be removed.


The operation usually takes place on an outpatient basis under local anaesthesia.


The procedure is practically pain-free.

Risk of complications

There is a risk of infection or loss of sensation in the nipples. This is, however, very rare. The ability to breastfeed is usually preserved.

In some cases, the skin around areola will loose some of its pigmentation. This can be corrected by tattooing the nipple, in order to re-create the lost colour (also referred to as micro-pigmentation).

There is a risk of side effects from the anaesthetic used, along with bleeding, poor wound healing, a poor cosmetic result, and blood accumulation.

No form of surgery is risk free, although severe complications are very rare.

Healing and recovery

The operation usually lasts for 1-2 hours, and the patient is then sent home briefly after.

The patient will be able to shower on the first day after surgery. Work can be resumed a couple of days after surgery, and activities within the following week. The wounds will heal quickly, and there are usually no visible scars. The stitches are self-dissolving and will come out after a week or so.

Duration of the result

The result is supposedly permanent, but obviously there is no way of predicting how the body will develop with age.