Boob jobs aren't just about the size of the breast.
Some people have issues with their areolas (the skin surrounding the nipples.) This can happen with massive weight loss or gain, pregnancy, nursing, or just plain old genetics.
The tissue can become stretched, lengthened, and discolored, or even bumpy and raised.
While being unhappy with the appearance of the areolas might not seem like a serious problem, a potential surgical patient may have stress and anxiety surrounding this issue. This can lead to fear of being seen naked or avoidance of intimate relationships.
Decreasing the size and shape of the areola can lend to a more appealing look that is proportionate to the rest of the breast. Thankfully, this type of surgery is both common and uncomplicated, and finding a fantastic surgeon to do the job won't be difficult.
But if you decide on surgery, what happens before and after areola reduction surgery?
Read on for 6 tips on how to prepare yourself.
1) Consultation: What to Expect Before and After Areola Reduction
This is when you meet with a potential surgeon to decide if you're an ideal candidate for this type of surgery.
Since breasts can continue to change until adulthood, it's generally recommended that this surgery be performed on people 18 years of age or older.
Men are also ideal candidates for this surgery. However, gynecomastia (more commonly known as "man boobs") usually results in developing excess breast tissue, and this can lead to the appearance of misshapen areolas and nipples.
A surgeon will need to determine if the male patient needs a breast reduction surgery, in addition to areola reduction. If gynecomastia is the case, then both surgeries can be performed together.
Ideal candidates will also have some or all of these characteristics:
- They are stretched wide and enlarged
- They are raised and puffy (due to an increased amount of tissue, which can be the result of hormone fluctuations or nursing))
- They have taken on a deformed and "domed" appearance due to a genetic abnormality
- They are asymmetrical or a distorted shape
- They exhibit another unnatural-looking deformity (birthmarks, genetic diseases, injury or discoloration)
During the consultation, the areolas will be examined and measured, and you'll discuss hoped-for outcomes and appropriate color variations. You'll also discuss risks, complications, and your future lifestyle.
2) Discussing Costs
Most plastic surgery is considered elective surgery and is therefore not covered by insurance. If a surgery is deemed purely cosmetic, it is elective.
However, some breast surgery can fall into a gray area or be covered by insurance. It can get complicated, so this is something to discuss with your surgeon.
Typically, however, areola reduction surgery will be elective.
The average cost for areola reduction varies. It's highly dependent on your individual case, so that's when a consultation with a caring surgeon can be of benefit.
You'll also need to consider any surgical facility costs (this type of surgery is out-patient) as well as any medications, post-surgical compression garments, skin care products, and taking time off from your job for recovery.
While plastic surgery can be costly, it can be manageable with the right planning. Most highly regarded surgeons will have financing plans available.
If you're squeamish, you might not want to know what your surgery will actually look or be like.But getting an idea of what the incision will entail, and how the surgeon will reconstruct your skin is always good knowledge. If you're brave, watching a video of a reduction surgery could be enlightening.
As for the surgery itself, you will likely be given the option of some different anesthesia. Because this is a minor, out-patient surgery, you won't need general, or full, anesthesia. A conscious sedation or a local anesthesia would suffice.
Based on your individual case, various stitches after incision will be employed, and for those with coloration issues, application of tattoo ink can complete the look.
4) Post-Op Recovery
This is when you'll need to take any medications or wear any compression garments and follow recovery instructions to the T.
Also, you'll need to avoid strenuous exercise or anything that can overheat you or raise your heart rate too high. This page discusses all the elements of an areola reduction surgery, including our signature rapid recovery program.
The better your adherence to a recovery program, the faster you heal and the more amazing your results will be.
5) Getting Pregnant After Surgery
Ideally, you'll get this surgery after you've finished delivering babies. The issue is that pregnancy weight fluctuations and hormones can do away with the results of your surgery.
Also, the scarring as a result of the incisions can become more visible during pregnancy and with breastfeeding.
So keep this in mind before undergoing cosmetic surgery, and discuss with your surgeon any plans you might have for more children.
6) The Best Part: Enjoying Your Results
This is what you were waiting for! You've finally healed and you look fantastic. Now what?
If you're like most patients, there can be a psychological adjustment period after cosmetic surgery. Some people find they don't feel like they thought they would.
TThis is totally normal. If you have any concerns with this, please ask your surgical staff for referrals to other resources, or maybe just ask them when you can expect to feel more like yourself.
But you also might really be excited about your results, in which case, show them off! Just remember to wear sunscreen so that you avoid damaging your skin.
Are You Ready to Book a Consult?
We hope this list gives you some ideas of what you can expect before and after areola reduction surgery. It's not a complicated procedure, but it is surgery. Therefore, it's important to have solid information.
If you have more questions, though, (and we hope you do!) please call us to book your individual consultation. All of your questions can be answered by our welcoming and attentive staff.