Surgery to the nipple areolar complex (NAC) is done for both reconstructive and cosmetic reasons. Cosmetic NAC surgery includes both nipple and areola reduction. In general, any surgery done on a native NAC can affect a woman's ability to breast feed, will leave scars (although often subtle), and can alter the sensitivity and feeling in the NAC.
Women who are born with inverted nipples (nipples tethered inward on the areola) can have this corrected with a minor procedure that is done under local anesthetic with minimal downtime.
Women who feel their areolas are too large may be a candidate for areola reduction surgery. This can be done under local or general anesthetic, though will leave a circumferential scar around the areola.
Women who feel that their nipples project too much either naturally or after breast feeding may be candidates for nipple reduction surgery, which can be done under local anesthetic.
Note that since both areola and nipple reduction surgery are considered cosmetic procedures, they are not insured by the Medical Services Plan.