A patient recently asked me this question, and although it’s obvious to me, it’s a pretty interesting question.
In a nutshell, the average woman’s areola before childbirth and breast feeding is 38-42 mm. How do I know precisely these numbers? Yes, I went to Plastic Surgery School, but more importantly, these numbers are based on a study done in the late 1960’s at a college, where breasts where measured on college age women. Included in these measurements were the diameters of the areaola. Obviously, there is variation around this average diameter size, but the overall diameter is generally around this number.
Areolar diameter is an important measurement, because during breast reduction, breast lift, and breast reconstruction surgery, we often have to either recreate or make more symmetric the overall areola and nipple size, shape, and position on the breast. In breast reconstruction, the nipple and areola may have to be removed during mastectomy, and recreating it in proportion to the rest of the breast, chest, and torso, is more scientific and less susceptible to guess work if a particular measurement is used.
Areolae often become bigger, with a larger diameter, after pregnancy, childbirth, breast feeding, or age. If you are undergoing an aesthetic procedure, then obtaining a more aesthetic appearing breast is possible, based on your body dimensions and measurements.
As a side note, the areola are never perfectly symmetric. At a glance, most areolae are the same diameter. However, with a ruler, they rarely are. This is normal, since perfect symmetry does not exist in large volunteer studies in humans.
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