For women needing a small breast lift involving a minor repositioning of the areola and tightening of the central breast skin, a circumareolar breast lift (mastopexy) is a nice choice. This technique is also called a Benelli or donut mastopexy. Though most commonly performed in conjunction with a breast augmentation, this lift can be performed on the small group of women with minor breast ptosis.

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Circumareolar breast lift esprit® cosmetic surgeons

This example of a circumareolar breast lift shows the circular pattern of skin that is removed around the areolas. The skin is then tightened around the areolas like a “purse string” and the breasts are lifted and the areolas are repositioned in a higher location.

Circumareolar Breast Lift Technique

The circumareolar breast lift is performed by first reducing the size of the areola to about 1.5 inches in diameter. Next, the outer layer of the extra skin around the areola is removed. The areola is slid into position and the skin around the areola is closed like a purse string (The areola is not removed and sutured back on with any of the lifting techniques). Additional sutures are then placed to precisely close the incision.

In the first few weeks after surgery, the skin around the areola is puckered and bruised and the breasts are tight and very “perky”. In time, the skin flattens and the breasts soften, taking on a nice, natural appearance.

Circumareolar Breast Lift Precautions

Circumareolar soon after esprit® cosmetic surgeons

This drawing shows a circumareolar breast lift. For the first few weeks after surgery, the skin is very puckered around the areolas.

The areolar breast lift, whether used alone or in combination with a breast implant, does have some technical failings and it must be used carefully. Because the skin is closed around the areola like a purse string, sometimes the puckering can be severe and complete smoothing out of the puckered skin does not occur with time. In addition, post-operative areolar scarring, shape, and size can be unpredictable and unfavorable with this technique. Therefore, additional surgery to improve the scars and/or the shape of the areolas is more common with the areolar breast lift compared with other common mastopexy techniques.

Despite these drawbacks, due to some patients’ breast shape and aesthetic goals, the areolar breast lift can be the procedure of choice. Therefore, this is a common procedure for us and we generally achieve nice results with it.

Circumareolar breast lift esprit® cosmetic surgeons

Here, in side view, is a breast shortly after circumareolar breast lift. The breast is tight and the skin is puckered around the areola.

Breast settles into a soft natural appearance esprit® cosmetic surgeons

After fully healed, the puckering around the areola resolves, and the skin loosens and the breast settles into a soft, natural appearance.

“Immediately when I met Dr. Connall, he felt like a friend. He just made me feel so comfortable that I knew right away this is who I wanted to pick.”


If this procedure is an option in your case, we will review the pros and cons of the areolar mastopexy with you during your consultation. Call our office in Portland at (503) 783-0544 to get started.