Ask a doctor

Pros and Cons of Benelli Lift?

I am considering a peri-areolar breast lift w/ breast implants and have read various pros (less invasive, less visible scarring) and cons (scar stretching, breast/areola flattening). I'm a small B/large A (different sizes), with mild grade 2 ptosis, hoping to get to a full C. I've seen 3 surgeons so far, 2 that recommended Benelli Lift, and 1 that suggested the regular anchor as he never seen a periareolar lift without the above mentioned cons. Also, I have not had children yet but plan to within the next 8 years. What sort of effect will that have? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 13

Proper use of the periareolar mastopexy

I have many pictures of the periareolar mastopexy on my web site for you to review. In patients whose nipples have drifted down to just above the lowest point of the inframammary crease or when the nipple is exactly at the crease level, it is possible to get a good result with a periareolar augmentation mastopexy. I have discovered some new ways to keep the areola from spreading out so the old problems with this procedure I do not see in my practice. The flat breast with the baggy skin envelope at the bottom is the result we don't want to see and this comes from doing a periareolar in someone who needed the full lift with the vertical scar..

If you have substantial lower pole skin laxity or if the nipple is lower than the crease or is pointing down, the full lift is clearly better.

Benelli Lift vs Vertical Lift

A word of caution: many surgeons perform what they call a 'circumareolar' (or 'donut' or 'Benelli' ) mastopexy. In my opinion there is absolutely no such thing as a 'circumareolar mastopexy'. Removing skin around the areola may enable a surgeon to elevate the position of the nipple/areola complex perhaps 1-2 cm on the breast mound, but it DOES NOT lift the breast itself. In most cases, unfortunately, it serves to distort the shape of the breasts, making them appear flattened at the top. If the breast needs to be lifted, it absolutely requires some internal rearrangement of breast tissue to create a projecting, aesthetically ideal and lasting result - which in turn requires that vertical incision and vertical surgical scar below the areola (and sometimes in the inframammary fold as well.
For several years I have been using a 'vertical scar' technique for most breast reductions, which eliminates the long, horizontal incision in the inframammary fold below the breasts. I have also adapted this technique for breast lift surgery, and have been extremely pleased with the results. As with breast reduction patients, this new technique not only eliminates the horizontal incision, but also creates more impressive breast projection and maintains it better over time. The breast lift procedure I perform not only removes breast skin but also moves some lower pole breast tissue to a higher position, increasing the projection of the nipple/areola area.
Breast lift surgery works well for patients with enough existing breast tissue to build a projecting 'breast mound'. However, in most breast lift Raleigh / Durham patients it is difficult to create sustainable fullness in the upper poles of the breasts by means of a mastopexy alone. This is particularly true in patients who have experienced significant deflation following pregnancy and lactation. For patients who indicate that they wish to achieve a fair amount of fullness in the cleavage area as a result of their breast lift surgery, I recommend that they undergo augmentation mastopexy. This surgery combines a breast lift with the placement of a breast implant usually of modest size, which produces the most youthful breast profile possible.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Breast Lift for "mild grade 2 ptosis"

The key to success lies in letting you surgeon know specifically what you would like to look like following the surgery. For example, how perky do you want to be, what shape do you want to have, etc.? However from your description it would appear that a lollipop type lift would be best for you rather than a periareolar lift. Here is a rule of thumb that works for most patients. If you nipple is above your lower breast crease then often a periareolar lift will be sufficient for most patients. If your nipple is at or below your crease then a vertical lift (lollipop lift), inverted T or anchor pattern may be required. In your case if you have a "mild grade 2 ptosis" then a periareolar like the Benelli procedure may result in a good result. 

The Lollipop incision for Grade 3 or 4 ptosis (areolar near or below your breast crease) works best in my hands and the use of a Lollipop technique can lift your breast to the perkiness you desire. However, other plastic surgeons are more comfortable with an inverted T or Anchor Pattern technique.The donut lift does tend to both flatten and have scars widened as you are removing skin around the areola which causes tension in that single area causing it to "spring' apart over time. With the Lollipop incision the tension is spread out over a greater distance of the lower vertical scar (where the areola once was) causing less tension on the areola and entire closure. The vertical lift tends to cone the breast making it more shapely (conical) and less flat. For a visual take a paper circle, cut out a small wedge on the bottom and bring the edges together to see this effect. In general I would pick the best Surgeon and explain fully what you want to achieve rather than the technique. Always insist on a board certified Plastic Surgeon.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Pros and Cons of Benelli Lift?

The Benelli breast lift involves removing skin completely around the areola.  This circumferential excision  involves more skin excision superiorly and inferiorly,  allowing for the nipple/areola to be moved up. It is a useful breast lift for a limited number of patients given that only a small degree of breast lifting can be achieved with the technique. Also, the breast profile (side view) tends to flatten with this procedure. Sometimes, areolar spreading  can occur.
Again, proper patient selection ( as with any plastic surgical procedure) is key.
I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Periareolar breast lift is a great technique


There are many techniques today for breast lift surgery. The priorities for a breast lift should include creating a natural and full breast mound and to minimize the scars much as possible. A Benelli is an excellent technique to accomplish this. Be sure that your board-certified plastic surgeon has a great deal of experience with this technique. Also discuss with your plastic surgeon what the lower pole of the breast will look like a measly after the surgery. They will want to discuss with you if it is acceptable to have a longer scar in this area if you shuuld have excessive breast tissue.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Benelli lift and breast implants

A benelli lift and an implant to raise the areola is certainly a great combination. I do them all the time in the right patient. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Benelli breast lift and breast implants are good combination.


1) We usually do breast lifts together with breast augmentation using only a circular scar around the nipples (Benelli).

2) Benelli lift alone without implants is not a good operation except to correct tubular breasts.

3) For breast lifts without breast implants, we use lollipop scar (Lejour technique).

4) Anchor scar is almost never indicated for breast lifts.

5) Your goals sound reasonable.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

It is a less powerful lift

Any time you operate around the areola there is a chance your ability to breast feed in the future can be diminished as well as a chance of decreased sensation. Both techniques suggested to you will have scars aound the areola but the addition of the vertical component of the lift will give you a stronger lift.

Dr Edwards

Peri-Areolar Lift is less invasive, but lifts less


Breast lift surgery before children can alter the ability to breast feed. If breast feeding is important to you, you might want to wait or have a less invasive lift to try to alter this as little as possible.

I would add to your Cons that these less invasive lifts lift the breast less. Much of my decision on offering a peri-areolar lift depends upon timing (breast feeding,) the amount of lift needed to fix the problem and the patient's willingness to accept scarring.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast Lifts

Thank you for the question. There are many different types of lifts that are specifically selected for each individual patient based on their needs. Benelli lift procedure involves the tightening of the loose skin and suturing around the areola perimeter, also known as a “donut”. While many patients prefer this lift, know that the lift that one would need should NOT be determined by scars or lack of them, but rather what lift will give the best outcome. A Benelli lift tends to flatten a breast without much lifting and if not done correctly can lead to very large Areolas in the future. I hope this has helped.

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.