What is a Benelli Lift?

I've been considering a breast lift and trying to do some research, but a lot of terms are thrown around like I should know what they mean. What is a Benelli lift? Who is a good candidate for a Benelli lift?

Doctor Answers 16

Benelli Breast 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.


Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Benelli Lift

A Benelli Lift is named after Louis Benelli who described the procedure in 1990 and has been also called the "round-block", circumareolar, concentric, periareolar, "donut or doughnut" lift. Although it describes a very specific procedure (reference below) the original technique has been largely abandonedand has been used as a generic reference for a breast lift with the scar limited to around the areola. In it's original description, it included modification of the breast gland with permanent stitches. It is useful for lifts that are limited to elevation of the nipple and areola by no more than 5 cm.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

What Is the Benelli Lift?

Louis Benelli, a Parisian plastic surgeon, described a form of breast lifting with the only scar being around the edge of the areola.  If you go to my website, breastimplantcenterofhawaii.com, on the bottom left hand side is a link to a YouTube video describing the Benelli mastopexy in great detail.  In the right hands, this lift is a very valuable surgical procedure for minimal scarring in conjunction with breast lifting. 

We plastic surgeons have our own set of coded buzz words, and I apologize for that, but the simple answer is view my video and you will know what a Benelli mastopexy is.

Benelli Breast Lift

The French surgeon, Louis Benelli, described a procedure in which the excess skin of a saggy breast was removed by removing the outer donut around the bull's eye of the breast (IE nipple) and the lifting occurred when the outer circle was pulled to the inner circle with "round block" interweaving stitching.

The limitations of this operation are that it is only applicable to very small sagging. When attempted on larger breast sagging it ALWAYS flattens the breast and if the sutures break - the areolas get stretched out.

There are better methods to achieve the same goal.

To read all you need to know about BREAST LIFTING follow the informative link below -

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

No one is a good candidate for a Benelli lift.

A Benelli lift is a type of periareolar lift that relies on an incision around the areola.  The problem is that there is quite a bit of tension afterward that tends to distort the areola, and very little improvement in breast sagging.  The surgeon is placing the incision where he or she wants to place it, but not where it needs to be!  The vertical technique is a good alternative.  Few experienced plastic surgeons use the periareolar technique anymore because of numerus problems and the need for redo surgery.  Who wants that?  I've attached a link to the section of my website showing vertical lifts.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

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 helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,448 reviews

Benelli breast lift is useful but not for everyone

In 1991 I had the privilege of scrubbing in on a case with Dr. Benelli, the French surgeon who pioneered the donut breast lift. It was helpful to learn from the master but over the years I have come to appreciate the limitations of the procedure too. It has the very appealing benefit of doing a lift with the only scar around the outer edge of the areola, where it is typically very inconspicuous. However, it tends to flatten the breast a bit, and this can be overcome to some degree with an implant. The other advantage of doing it with an implant is that often adding volume to the breast fills out the 'skin envelope" so a lesser amount of lift is needed. So the bottom line is that the Benelli lift (also called periareolar) works best when an implant is used. See the link to a video of the procedure.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Benelli lift = periareolar lift = donut mastopexy

While the Benelli lift was named by the doctor who described it, today the term is interchangeable for periareolar or donut lifts. The best candidate needs a implant because this doesn't improve breast shape without one. The nipple should be no lower than the lowest point of the crease below the breast and the nipple must not be pointing down.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

What is a Benelli Breast Lift?

The #BenelliLift, developed by French surgeon Dr. Benellil,is also known as the "DonutLift"to most surgeons, is performed by removing a donut-shaped piece of the areola and the surrounding skin. Followed by applying a #Pursestring, or, a double purse-string suture, to tighten the skin. Initally, a #Benelli was developed to access a majority of the breast through the incision. The breast is then shaped and lifted with sutures. This is a very complex procedure which is not often performed. However, the term is widely used to refer to breast lifts involving an incision around the #areola. A #mastopexy or #BreastLift enables the Plastic Surgeon to create nipple and areolae of a desired size and at the correct height.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Benelli Lift

The periareolar ("donut" or Benelli) technique is suitable for the treatment of mild to moderate ptosis (classified as grade I or II). It is also the least invasive form of breast lift. You may find that you won't be able to achieve the results you want with this technique.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 169 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.