Would a donut lift be enough? (Photo)

After two breastfed babies I want to get my breast done. After lots of research I wanted to know if a donut lift would be sufficient or if I have to have scars by doing an anchor lift? I want my breast to look as natural as possible and would even consider larger implants if that is the case as I would like to avoid any scars.

Doctor Answers 13

I don't like donut lifts

I just don't think they are powerful  lifts and think they tend to flatten the front of the breast no matter what adjustments or refinements are made to the technique.  I would recommend a formal list with the anchor incision almost 100% of the time.


Breast "donut" lift

Generally speaking, very few people who need a breast lift would derive the most benefit from the "donut" lift, which refers to the "periareolar incision only" approach.  It tends to flatten the breast and does not give the surgeon the opportunity to gather in skin below the areola for the best breast shape.

Hope this helps!

Amy Ortega, MD
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Would a donut lift be enough?

The breasts may lose their elasticity and firmness which can be caused by different factors such as pregnancy, massive weight loss, lactation and aging. To reaffirm the breasts and restore the natural look your surgeon can perform a mastopexy or breast lift. A breast lift restores a firmer, perkier, and more aesthetically pleasing shape to sagging breasts. This not only can improve a patient’s appearance by restoring her youthful, feminine proportions, but also help bras and swimsuits fit more comfortably and attractively. By removing excess, stretched out skin, reshaping the breast tissue, and raising the nipple & areola into a more forward position, a cosmetic surgeon can create a more youthful breast contour. Stretched, large areolae can also be reduced during breast lift surgery, creating an overall better proportioned, natural looking breast, Actually the perkiness on a person or another, depends on patients skin and breast tissue for the first 3 to 4 months! 

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 328 reviews

Would a donut lift be enough?

Dear Chelsea,

It is difficult to determine if you would be a good candidate for a more current procedure in lifting breasts that does not require a vertical scar and breast implants. The views you have submitted are severely angled and do not help in my assessment. Please consider re-submitting your question with a true frontal and side view. You may find examples of what I mean by visiting my gallery of before and after pictures. I have attached a short video of what can now be accomplished with the Horndeski Method technique. FYI, larger implants without a lift will only make your current problem worse and more difficult to correct in the future.
I hope this helps.
Best wishes and kind regards,
Gary Horndeski M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

What style of lift do you need.

It really depends upon whether or not you'd like larger breasts. Implants can improve nipple position and fill out the breast skin after breastfeeding. However, an implant can only do so much. Donut lifts tend to flatten the breast, and I rarely use them without an implant underneath to improve projection. A lollipop lift (vertical mastopexy) allows for improvement in nipple position AND cones the breast improving projection. I believe you would be a good candidate for either a donut lift with an implant if you would prefer larger breasts, or a vertical mastopexy without an implant if you like your current breast size. 

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Would a donut lift be enough?

Thank you for your question.  Based on your photos, I believe that you'd get a better result with a lollipop or anchor breast lift.  A donut lift is often insufficient and tends to flatten the breasts.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


Based on these photographs you appear to be an excellent candidate for a breast lift. I would suggest that you will not get the position shape and symmetry that you would like with a limited lift. A full anchor lift would be appropriate.

Breast lift

Thank you for your question and pictures. In general donut lifts do not lift breasts too much, instead just adjust the amount of skin around the areola and the size of the areola.   Sometimes, they can also flatten the breast.  Finally, in general, picking a larger implant than you originally want is usually a mistake because the breast ends up larger than you wanted and also not with enough correction of the droopiness.

Ramiro Morales, Jr., MD
Pembroke Pines Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Would a donut lift be enough?

Of course and in person examination is necessary to give you proper advice.  However based on your photograph he still have normal breast skin showing below the areola and your nipple is not too far below the inframammary crease.  Based on this a doughnut lift may be all that you need.  However your most important decision is the skill expertise and experience of the plastic surgeon to choose. Please read below:

Would a donut lift be enough?

Thank you for the question. The type of breast lift indicated for a specific patient will depend on how much breast lifting is necessary. In other words, if a patient has minor "sappiness" (ptosis) an incision around the variable may suffice. On the other hand, if a patient has a significant amount of breast ptosis, a vertical or "anchor" skin/tissue excision may be necessary. In your case specifically, I do not think that an "donut" breast lift will be powerful enough to achieve an outcome that you will likely be pleased with; a more powerful breast lift such as a vertical or "anchor" pattern will likely necessary.

For some patients the necessity of additional scars associated with breast lifting is a “dealbreaker” ; for these patients it is better to avoid breast surgery altogether.
On the other hand, many patients (If properly selected and who are doing the operations at the right time of their lives psychosocially) accept the scars associated with breast augmentation/breast lifting surgery as long as they are happy with the improvement in contour, size, and symmetry. This acceptance of the scars is the essential “trade-off” associated with many of the procedures we do in the field of plastic surgery.
Generally speaking, patients who are considering breast augmentation/lifting surgery should understand that this combination surgery is significantly more complex than either one of the procedures done separately. In other words, the combination breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery differs from breast augmentation surgery alone in that it carries increased risk compared to either breast augmentation or mastopexy surgery performed separately. Furthermore, the potential need for revisionary surgery is increased with breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery done at the same time. This revisionary rate may be as high (or higher) than 20%.
Personally, I find that the breast augmentation/lifting procedure to be one of the most challenging of the breast operations I perform, even compared to somewhat complex revisionary breast surgery. On the one hand, when performing breast augmentation/lifting surgery we are increasing the breast size with breast implants; on the other hand, we are reducing the breast “envelope” in order to achieve the breast lift. These two “forces” must be balanced as perfectly as possible in order to achieve the desired results. Removing too much skin/ breast tissue is problematic; removing too little breast skin/tissue can also be problematic. Remember also that patients presenting for breast lifting surgery and general have lost some skin elasticity/thickness making potential incision line healing problems and/or recurrent drooping/sagging important concerns to communicate.
To achieve a surgical result where the breast implant and breast tissue “come together” and behave like a single breast is one of my goals but can be difficult to achieve. Essentially, we are trying to create a breast implant/breast tissue interface that feels and behaves as naturally ( as a single unit) as possible. Generally speaking, making sure that the breast implant has some sub muscular and some sub glandular component ( dual plane) and tailoring the overlying skin/subcutaneous tissue/breast tissue as precisely as possible over the underlying breast implant is key.
Despite these efforts, breast implants are after all a foreign body that don't necessarily stay where we wish they would; therefore, breast implant related problems such as positioning ( too high, too low, lateral displacement etc.) can occur and may be a reason for returning to the operating room for revisionary breast surgery. I use a “tailor tacking” technique that allows a determination of what breast implant should be used to SAFELY produce the results the patient is looking for. This technique involves use of a temporary sizer and temporary “closure” of the overlying breast skin over the sizer. The use of the tailor tacking technique is very helpful. Breast lifting involves removal of skin ( and tightening of the breast skin envelope) while breast augmentation involves expansion of the breast skin envelope. These 2 forces are counteracting each other. Again, despite these efforts, breast implant and/or tissue/skin complications may arise causing minor or significant complications.
Generally speaking, it is difficult to achieve the “perfect” result with breast augmentation/lifting surgery, despite best efforts. Patients should be aware of the complexity of this combination procedure, achieve REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS prior to proceeding, and understand that additional surgery ( along with the additional recovery time, stress, expenses etc) may be necessary in the short or long-term. Patients should understand that the results of the procedure will not necessarily match aesthetically the results of patients who have undergone breast augmentation surgery only.
For example, some patients who wish to maintain long-term superior pole volume/"roundness" or "implanted look" may find that this result is not achieved after the initial breast augmentation/lifting operation.
An additional operation, possibly involving capsulorrhaphy, may be necessary to achieve the patient's longer-term goals ( with superior pole volume/roundness). It is helpful if patients understand that this breast implant capsule used to provide the support for the breast implant is not present during the initial breast augmentation/lifting operation. The capsule (layer of scar tissue) forms around the breast implant and may be a good source of supportive tissue during revisionary breast surgery, Including correction of breast implant displacement/malposition problems ( such as bottoming out, symmastia, lateral displacement etc).
Potential risks associated with breast augmentation/lifting surgery include infection, bleeding, incision line healing problems, loss/change of nipple/areola complex sensation, and blood flow related issues to causing skin or tissue necrosis. Poor scarring, pigment changes, areola/nipple asymmetry etc. are also potential problems. Again, patients may experience implant related problems such as encapsulation, leakage, displacement problems ( too high, bottoming out, lateral displacement, asymmetric positioning etc.), rippling/palpability of breast implants etc. Patients may also be dissatisfied with breast size, shape, and/or how the breast implants and overlying breast tissues “interface” with one another. Occasionally, a breast implant may even have to be removed and the patient will generally be “implant free” for several months at least. Obviously, this situation can be quite physically, emotionally, and psychosocially stressful to the patient involved.
Given the complexity of the combination breast augmentation/lifting operation and the greater risk of revisionary breast surgery needed, there are good plastic surgeons who will insist on doing the procedures separately. For me, if I see a patient who needs a great degree of lifting, who has lost a lot of skin elasticity, or whose goal is a very large augmentation then I think it is best to do the procedures in 2 stages (in order to avoid serious complications). However, doing the procedure in one stage does increase the risks of complications in general and the potential need for further surgery. This increased risk must be weighed against the practical benefits of a single stage procedure (which most patients would prefer).
Conversely, if I see a patient who requires minimal to moderate lifting along with a small to moderate size augmentation (and has good skin quality), then doing the procedure one stage is much safer. Nevertheless, the potential risks are greater with a 1 stage procedure and the patient does have a higher likelihood of needing revisionary surgery.
Having discussed some of the downsides and potential risks/complications associated with breast augmentation/lifting surgery, most patients (If properly selected and who are doing the operations at the right time of their lives psychosocially) accept the scars associated with breast augmentation/breast lifting surgery as long as they are happy with the improvement in contour, size, and symmetry.
I hope that this summary of SOME of the issues surrounding breast augmentation/lifting surgery is helpful to you and other women considering this procedure in the future.
The attached link may also be helpful. Best wishes.

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.