Periareolar-only Lift for Medium/large Breasts?

I consulted a board certified plastic surgeon and apparently I can have surgery that goes around the nipple area only combined with small implants for my lift. I've read on this website and elsewhere, however, that this procedure is generally for small breasted women only (I'm a 36-C). Is my breast size okay for this surgery? And is this the least intrusive (besides the crescent) option? I rather would like to avoid the implants, but want the least amount of surgery possible. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 15

Be careful- you may get what you ask for...

Hi there-

As much as I enjoy telling people what I know they want to hear, I must sound the alarm of caution, as your question concerns me deeply...

Let me preface by saying that without seeing you to more completely discuss your goals and examine you, it would be very difficult, if not irresponsible for me to give you any sort of recommendation.

Having said that, however, please know this- your chances of being happy over the long term are very likely severely compromised by your statement that you "want the least amount of surgery possible"...

Your comment is not unusual- someone says that to me at least once a week. Sometimes they only NEED a minor procedure to achieve their goals- and I am able to tell them what they want to hear...

But sometimes their desire for a minimal procedure is mutually exclusive with their goals for appearance....

It has been my experience that there are enough surgeons of lower scruples in the world that these women can almost always find someone to do the smaller procedure they want on them if they look hard enough. The long term dissatisfaction they experience doesn't even enter into their minds until it's too late...

In other words, as I often ask my own patients when I know that their goal for a tiny procedure will not lead them to their goal for appearance, "If I did the small operation on you that I know you want, but your breasts were funny looking forever after, would you be happy?"

Instead of focusing on the magnitude of the procedure, take a step back from the trees and remind yourself of the forrest...

Your interest in plastic surgery started with a desire to SAFELY achieve your BEST appearance possible, right? Every decision you make along the way should remain true to these goals.

Find an excellent surgeon you like and feel you can trust, and rather than tell him that you want the least amount of surgery possible, ask him to describe the options he thinks you have if you wanted to look your very best. 

Listen carefully, and ask lots of questions- look at lots of photos. And don't have ANY surgery until you are confident that the procedure you are having is very likely (in the hands of that surgeon) to SAFELY result in the appearance you desire.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Perioareolar lift

my favorite. I do this whenever I possibly can. my cup size limit is usually C. this operation allows deep sutures in the breast itself which tends to give a more sustained lift. nothing will give you the amount of lift you would get from an implant but as you said it opens a whole new bag of worms. this really needs a photograph to help you any further

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Breast Lifting and Augmentation?

Thank you for the question.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to give you good advice without direct examination or at least viewing photos.

It sounds like it may be in your best interest to be seen by a few well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons for several opinions.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Breast Lift

Some patients with limited breast ptosis may be best served by a more limited 'mastopexy' procedure in which skin is removed around the areola only and the areolar diameter is reduced. This is referred to as a 'circumareolar mastopexy'; it is also called a 'Benelli mastopexy', or 'donut mastopexy' - because the pattern of skin removal is donut-shaped. I put the term 'mastopexy' in quotes here as, in my opinion, this is not truly a breast lift procedure. Removing skin around the areola may allow one to move the nipple-areola complex to a slightly higher level, perhaps two to three centimeters or so, but it does not actually 'lift' the breast. To truly lift the breast one must remove some lower pole breast tissue and rearrange breast tissue internally to create an aesthetically appealing, lifted breast in which the result of the lift is lasting.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Periareolar lift

It really depend supon what your goals are.  I use this all the time in the appropriate candidate. Often it it someone who wants implants to creat more volume, but just needs the  nipple lifted an centimeter or two which also helps tighten the skin enevelope a bit.  An exam for you would give more definitive answers.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast lift


I think you would need to post photos or better yet, come in for a consultation, before anyone can adequately counsel you regarding the type of lift for which you may be a candidate. Benelli (periareolar) mastopexies have limitations in terms of the degree to which a lift can safely be done without incurring a high risk of spreading of the scar or areola itself. I reserve it for patients who need at most 2cm of lifting and who do not have significant extra skin on the lower curvature of the breast.

Tim Sayed, MD, MBA, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Peri-areolar breast lift

 You are right in thinking that a peri-areolar lift is not suitable for every one. The choice of technique depends on a number of factors including the size and droop of breasts, size of the areola and what degree of lift and projection you wish for. Please post some photographs if you need some individualised suggestions.


Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Periareolar lift

It is impossible for me to offer my expert advise without at least viewing anterior and side views of your breasts. I have found two techniques to be successful in lifting breasts without the use of implants. One is called the Ultimate Breast Lift which works best for women who have significant ptosis. The other involves using a periareolar approach in conjunction with a dual plane lift. Please consider re-posting your question with pictures. Ofcourse, a physical exam would be best. BTW, you are right in avoiding implants. Implants do more harm than good in the long run. Best wishes, Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Peri-areolar lift

Thanks for your question, but without a picture it is hard to answer your question.  It is not size of your breast, but more importantly the relaive position of your nipple that will dictate if you are a candidate.  Good luck.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 201 reviews

Breast Lift and Augmentation

You are fine for that periareolar lift as long as you combine it with an implant. The lift doesn't work well by itself. The combination you mention is very popular and gets excellent natural looking results.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.