Areolar Breast Lift Technique
This example of a circumareolar breast lift shows the circular pattern of skin that is removed around the areolas. The implants are placed through the lower edge of 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.
For women needing a small lift and additional breast fullness, a combined circumareolar breast lift and breast augmentation is the preferred treatment.
This technique is also called a Benelli or donut mastopexy-augmentation. This breast lift is limited in the amount of excess skin that can be removed and is essentially used only to reposition the areola.
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 extra skin around the areola is removed. The breast implant is then placed through the bottom edge of the circumareolar cut-out.
The areola is slid into an elevated position by closing the skin around the areola like a purse string and suturing the new skin edges together. (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.
Areolar Breast Lift Recovery
In the first few weeks after surgery, the skin around the areola is puckered and bruised. The skin is tight and the breast implants are usually high on the chest causing a lot of upper breast fullness.
Over several weeks after surgery, the skin softens, the implants settle, the puckering flattens and the breasts take on a nice appearance.
This drawing shows a circumareolar mastopexy and augmentation. For the first few weeks after surgery, the implant is high on the chest and the skin is very puckered around the areola. Over time, the puckered skin flattens and the implants settle at the bases of the breasts.
Circumareolar Breast Lift Precautions
The areolar breast lift and augmentation procedure does have some technical failings and it must be used carefully. This is due to some potential problems associated with the areolar lift. With the areolar breast lift, because the skin is closed around the areola like a purse string, the puckering can in some cases 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 and augmentation compared with other common mastopexy and augmentation techniques.
Despite these drawbacks, due to some patients' breast shape and their aesthetic goals, the areolar breast lift and augmentation is the procedure of choice. Therefore, this is a common procedure for us and we generally achieve nice results with it. During your consultation, Dr. Connall will review the pros and cons of the areolar breast lift and breast augmentation with you, if this procedure is an option in your case.