Traditional vs. Donut Lift: 3 Differences You Should Know
hands measuring the breasts of a young woman with a centimeter

A donut lift is a modified version of a breast lift that’s purported to provide equivalent results with less extensive surgery and minimal scarring. Although the surgery has a reputation for leaving smaller scars—even to the point that it’s sometimes called a “scarless” breast lift procedure—not every woman is a candidate. Could a donut lift work for you?

What is a Donut Lift?

A “donut” breast lift is a breast lift surgery that removes a small amount of excess skin and repositions the breast shape to achieve a more youthful appearance to mild to moderately sagging breasts. Of the options for breast lift procedures, this incision pattern, also called periareolar, disguises breast lift scars in the transition from the areola to the regular breast skin, making it nearly undetectable.

How Does The Donut Lift Work?

A donut lift limits scarring around the areola (pigmented area around the nipple). This is often the preferred technique for patients with mild to moderate breast sagging.

During the procedure, Dr. Ditesheim makes a circular or “donut-shaped” incision around the edge of the areola. He removes excess breast tissue and skin from the breasts while reshaping and elevating the breasts for a more youthful, perky appearance. Dr. Ditesheim repositions the nipple and areola to a higher spot on the breast mound. Some patients also require nipple resizing. The resulting scar remains only around the areola margins. Unlike other breast lift procedures, scars are not visible in a bra or bikini.

What Does a Donut Lift Scar Look Like?

The scar will look like a line around your areola. Initially, scars may appear pink but typically fade and become less noticeable within six months.

What Can a Donut Lift Accomplish?

A donut lift primarily focuses on lifting and reshaping the breasts and correcting or modifying the nipples. Dr. Ditesheim typically recommends a donut lift to improve the following breast conditions:

● Mild to moderate breast sagging (ptosis)
● Slightly low nipples
● Nipple-areolar asymmetry
● Large areolas
● Mild to moderate breast asymmetry
● Puffy areolas

Can I Get Breast Implants During a Donut Lift?

The donut lift alone will not increase breast volume. If you want a breast lift with added volume, Dr. Ditesheim may recommend a breast augmentation using implants. During your initial consultation, ask us about combining a donut lift with breast augmentation to learn more.

What About Recovery Times?

Even though a donut lift leaves less scarring than other breast lift procedures, it’s still a surgery that requires sufficient rest, recovery, and post-op care. Most patients can return to work in about two weeks. Dr. Ditesheim usually recommends wearing a compression garment for around six weeks after surgery.

You’ll receive specific aftercare instructions following your procedure to ensure the best results. Dr. Ditesheim is also readily available if you have any questions or concerns throughout your recovery period.

What Results Can I Expect?

Donut lift surgery will help improve your breasts’ shape, position, and overall appearance. The breasts will sit higher on your chest, and Dr. Ditesheim will restore the natural position of your nipples to be proportionate to your overall breast shape. This “mini” breast lift can lift the breasts around 1.5 inches. This is usually enough for patients with mild sagging to feel more comfortable and confident in their skin. The changes in your breast will be immediately noticeable after surgery. However, the final results can take several months for surgical swelling and inflammation to ease.

Patients with larger natural breasts, more severe sagging, or want more dramatic results may benefit more from a traditional breast lift.

Traditional vs. Donut Lift: 3 Differences You Should Know

1. Fewer Incisions Are Required for the Donut Lift

traditional breast lift that uses the short-scar technique uses two incisions: one around the areola, and the second running from the areola down to the breast crease. Through these incisions, the breast tissue is reshaped and the skin pulled tight for added support that gives an uplifted, perky final profile.

A donut lift only uses one incision around the areola. This means there won’t be a vertical scar down the underside of the breast, and may mean a more comfortable breast lift recovery too.

2. Donut Lift Results Are Less Comprehensive

While the idea of a (virtually) scar-free lift definitely sounds appealing, remember that using fewer incisions means your surgeon’s access to your breast tissue is somewhat limited. With less accessibility, achieving significant results falls somewhere between hard and impossible. That’s why people seeking plastic surgery should always have a breast lift consultation prior to committing to any one plan of action, as a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Ditesheim can give you realistic expectations as to which breast lift techniques may be right for your unique concerns and condition.

3. Not Everyone Is a Good Candidate for a Donut Lift

Because the “mini” breast lift can mean “mini” results, the donut lift isn’t for everyone. Typically, women who will see the best outcome from this modified breast surgery will have small to medium-sized breasts with only mild sagging. Women with larger breasts or severe ptosis (drooping) aren’t likely to see the improvement they hope for with a donut lift, and would likely be much happier with the look that could be achieved with a traditional breast lift instead.

Restore A Youthful Breast Position With a “Scarless” Breast Lift

For well-qualified patients who don’t need a large amount of breast volume reduced and who have good skin elasticity, a donut breast lift can be a great way to achieve a perky, youthful appearance both in and out of clothing. To learn more about all your options for breast lift surgery, schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Ditesheim today. Start the conversation by calling our Charlotte, NC office or by contacting us online.

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