Pencil Test for Sagging Breasts

What is the pencil test? Plastic surgeons use this test to measure the extent of ptosis of the breast, a medical term to describe droopy or sagging of the breasts. According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery,  more than 127,000 had breast lift surgery last year and it ranks in the top 5 of requested cosmetic surgery procedures. When a woman is considering having surgery to correct sagging, several factors are taken into consideration. Sagging of a woman’s breasts can occur due to any significant weight change, such as after a pregnancy.  True ptosis or sagging refers to nipple position falling below the crease beneath your breast. The “pencil  test” is the way to find out if surgery might be indicated. By placing a pencil beneath your breast and if your nipple hangs below the pencil when you sit or stand, then you may need a breast lift. If the nipple is above, increasing the fullness may correct this. For more information, see Breast Augmentation and Lipo Fat Grafting for Natural Breast  Enlargement.

Breast lift surgery repositions the nipple and areola (pigmented skin around the nipple) upwards to a more natural position.  This natural position is about ½-3/4 of an inch above the crease under the breast.  Careful positioning is important. Positioning them higher than this may result in an odd breast appearance.  The size of the areola can also be reduced during surgery at the same time, if the patient desires. Breast list surgery is an effective remedy for droopy or sagging breasts and restores a more natural appearance to the breasts.

Scars from a breast lift are the similar to breast reduction surgery and are positioned around the nipple and beneath the breast as well. They are usually covered by most swimming suits. Many women can still breastfeed following breast lift surgery, if they choose to do so. However, it is not uncommon for women to choose to have completed having children before scheduling a breast lift or reduction surgery.

Most of my patients return to work 2 days following surgery with some activity restrictions. Both breast reduction and lift patients report being pleased with the change in their figure after the procedure and are happy with their decision to have surgery.    

Image: Victoria Secret Catalog

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