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Breast Lift: Pencil Test

June 24th, 2014

The “pencil test” is a simple and an effective way to tell if breast lift surgery might be helpful to correct sagging breasts.  The pencil test helps to identify true sagging. You do the “pencil  test” by placing a pencil beneath your breast where it attaches to your chest and if your nipple hangs below the pencil when you sit or stand, then you might consider a breast lift.

True sagging of a woman’s nipples can occur following pregnancy or as a result of any dramatic weight gain/loss. There may be slight evidence of this condition even before weight gain. True sagging refers to nipple position below the crease beneath your breast. I do not recommend breast lift surgery if nipples are above the crease or at the level of the crease. Breast enlargement is usually sufficient to correct the saggy breast shape in most cases. Breast lift surgery repositions the nipple and areola (pigmented skin around the nipple) upwards toward your shoulders. The natural position is about one half to three-quarters of an inch above the crease. Positioning them any higher than this can result in an odd breast appearance. The size of the areola can also be reduced if desired.

Breast enlargement or breast reduction may be considered at the same time as breast lift surgery. Changing the breast size may be accomplished at the same time and through the same incisions made for the breast lift and is often part of the Mommy Makeover. As with all breast surgery, size is a personal choice. Many woman are able to breast feed following breast lift surgery. Patients report a high degree of satisfaction after having a breast lift.

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