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Breast Lift, Reduction or Enlargement to Correct Sagging?

January 17th, 2018

pencil test new

How do you know if you need a breast lift, a breast reduction or breast enlargement to correct sagging to make your breasts more youthful looking? Let’s start with the “pencil test” because it is a simple and an effective way to tell if breast lift surgery might be helpful to correct sagging or droopy breasts. The pencil test helps to identify true sagging. Place a pencil under 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 or drooping of a woman’s nipples can occur following pregnancy or as a result of any dramatic weight gain/loss. True sagging refers to the location of the 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. However, breast lift surgery is designed specifically to reposition the nipple and areola (pigmented skin around the nipple) upwards toward a more natural position. 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 during the procedure if desired by the patient.

Breast enlargement or breast reduction may be considered to change the size, shape and contour of the breasts, when a breast lift would not be indicated to achieve the desired improvement. As with all breast surgery, size is a personal choice and all options should be discussed during your consultation with your surgeon. Breast surgery is often part of the Mommy Makeover. See more specific information on Breast Procedures here.

Watch this video as our patient kindly shares her journey of restoring her breasts to a more youthful look following pregnancy. Thank you Lisa.

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What is Pencil Test for Sagging Breasts?

December 23rd, 2014

pencil test

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.  

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