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? Questions and answers about breast lift surgery remains popular search parameters on my website. It is also a leading concern for patient consultations in my practice. Breast surgery is consistently in the Top 5 procedures for women requesting cosmetic surgery according to The American Society of Cosmetic Surgery.
Sagging or droopy breasts are frequent concerns for women seeking consultations from plastic surgeons. There are specific procedures that are more effective in addressing these physical findings. Let’s start with the “pencil test” because it is a simple and a noticeable way to tell if breast lift surgery might be helpful to correct this condition. The pencil test helps to identify true sagging. Place a pencil under your breast where it is attached 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 sagging breast shape in most cases, where the nipples are above the crease. 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 the nipples 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 combined procedures commonly referred to Mommy Makeovers, along with abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. Mommy Makeovers are designed to address undesired physical changes that may persist following pregnancy.