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The Pencil Test for Sagging Breasts

The development of breast ptosis, which is the medical term for breasts that have begun to show signs of sagging or “drooping,” is very common among women and it can occur at various stages of life. In many cases, the natural aging process is a major cause of breast ptosis due to the loss of volume and tissue elasticity of the skin over time; however, factors such as pregnancy and breastfeeding, genetics, weight fluctuations, and others can contribute to the condition, as well. Fortunately, a breast lift offers an effective way to address breast ptosis with its ability to remove excess skin, tighten and firm the remaining skin, and lift the breasts to a higher, more youthful projection.

If you are concerned about breast ptosis and are considering whether breast lift surgery is an ideal option for your goals, one of our board-certified plastic surgeons can perform a thorough evaluation to determine the degree of sagging you are experiencing and whether you are a good candidate for breast lift surgery. With that in mind, there is also a simple test that you can perform at home to find out if breast ptosis is becoming an aesthetic issue you would like to address.

Here are the quick steps involved with the “pencil test”:

  1. Remove your shirt and bra.
  2. Position yourself in front of a mirror and stand up straight with your shoulders back.
  3. Take a pencil and place it underneath your breast in the area where the crease meets the chest.
  4. While maintaining your posture, observe what the pencil does. Is it remaining in place or has it fallen to the ground?

If the pencil immediately falls, breast ptosis is likely not severe. For most individuals, that means that a breast lift is probably not necessary; however, if the pencil remains underneath the breast crease, you may be a candidate for the surgery.

Dr. Lorri Cobbins and Dr. Brian Braithwaite have successfully performed breast lift surgery for many patients, ultimately helping them renew and rejuvenate the appearance of the breasts with results that look both natural and beautiful. During the initial consultation process, our plastic surgeon can determine the current level of ptosis or sagginess you are experiencing and talk with you about your options. Additionally, if breast ptosis is accompanied by significant volume loss, our doctor can explore whether you may benefit from combining a breast lift with breast implants.

For more information about breast lift surgery and candidacy for this procedure, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today.