How saggy is saggy enough to need a breast lift?

By Dr. Ted

“My husband said, ‘Show me your boobs,’ and I had to pull up my skirt, so it was time to get them done!”Dolly Parton

Are you wondering if you are a candidate for a breast lift with or without implants? Try this at home:

1) The Pencil Test: Take off your bra and look in the mirror. Place a pencil horizontally along the crease under your breast, where your bra band would rest. Where does the nipple itself – not your areola – rest in relation to the pencil?
 a. below
 b. at
 c. above

2) Put on your bra and take another look in the mirror. When your bra lifts your breasts, are you:
 a. satisfied with their size
 b. wish they were bigger

At a breast surgery consultation, the doctor will take measurements – without a pencil – to help you determine the right choice for you, but here is some information to get you started.

1a. If your nipple hangs below the pencil, your breasts would be considered moderately to severely ptotic (or droopy) and you would be a candidate for a breast lift, which would raise and reshape the breasts.

1b. If your nipple is at the crease and your breasts are mildly ptotic, it’s a borderline situation.

Screen shot 2013-02-20 at 8.08.12 AMIf you want a more natural look, you could consider breast implants alone. A saline or silicone gel implant placed behind the pectoral muscle might help create the illusion of perkiness. When the implant fills out the upper portion of the breast, it also fills out the bottom portion, which makes it look like the nipple is located higher on the breast. If you took out a ruler and measured, you would see that the nipple hasn’t moved; it is still in the same place.

If you want your breasts to be higher and perkier, a breast lift might be the better option, because during that surgery, the nipple is moved to a higher position and excess skin is removed.

1c. If your nipple is above the crease, relax. You are probably not a candidate for breast lift surgery. Use some of the money you save for some new, uplifting bras.

Lift and Implants?
2a. If you are satisfied with the size of your breasts, a breast lift alone may be the right procedure for you.

2b. If you want more breast volume, you could consider a breast lift and implants (an augmentation mastopexy).

While some doctors prefer to do two separate operations – the lift first followed a few months later by the augmentation, others perform both procedures at the same time (simultaneous augmentation mastopexy). Having one surgery rather than two reduces the time that you are in the operating room and under anesthesia. It is a safe operation that takes about 3-1/2 hours.

Prefer to take things into your own hands. Some women choose breast lift tape, and others have been known to try duct tape!

Other things to know:
If your breasts are moderately to severely droopy and you get implants, you could develop the appearance of four breasts, with your breast implants up high and your natural breasts down low. Not a good look.

After a lift, your breasts will be the same size as they were before, because only excess, stretched skin is removed during a breast lift; no breast tissue is taken away. You’ll look exactly how you look before surgery when you are wearing a good bra.




8 thoughts on “How saggy is saggy enough to need a breast lift?

    • Hi Mia,
      The operation doesn’t reduce the size of your breasts. But because they end up rounder, rather than longer, they might look a little smaller.

  1. Gday, I just lost 100 pounds, so i need the extra hangy skin stop, and a breast lift. i dont have insurance, and its so expensive just to get a consultation. About how much should it cost? $10,000? more than $20,000? I just require a general idea, it will probably take about Ten years to save up for this. i dont think i’m able to get a loan with my bad credit.. Cheers for the excellent read.

    • Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for writing. Dr. Eisenberg offers free consultations and breast lift surgery is around $7000.
      Best wishes,
      Joyce Eisenberg

    • If you are happy with the size of your breasts when they are lifted up by your bra, then you’d need a lift only. If you wish they were bigger, you could be a candidate for implants and a lift.

  2. I have severely droopy breasts. Almost look like testicles they are so droopy breastfed five kids and the girls are tired. I do not want implants, don’t care if they are small breasts, just don’t like that they look like their 96 years old. Is it possible to just have a lift?

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