Skip to main content
Sacramento & Granite Bay (916) 929-1833

This Simple Test at Home Can Help You Decide on a Breast Lift


Posted February 14, 2022 in Breast Lift

The natural aging process, your genetics and life experiences such as pregnancy or significant weight loss can all take a toll on the state of your breasts. Many women look to a breast lift to restore a perky, youthful placement. Dr. Scott Green is a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you determine if breast lift is right for you. However, you can do a simple test at home to check if your breasts are sagging or drooping, called the “Pencil Test.”

What is the Pencil Pinch Test for Breasts?

The “Pencil Test” for breast drooping is a simple exercise you can do at home. Place a pencil along the inframammary fold underneath one of your breasts. Release your breast tissue while still holding onto the pencil, then let go of the pencil. If the pencil falls to the floor, you likely have little to no breast sagging. However, if the pencil “pinches” than  you have some degree of breast ptosis.

Is the Pencil Pinch Test Accurate?

While the pencil test is not a diagnostic tool, it can help you get an idea of the breast surgery to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. Nipple positioning and direction also determine the extent of drooping.

Degrees of Breast Ptosis

Drooping breasts and loose skin are a normal part of the aging process, but pregnancy and significant weight loss can worsen ptosis. These breast changes are evaluated using several categories:

  • Normal Breast Position: A “normal” breast position without drooping has nipples pointing outward and sitting above the inframammary fold. The bottom of the breast (lower pole) does not extend below the crease.
  • Grade 1 Breast Ptosis: Mild breast drooping occurs when the nipples point outward, but the lower breast extends past the breast crease, and the nipple is positioned in line with the fold.
  • Grade 2 Breast Ptosis: Moderate breast sagging causes the nipples to point downward, with both the lower pole of the breast and the nipple hanging past the inframammary fold.
  • Grade 3 Breast Ptosis: Significant or severe breast drooping happens when the nipple points downward and the upper pole or portion of the breast extends beneath the breast crease as well.

How Can Breast Surgery Help?

The degree of breast ptosis will determine which type of breast lift or breast surgery is right for you. Breast augmentation can sometimes address mild breast sagging or a combination of the two procedures.

Crescent Breast Lift

A crescent breast lift is typically used for very minimal breast drooping and is often done in conjunction with breast augmentation. An incision is made in a crescent shape along the upper portion of the areola (pigmented tissue surrounding the nipple).

Peri-Areolar or “Donut” Breast Lift

The donut breast lift is used for mild breast ptosis and involves circular incisions around the areolas to lift the breast tissue and elevate the breasts.

Vertical or “Lollipop” Breast Lift

The vertical breast lift can improve moderate breast sagging and involves more extensive tissue reshaping. An incision is made around the areola and a second one extends from under the areola to the inframammary fold, forming the shape of a lollipop.

Inverted T or “Anchor” Breast Lift

The anchor breast lift is reserved for extensive breast ptosis and is also typically used during breast reduction. One incision is created around the areola, a second one reaches from the areola to the crease, and a third one is made in the breast crease.

Incisions are strategically placed to blend in with the darker pigment of the areolas, and other incision sites are easily concealed with a bikini top and bra. Over time, these marks will fade.

Contact Our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in Sacramento about Breast Lift

If you’re interested in a breast lift, try the “Pencil Test” at home and contact Dr. Green in Sacramento to schedule your consultation today. He is a leading plastic surgeon in the Bay Area and specializes in breast surgery.