Ptosis of the Breast

Breast ptosis, or sagging, may occur as a result of advancing age, massive weight loss, pregnancy and/or breast-feeding.

There are varying degrees of breast ptosis. A breast lift, or mastopexy, may be enough for women with mild sagging, while others may need a breast lift combined with breast augmentation.

If you are concerned about saggy, drooping breasts, the first step is to determine the degree of breast ptosis, and the precise nature of the problem.

Here's how:

  1. Find a ruler.
  2. Take your shirt and bra off and find your inframammary crease (fold line just under your breasts where they meet your chest).
  3. Place the ruler in the crease, directly against the junction of the breast and ribcage.
  4. Let your breasts hang over the ruler, and look at yourself in a mirror. The ruler marks your inframammary crease.

If your nipple is slightly above or directly in front of the top of the ruler, you may have Grade 1 ptosis. This is considered mild ptosis.


If the central point of your nipple is 1 to 3 cm below the top of your breast crease, you may have Grade 2 ptosis. This is considered mild to moderate ptosis.


If the central point of your nipple and your areola (colored area around your nipple) is more than 3 cm below your breast crease, you may have Grade 3 ptosis. This is considered severe ptosis.


Pseudo-ptosis occurs when the nipple is still above the inframammary crease, but the breast appears to droop because of a large, flattened breast lobe. (Your breast has 15 to 20 lobes, where milk is produced.)


If your breasts are too low on your chest wall or your areolae have stretched out, this is considered mild ptosis with asymmetry.


Your breasts may sit relatively low on your chest, with no sagging (ptosis).


Once you and your breast surgeon determine the extent of your ptosis, you can discuss which type of breast lift or combination of other breast enhancement procedures will best address your concerns.

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    Ronald H. Schuster, MD

    10807 Falls Road, #100
    Baltimore, MD 21093
    (800) 572-1096
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    Joshua A. Greenwald, MD, FACS

    Greenwald Plastic Surgery
    166 5th Ave
    Second Floor
    New York City, NY 10010
    (914) 421-0113
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    Arnold S. Breitbart, MD

    Arnold S. Breitbart, MD
    700 Park Avenue
    New York, NY 10021
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