3 Reasons the “Pencil Test” Isn’t the Final Word for Breast Lifts

By Dr. Jeremy Pyle

If you think you might need a breast lift, then you’ve probably heard of the “pencil test.” The idea is that if you can tuck a pencil just under your breast and it doesn’t fall, then there’s sufficient droopiness to require breast lift surgery. While the test itself is simple enough, there are three reasons the results aren’t quite as straightforward as they may seem.

1. Most Breasts Have Some Natural Droop

Except in women who are very young or who have very small breasts, the vast majority of natural breasts have a bit of droop to them, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, one of the hallmarks of a poorly performed breast augmentation is ending up with breasts that sit too high on the chest, stand straight out from the chest wall, and look far too firm.

2. Implants Alone May Help

Another reason the pencil test isn’t a surefire prediction for a breast lift is because in some women, breast implants may help improve mild sagging (ptosis) on their own without the need for a lift. While implants can’t change the placement of breasts in a major way, they can add just enough oomph that the breasts look high and full after surgery rather than droopy.

3. Not Every Woman Wants a Breast Lift

Even if you do fail the pencil test, that doesn’t mean you have to get a breast lift. Breasts come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, so you never need to feel that your figure has to look a particular way, or fit with any specific beauty standard. If you’re happy with your breasts, then snap that pencil in half and skip the breast lift.