Types of Breast Sag – Breast Lift

Breast Sag That May Require Breast Lift

As noted in our breast lift page, there are several different types of breast sag. Not all of these require breast lift to restore youthful appearance. In fact, 2 of the 3 can be corrected using breast implants alone. What we typically think of as sagging breasts, plastic surgeons generally categorize one of 3 ways:

  • Ptosis
  • Empty Sac Syndrome
  • Pseudoptosis


When plastic surgeons talk about sagging breasts, they may use the term ptosis. This is the medical term for breasts that sag far enough that the nipple and areola are out of position in respect to the breast crease. You may think of this as breasts that sag down, are elongated and, sometimes, sag enough that your nipples point toward the floor. Usually if your plastic surgeon diagnoses ptosis, a breast lift will be required to restore a youthful appearance. Plastic surgeons generally recognize 3 degrees of ptosis.

  • Mild ptosis (grade I): Nipples that have dropped to the level of the breast crease
  • Moderate ptosis (grade II): Nipples have dropped below the level of the breast crease
  • Advanced ptosis (grade III): Nipples are pointing toward the floor

Empty Sac Syndrome

This refers to a breast that has lost fullness due to age, breastfeeding, etc. In this case, the nipple and areola have not fallen in respect to the breast crease so there is no need for a breast liftBreast implants alone should provide enough volume to restore your breasts' youthful appearance.


Like the Empty Sac Syndrome, pseudoptosis is a condition where the breast lacks fullness. In this case, the breast may appear full below the nipple, but lacks fullness above the nipple. In most cases of pseudoptosis, the nipple and areola are positioned such that a breast augmentation with breast implants will be sufficient to restore your youthful appearance. You will probably not need a breast lift if you have pseudoptosis.

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