December 2006 / January 2007
Patients considering a breast lift in Nashville TN can discuss mastopexy options with female plastic surgeon Dr Amy Ortega.
Whether your cup-runneth-over or you fit neatly into a size A, firm, round breasts are a sure sign of youth. Unfortunately, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding and weight gain / loss can dramatically alter our most feminine features. When this occurs, many women look toward surgery to help them put the lift back into their profile.
Loss of collagen and elasticity through aging or from a series of weight gains and losses can cause the bust line to sag. A mastopexy, or breast lift, aims to correct these problems. According to Amy M. Ortega, MD, “In a traditional mastopexy, excess skin is removed in order to elevate the breast tissue, including the nipple.” Dr. Ortega, who is fellowship trained in the SPAIR (Short-scar Peri-Areolar inferior Pedicle Reduction) technique, explains that a traditional breast lift literally brings the breasts back to where they used to be, but it does not reshape them. For that reason, many doctors will suggest adding implants or performing a breast augmentation along with the mastopexy.
Once cleared for surgery, your physician will ask you a series of questions to determine your goals. “So many women come into my office asking for implants when all they really need is to restore their lift,” Dr. Ortega says. “That is when I start over and find out exactly what the woman hopes to achieve.”
During the consult, the surgeon marks the breasts, takes measurements, decides upon nipple placement and describes the mastopexy procedure in detail. Different doctors use different techniques, so you will want to ensure that your surgeon chooses the best option for you. Anesthesia options are also discussed, along with post-operative pain management and potential scarring. Lastly, you will be asked to discontinue any over-the-counter medications, herbs and supplements for two weeks prior to surgery.
Depending on cup size and amount of skin sag, a traditional mastopexy takes between 2 and 4 hours under general anesthesia. For smaller breasts, the surgeon may only need to make two incisions, often called a lollipop mastopexy. This procedure begins with a circular incision around the areola to separate the skin. Leaving the areola attached to the breast mound to preserve sensation, a vertical incision is then made from the bottom edge of the areola to the lower crease of the breast. For a patient with larger breasts or advanced sagging, an anchor mastopexy, which involves an additional incision along the lower curve of the breast, may be required.
After all necessary incisions have been made, the removal of excess skin can begin. This continues until proper alignment of the areola and nipple has been achieved. Finally, all incisions are stitched together and the surgery concludes.
Considered outpatient surgery, most women are able to return home once the anesthesia has worn off. Patients are asked to rest for 1 to 2 days, limiting arm movements before returning to light activity. “Many of
The SPAIR [Short-scar Peri-Areolar Inferior Pedicle Reduction] technique is on the forefront of today’s breast lift surgery, and Atlanta-based plastic surgeon Amy M. Ortega, MD, is leading the way. The only surgeon in the Southeast to be fellowship trained in SPAIR breast surgery, Dr. Ortega expresses excitement about the technique. “This is more than just a short scar procedure-it is the only breast lift method that actually reshapes the breast’ she says.
Using the SPAIR method, Dr. Ortega reshapes the breast mound and suspends it internally, giving the patient a full, round breast without the addition of implants. This technique also allows for the use of interior stitches which, along with smaller incisions, creates far less exterior scarring.
Dr. Ortega emphasizes that a woman does not necessarily need implants in order to rediscover a shapely bust line. “Implants are great if you want to be a bigger cup size, but they do make the breast heavier and quicker to re-sag. I always remind my patients that the bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
Patients considering breast lift in Nashville TN may discuss the above mastopexy/breast reduction options with female plastic surgeon Amy Ortega MD.