Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States and beyond. The idea that someone might actually want to undergo a “reverse liposuction” also known as a "fat transfer" may seem strange, until you learn that such a procedure may prove to be a boon for patients who undergo one of America’s other most popular procedures, breast augmentation.
Well, to be somewhat more specific, breast augmentation revision. When it comes to breast augmentation using implants, some patients will have their implants removed, either from soft tissue problems, or dissatisfaction with the results, or both. A new technique, called simultaneous implant exchange with fat (or SIEF), can be used in conjunction with implant removal or replacement in order to achieve a more natural feel.
The SIEF technique is espoused by ASPS Member Surgeon Dr. Daniel Del Vecchio of Boston. The procedure was created in order to compensate for the lack of volume after a breast implant removal procedure.
Prior to surgery, a patient wears a Brava® device, which uses a gentle vacuum to gradually expand the breast. On the day of the surgery, the doctor performs liposuction on the patient’s thighs and abdomen to obtain excess fat tissue. By injecting the fat into the space over the implants before removing them, pressure within the breast is reduced, and the surgeon can better shape the new breast tissue for a more natural effect.
Dr. Del Vecchio doesn’t think that fat will outright replace implants, but he sees a future where the two work hand in hand.
“If the current debate is ‘implants vs. fat’, the versatility of fat and the core volume reliability of implants may, in the future, evolve to a place where implants and fat can work together, serving essential functions in the same patient,” says Dr. Del Vecchio.
If you’re looking into breast implant removal, or are interested in breast augmentation in general, contact your plastic surgeon’s office to set up a consultation and find out what options are open to you.
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