Surgeons Can Replace Breast Implants with Fat in â??Reverse Liposuctionâ? Procedure

A reverse liposuction procedure may soon become a popular alternative to using breast implants and revision surgery. This procedure replaces breast implants with the patient’s own body fat, rather than new implants, providing natural-looking results, according to a report in the latest issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Properly known as simultaneous implant exchange with fat (SIEF), reverse liposuction is a conceptual paradigm shift of using natural fat for volumetric augmentation and breast reshaping, says report author Dr. Daniel Del Vecchio. He used the technique to help a 42-year-old woman who was dissatisfied with the appearance of her breast implants after seven years. She felt that they were too full and rounded, and appeared unnatural.

Although she wanted the implants removed, she was concerned about how her breasts would look afterwards. Dr. Del Vecchio designed the SIEF technique as a way to maintain the natural shape of her breasts after the removal of the implants. Here’s how the reverse liposuction technique works:

  • Over the course of three weeks prior to surgery, the patient uses a bra-like device to gradually expand her breast. The device uses negative pressure  basically vacuum suction to stretch the tissue.
  • Before performing the implant removal surgery, the surgeon harvest fat cells from the patient’s thighs and/or abdomen with liposuction.
  • The fat cells are injected into the space over the implants. This allows the surgeon to sculpt and reshape the breast.
  • The breast implants are removed, and the surgeon can inject additional fat beneath the skin.

When he followed up with his patient one year later, Dr. Del Vecchio discovered that her breasts were roughly the same volume as they had been with breast implants. He was also pleased to find that they looked better than before, with a smoother transition at the top.

How Can I Exercise After Breast Augmentation?

exercise after breast augmentationMany women choose to get breast implants as a means to improve the way they feel about their bodies. Oftentimes, these women also exercise regularly and want to keep up that healthy routine after surgery. As a result many ask, how and when can I exercise after breast augmentation?

If you are one of these women who is eager to get back in the gym and exercise after breast augmentation, your cosmetic surgeon would advise you to take it slowly. Immediately following any surgical procedure, your body is in a sort of recovery mode. This means it is necessary to allow your body the time to adjust to the new breast size and allow the incisions to heal properly.

While you can’t take up jogging a day after your surgery, you should be able to begin walking around and improving your body’s mobility. Even if you are still experiencing discomfort, simply walking to the mailbox and back may be enough.

As the days go on and you feel more comfortable with your new frame and the speed of healing, you can begin to slowly increase your physical activity. It’s always important, however, to listen to your body and follow any individual aftercare instructions your surgeon gives you. Several days after your surgery, you may feel ready to take longer walks. As you return to work, your regular activities will increase and your metabolism will also rise with the increased movement.

After a period of several weeks, you can begin to work in more of your regular workout routine with care. It is important to wear a supportive bra and to not push yourself. While kickboxing may not yet be an option, many types of cardio like riding a stationary bike may now be possible.

Usually after eight weeks or so, you should be able to fully return to your workout routine. If you would like to learn more about breast implant surgery and your options for exercise after breast augmentation, please contact Seattle cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jonov.

Choosing Between Saline and Silicone Breast Implants

Choosing between silicone gel or saline breast implants is often one of the most confusing and difficult decisions Seattle breast augmentation patients must make. Each implant material has its pros and cons, so there is no clear way to say which type of implant is best, and each patient must decide based largely on their personal goals and preferences.

Look and Feel

Both silicone and saline implants can give you a natural look, particularly if the implants are placed under the chest muscles, however silicone breast implants have a reputation for providing a more natural feel. This makes sense, given that silicone implants today are made of a cohesive gel material that more closely mimics the weight and suppleness of natural breast tissue than liquid saline solution. Patients who are very thin or have little natural breast tissue to cover their implants are often good candidates for silicone gel implants because the implants are softer and less prone to rippling, allowing for a more natural look and feel. Patients with pronounced asymmetry in the size of their natural breasts may also be good candidates for saline implants, as the volume of saline solution in each implant can be adjusted to even out the breasts.


Saline breast implants are composed of an outer silicone shell and a filling of liquid saline solution. Because the saline solution can be added after the implant shells have been placed in the chest wall, the incisions needed to place saline implants are slightly smaller. There are also more options as to where incisions can be placed with saline implants. Unlike silicone implants, which can be inserted only through incisions in each breast fold (inframammary incisions) or along each armpit (transaxillary incisions), saline implants can also be inserted through incisions around the border of each areola (periareolar incisions) and even through the belly button (TUBA incision). Thus, saline implants result in smaller scars (about half an inch smaller) than silicone implants and offer more options for patients in terms of where their breast augmentation scars are located.


In 2006, the FDA ended a 14-year moratorium on silicone breast implants that was instituted because lawmakers felt there was insufficient evidence to rule that the implants were safe. After years of rigorous testing, the FDA allowed silicone implants to re-enter the market because no scientific data had been produced to link silicone implants to systemic diseases they were previously assumed to cause. From a scientific standpoint, the safety of silicone implants and saline implants is identical. The only difference between the two from a legal standpoint is that patients must be 22 to have silicone implants, whereas they can be as young as 18 to have saline implants. Patients who choose either option can rest assured that all FDA approved breast implants are safe and will not directly affect your health and wellness in any way, positively or negatively.

Breast Implant Cost

Breast implant manufacturers charge about $1,000 more for silicone breast implants than saline breast implants, so breast augmentation with silicone implants is slightly more expensive initially. Also, consider that patients with silicone implants should have an MRI three years after surgery and every two years thereafter, as there is no other way to detect breast cancer or implant ruptures with silicone implants. Saline implants, on the other hand, do not require an MRI to detect cancer and will visibly deflate if they are ruptured. Due to the cost of periodic MRIs, the cost of maintaining silicone implants can be slightly higher in the long run.

The Bottom Line

It is easy to get overwhelmed evaluating the pros and cons of saline and silicone breast implants, but before you do, remember that you have a guiding light in this process: your cosmetic surgeon. Dr. Jonov has decades of experience and has helped hundreds of Seattle breast enhancement patients choose the best breast implants to meet their unique needs. Trust Dr. Jonov to help you make this important decision, and feel free to ask questions, talk to other breast augmentation patients and look at plenty of breast augmentation before and after photos before you decide on silicone or saline breast implants.

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What should you do if your breast implants rupture or deflate?

First, call Dr. Jonov at Seattle Plastic Surgery right away!

Breast implants can be covered under warranty, which might help you with the replacement cost.

A ruptured saline implants carries no health risk, but it will certainly look and feel strange. If you have silicone implants, the only way to diagnose the problem is by MRI.

There are many different possible causes of breast implant failure. In some cases, the problem occurs when the implants are filled above or below the manufacturerâ??s recommended fill range. Other times, texturing of a saline implant can result in excessive wrinkling and premature wear, causing the implant to fail. Breast implant deflation can even be caused by simple wear and tear, and your lifestyle definitely plays a role in how long your breast implants will last.

A deflated implant can be successfully removed and replaced in a surgical procedure similar to the original breast augmentation. Typically the same breast augmentation incision is used to approach the deflated implant.

While all this might seem like a hassle, the good news is that recovery from breast implant exchange surgery is usually easier than the original surgery, since the pectoralis muscle has already been stretched.

Seattle Breast Implant Information

Many women considering having breast augmentation in Seattle do a lot of research prior to meeting with a surgeon. At Seattle Plastic Surgery Center, we feel it is important to educate all our patients about the benefits and limitations of cosmetic plastic surgery.

The following links provide a wealth of information on breast implants and the numerous studies associated with these products.

US Food and Drug website on breast implants.

Wikipedia online resource on breast implants

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