Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgeries performed in the U.S. every year. Women go under the knife to increase their cup size, mostly, although a small fraction opt for breast reductions and reshaping procedures. In fact, out of all the face lifts, liposuction procedures, tummy-tucks and eyelid-augmentations, breast implants are the most common form of cosmetic surgery, with hundreds of thousands performed annually.
A New Form of Enhancement
At first, the “gummy bear” procedure may sound rather frivolous, but it is in fact a quickly-growing alternative to the staid silicone implant of old. It is very much an upgrade, with a more life-like and natural feel that, once molded into shape, actually stays that way. As with the materials used in any medical procedure, the safety of the so-called gummy bear gel had to be certified by the FDA in order to make it to market. The term “gummy bear” procedure itself is not actually official; it was coined by Dr. Stephen Grant precisely because of the material’s ability to maintain its molded shape, even when cut into separate pieces.
The gummy bear procedure is yet another in a series of improvements to breast augmentation surgery that has caused a rise in the popularity of plastic surgery in recent years. Slightly under a $1 billion is spent annually on breast augmentation procedures, which represents a whopping 45% total increase since the turn of the 21st Century.
The Physical Experience of Gummy Bear Implants
Although still composed of high-strength silicone, gummy bear implants are now favored because they contour to the natural curve of the breast, as well as giving the look a fuller and more natural breast after surgery. Since they’re even stiffer than the normal implants, they don’t wrinkle or shift position. Some patients have reported the inability of their partners to tell that the new implants were not real, which makes the procedure even more tempting.
In recent years, there have been a few problems with traditional breast implants from some companies, involving the nondisclosure of the origin of the silicone used. Once it was discovered that it was mattress-grade silicone, there were widespread recalls because of the instability of the implants made with this kind of silicone.
The gummy bear breast implant is produced by Sientra, and has enjoyed FDA approval since March 2014. Almost 2,000 of their implants, used in female test subjects over a span of eight years, have proven that they work as advertised and are safe. As with any surgical procedure, the patient’s safety is mostly tied to the skill and experience of the practicing surgeon, so whether you opt for high-strength gummy bear silicone or traditional silicone, make sure you find the right doctor.