Breast augmentation continues to be the most popular and frequently performed aesthetic surgery and has been since 2006, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). In 2017, more than 300,300 breast augmentation procedures were performed in the United States (1). These statistics issued in the 2017 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report reflect a 41% growth relative to the number of breast augmentation surgeries reported in 2000. Similarly, in Texas, breast enhancement surgery is the top cosmetic surgical procedure and has a long and successful track record in satisfying women who wish to enhance, regain or restore balance to their figures.
The choice of a breast implant will have a significant impact on breast appearance following augmentation procedures. Many patients may not realize that there are two different shape options for breast implants: round implants or a more anatomical teardrop-shape (commonly known as “gummy bear” implants). Round implants are the traditional implants that have been in clinical use since 1963. Although female breasts are not round by nature, the round implant remains the most widely used implant for breast augmentation surgery. Round implants will provide fullness throughout the breast, including the upper part of the breast, also known as the upper pole. However, some women feel that this upper fullness is the quality that makes implant look too obvious. By its part, anatomical breast implants or “gummy bear” breast implants are a new silicone implant that uses a strong cohesive gel that offers a tear-drop appearance which mimics the natural contour and feel of female breasts. With its popularity and FDA approval in 2013, it has become a gold standard for many surgeon and patients alike.
Anatomical form-stable cohesive gel implants will provide the best results for women seeking natural-looking aesthetic breast enhancement, as they can be used to customize breast shape as well as add volume, and they provide several long-term advantages. In addition to providing an aesthetic motivated fuller and firmer appearance, these implants can also be used to lift the breast, restore volume lost after breast feeding and/or balance asymmetries. Anatomical implants also provide possibilities to improve appearance for patients with breast-base deformities (tubular breasts), and for a wide range of reconstructive procedures following oncology surgery.
Although more expensive than their conventional counterparts, women tend to like gummy bear implants due to their tendency to have a superior natural look and feel and because the risks of complications, like capsular contracture and gel migration in the case of implant rupture, are considerable reduced (2). Anatomical implants utilize a textured surface that allows a mild tissue-adherence, which is desirable as it ensures a secure implantation and reduces the long-term risk of capsular contracture. Multilayered technology is used in the manufacture of the implant shell, combining materials with particular properties to allow for a flexible protective barrier with reduced silicone permeability, improved durability and less risk of rupture. Of all breast implants followed in clinical trials, anatomical cohesive-gel breast implants have the lowest complication rates of any type of breast implant, this include incidences of capsular formation, implant migration, shell failure and implant folding (3).
(1) “Plastic Surgery Statistics Report 2017”. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2017/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2017.pdf
(2) “Types of Breast Implants”. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. www.plasticsurgery.org
(3) “Everything You Need to Know About Gummy Bear Breast Implants”. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/gummy-bear-implants