Sugar Land, TX (PressExposure) April 19, 2012 -- In March, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sale of a new kind of breast implant used in breast augmentation surgeries. The new implant has been likened to the beloved candy, Gummy Bears, due to its soft but squishy firm texture. The FDA approval gives the product's developer, Sientra, permission to market the new implants in the United States and similar moves are expected soon for new gel implants developed by Allergan and Mentor.
Grant Stevens describes the difference between the breast implants currently being used and the new Sientra implants by describing what happens when one is cut open. The silicone gel in those currently in use will spill from their shell covering and puddle but the new, Gummy Bear version will retain its shape.
This firmer characteristic is said to be a highly desirable improvement as the current implants can leak silicone into the body and rupture as a result of traumatic impact such as auto accidents; either event can lead to serious medical complications. Stevens, a plastic surgeon from Marina del Rey, California, participated in a study comparing two brands of implants that led to FDA approval. He also claims to be responsible for the Gummy Bear reference to this latest development in breast augmentation surgery.
The Sientra implants approved for breast augmentation in March come in tear-drop and round shapes. One participant in the study who received the new implants appreciates their marshmallow-like texture and describes them by saying, "When you hug someone, it's so natural feeling. Not hard like my girlfriends' saline implants. Gummies squish; they're bouncy."
The improved feel of the breast augmentation implants doesn't reduce the risks associated with more traditional implants. All implants ands breast augmentation surgeries come with the risk of asymmetrical breasts, changes in nipple sensation, the development of hard scar tissue surrounding the implant, and the risk of rupture. Implant fatigue is another concern that requires replacement of implants after about ten year after they're implanted.
In spite of the associated risks, breast augmentation is one of the most popular forms of plastic surgery performed in the US today. According to statistics provided by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 316,848 breast augmentation procedures were performed in the US in 2011. That's three times as many breast augmentations as were done in 1997. Implants filled with silicone gel are twice as popular as those filled with a saline solution.