As a part of my practice, I pride myself staying at the forefront of research and innovation, always working to provide the best procedures and treatments for my valued patients. Most recently, I took part in a study comparing and evaluating two types of “gummy bear” implants manufactured by Allergan and Sientra. In fact, our practice was honored to have been selected as the only investigative practice in North Carolina for this study, which was audited by both a third party and the FDA.

As background, according to the ASPA 2015 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, breast augmentation continues to be the number one cosmetic surgical procedure performed in the United States.

But, for the last few decades, plastic surgeons were limited in terms of options for silicone breast implants. Up until 2012, the only silicone gel filled implants available in the United States were either smooth round or textured round. And while both provided many patients with their desired results, others desired a more natural look and feel.

In 2012 and 2013 manufacturers began distributing a new implant approved by the FDA allowing surgeons and patients an additional option: the shaped or “gummy bear” implant.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share what the study found and what these findings mean for you as you consider breast augmentation or reconstruction.

In short, our study found two key takeaways: “gummy bear” procedures offer a more natural look and feel than traditional implants, but they require a high level of surgeon expertise.

Look and Feel – While both shaped and round devices can be used to create a beautiful surgical result, depending on what aesthetic a patient is looking to achieve, as well as her physical characteristics, one device shape may be better suited than another.

Shaped implants get their friendly “gummy bear” name exactly how you might imagine. Just as a gummy bear is squishy, yet holds a shape – so, too, do these implants. “gummy bear” implants can be used to fit a wide array of body types and allow for a more natural “upper pole” or upper breast look and feel. For women undergoing reconstructive surgery, where tissue isn’t available, “gummy bear” implants are a quantum leap in terms of results!

Expertise – By the time I authored this study, I had already performed over 1,000 shaped implant procedures. I have found that experience plays a crucial role in achieving patient satisfaction.

Of course, proper surgical technique is very important for all breast implant surgeries, but it plays an even bigger role when using shaped devices. When undergoing any surgery, you want to ensure you are trusting your health and well being to an experienced practitioner. In fact, Sientra “gummy bear” implants are only sold to board certified or board eligible plastic surgeons.

If you are considering breast augmentation or reconstruction, our Capizzi MD team would be happy to speak with you about the option of shaped or “gummy bear” implants.

For more information, please visit our page entirely dedicated to the “gummy bear” implant.