Breast augmentation surgery is the most popular type of cosmetic surgery performed in the United States each year. According to statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 290,000 women had breast augmentation surgery in 2013, a one percent increase from 2012.

What is Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Breast augmentation surgery uses breast implants to increase breast size and fullness. Although the most common reason for breast augmentation surgery is cosmetic breast enlargement, it can help women who have breasts that are asymmetrical, different sizes, different shapes, and who experience changes in breasts size or shape after childbirth and breast feeding. Breast augmentation surgery and implants can also be used after injury or mastectomy for breast reconstruction.

Types of Implants

It’s important to discuss the different types of implants with your surgeon to decide which type and appearance is best for you. There are three basic types of FDA approve implants:

  • Saline – Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water that’s similar to your natural body fluids. They have a flexible fill volume that allows your surgeon to adjust the size during surgery. Saline implants feel soft and natural with uniform firmness. If leaking should occur, saline implants will collapse and the saline will be absorbed naturally by your body.
  • Silicone – Silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel that allows the implants to hold their shape for a long time. They have a set fill volume, so the size must be determined prior to surgery. Silicone implants feel natural, but can become firmer over time. If leaking should occur, silicone implants will not collapse, but gel can escape into the breast pocket.
  • Gummy Bear – Gummy bear implants are filled with a high-strength silicone gel that keeps the implants in place better, so there’s less danger of rotation. Due to a thicker gel, they feel firmer than other implants but are less likely to leak or rupture, and they will maintain their shape even if the shell breaks. The term “gummy bear” was coined by a California plastic surgeon who compared the texture of the gel to gummy bears candies.

If you’re considering breast augmentation surgery, contact the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for more information and to locate a qualified, reputable ASPS surgeon in your area. Knowing all the facts will help you make the right decisions for the best results.