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news articleHot Trends in Plastic Surgery for the Female Athlete - Silicone is Back!
by Dr. Denis Gonyon, Plastic Surgeon

Dr. GonyonDespite a recovering economy, the demand for plastic surgery in the United States remains strong. The most recent data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons ( indicates that women continue to request both surgical procedures, such as breast augmentation, as well as non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures such as laser resurfacing and soft tissue fillers to erase fine lines and wrinkles. In fact, more than 2.5 million women received Botox from plastic surgeons alone in 2009. There have been several exciting changes in the world of plastic surgery in the past couple of years. Here’s what a female athlete needs to know about plastic surgery in 2010!

Silicone is Back!

In 2006, the FDA approved silicone breast implants for cosmetic breast augmentation for women. In 2009, more than 300,000 women underwent breast augmentation. From 1994 to 2006, saline implants were the only option available for women. However, with the approval of the new generation of silicone implants in 2006, an estimated 95% of women currently having breast augmentation are getting the new silicone implants and women unhappy with the feel and look of previous saline implants are replacing their implants with the new silicone implants.

When comparing the implants, most patients and surgeons agree that the new silicone implants are softer, more natural looking, and last longer than saline implants. The most common questions patients ask is “Is silicone safe?” The answer to that question is a resounding YES. The data from the FDA indicates that the new silicone implants are very safe and are much better than the prior 3 generations of silicone implants. What has changed to make the implants better? The implants shell is stronger and is lined with a chemical that keeps the silicone on the inside of the implant. The most important improvement is that now the silicone is polymerized, meaning that the silicone is solid on the inside of the implant. Previous generations of implants were filled with liquid and if the implant shell developed a defect, the silicone could leak out. On a television show, I actually cut an implant in half to show the television audience that the implants really are polymerized.

The return of silicone implants is especially important for women who are bodybuilders, fitness competitors, or avid athletes as placing an implant below the muscle can have serious drawbacks. In surveys, women who have implants placed below the muscle complained about the “unnatural” movement of the breast implants when performing regular physical activity. Now that the new silicone implants are available, female athletes have the option of having the implant placed on top of the muscle while still getting the more natural appearance of silicone implants. Female athletes are very happy with the appearance of the new silicone implants but retain full, normal function of the pectoralis muscles and have a faster return to normal exercise and activities.

Silicone is not just for the breasts any more!!!

Continued improvement in silicone implants now gives women even more options for improving those areas that plastic surgeons previously have had few options, namely the lips and the buttocks.

For years women have had few options for increase the fullness of the lips. The only good options available were collagen injections, which only lasted 3 months, and the large array of different hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, or Hylaform, which last only 6 months. SurgiSil ( has developed new shaped, soft silicone implants for the lips. There are several sizes and shapes available so you can get full natural appearing lips without looking like Goldie Hawn in the movie The First Wife’s Club! Because female athletes often maintain a low body fat percentage, the fullness and shape of the lips can suffer, especially female bodybuilders and fitness contestants who are cutting weight. Silicone lip implants offer women a permanent improvement in lip size and shape that requires no maintenance and looks natural.

There are 2 primary options available for improving the buttock shape. The “Brazilian Butt Lift” is a surgical procedure where fat is removed from areas of the body and transferred to the buttock to improve shape and size. The big advantage is that this surgery removes fat from an unwanted area like the thighs or hips and moves it to buttock area. In a recent survey 89% of women who had a Brazilian Butt Lift would have the procedure performed again ( The down side is that female athletes are usually in good shape and don’t have a lot of excess fat that can be moved to the buttock area. We now have shaped contoured silicone implants that provide a full, shaped buttock contour that is permanent and safe. You can choose a low profile implant for a mild increase in size or high profile gluteal implants for the Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez booty!

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Dr. Gonyon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For more information about Dr. Gonyon and the services his office provided, please go to or call his office at (970) 624-7979.

posted: March-07-11

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