Breast augmentation is consistently the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. In the past, traditional silicone and saline implants were the only options available to women. Highly cohesive or form stable implants, also known as “gummy bear” implants are now a great option for women seeking breast augmentation or reconstruction surgery. These implants are made of a high-strength silicone gel. They mimic a natural breast shape and are designed to look like a teardrop. They are thin at the top and thicker at the bottom and are much firmer than a round implant.
1. Gummy Bear, Silicone Gel or Saline Implants?
Saline breast implants have a silicone shell which is filled with saline at the time of surgery. They are placed with very small incisions. Saline implants are prone to leak which can lead to a deflated or flat breast and it may require implant replacement. They are also prone to rippling over time.
Silicone gel implants are a silicone shell that is prefilled with silicone gel. This gel implant is moderately cohesive and requires a bigger incision during placement. Round silicone gel implants sit higher on the patient’s chest which give the individual a perkier look. As with saline implants, silicone implants may ripple over time.
Gummy bear implants are the newest implant available. The consistency of the gel inside the implant is thicker which helps it maintain its shape. If the implant were to be cut in half, the shape would stay in place, the same way a gummy bear candy would if it were cut in two. This is an excellent safety profile in case the shell should ever break down. They also have a shell that is textured to reduce scarring or capsule contracture around the implant. Capsular contracture can cause hardening of the implant. The texturing also helps keep the implant in the correct position.
2. Who Should Consider Gummy Bear Implants?
Gummy bear implants are available in only shaped versions. Not all patients are ideal candidates for the shaped gummy bear implant. Women with little breast tissue or women who have undergone mastectomies, are the most ideal candidates. The gummy bear implant can help create a shape or slope that did not exist before. It offers a more natural look and can give a small amount of lift to a larger, natural breast.
The implant comes in five different profiles. They vary from the height (how tall the implant is) to the projection (how far the implant sticks out from the chest).
3. Can Gummy Bear Implants Rupture?
There is always a risk of rupture with any implant the patient may choose. An implant could rupture if there were a trauma to the chest. All silicone implants are made of a silicone that stays together well, if they should ever rupture. Highly cohesive gel implants are less likely to have the gel go beyond the shell of the implant, known as “gel bleed”. Even though these implants are new to the United States, they have been in Europe and Canada for over 15 years.
4. How Much Do Gummy Bear Implants Cost?
The price of breast augmentation surgery with gummy bear implants varies from surgeon to surgeon. Gummy bear implants are one of the most expensive types of implants on the market followed by round silicone and then saline are the least expensive in the market.
5. Do Gummy Bear Implants Feel Harder?
Gummy bear implants tend to be firmer but they are not hard by any means. Their capsular contracture rate is significantly lower than standard gel implants, so they are less likely to harden. The firmness of the implant could be considered an advantage because the implant maintains its shape and is less likely to ripple or rupture. These implants are designed to replicate the look and feel of a natural breast and are soft to the touch. They maintain their shape for a natural and upright appearance.