The decision to have breast augmentation is a big one. But once you decide to go forward, there are a host of other decisions you’ll need to make, things such as the location of your incisions and the placement of the implants.
Of course, you’ll also decide on the type of implant. In the past there were two choices, saline or silicone. In 2012 those choices expanded by one with gummy bear implants.
Dr. Lavey likes his patients to have as much information as possible on all the procedures he performs. To that end, here is some of the latest information on gummy bear implants.
What is a gummy bear implant?
You may have heard of this relatively new implant type. These implants retain their shape, unlike other implant choices, because the gel is thicker than traditional silicone implants. In addition to “gummy bear implants” they are also known as cohesive, form-stable, or highly cohesive. These terms denote the attributes of these implants made by three companies: Sientra, Allergan, and Mentor. Currently, Sientra has stopped production as it is being investigated by the FDA for overseas manufacturing practices. You may have read an earlier blog on this website that detailed mostly Sientra information.
Cohesive silicone gel
The term “cohesive” is somewhat misunderstood. Compared to the early forms of silicone, all silicone implants sold today use a more “cohesive” silicone gel than implants from the 80s and early 90s. But only the most cohesive, i.e. thicker, are deemed to be “gummy bear implants.” To get an idea of the density, if a cohesive implant is cut in half, there is no gross movement of gel, and the implant maintains its shape.
Cohesive breast implants are anatomically shaped to match the natural breast, which projects more at the bottom than at the top. The teardrop shape is thinner at the top, filling out more at the bottom. This shape maintains itself due to the thicker nature of the cohesive gel.
All gummy bear implants are textured. This texturing increases friction and helps keep the implants from rotating. This is very important because these implants are different at the bottom and the top, so maintaining their position is a necessity.
Although early results from their five years in use show gummy bear implants to have low rates of capsular contracture and good reliability, gummy bear implants are still “new,” so there really aren’t any long-term studies about their durability.
Like traditional implants, gummy bear implants can rupture, although the gel tends to stay close to the implant. Rippling is far less prevalent with cohesive implants than with traditional silicone implants, although this is usually related to how much tissue is atop the implant.
While you’re doing your research about augmentation, be sure to include cohesive gel/gummy bear implants. Call Dr. Lavey at 925-820-3633 with any questions you have about your implant options.