Have you been considering having breast augmentation? If so, you’ve probably been doing a ton of research. You know you will have many decisions to make beyond just the overall procedure. Of course, you’ll need to choose the type of implants you want. In the past, you’ve had two choices, saline or silicone. But in 2012 a new type of implant entered your realm of options — the gummy bear implant. Dr. Kearney likes his patients to have as much information as possible, so here’s some information on these newer 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. Sientra had to stop production as the FDA wanted to check out their overseas manufacturing practices. Since that time, however, production has restarted.
Cohesive silicone gel
About the gel in gummy bear implants — there is some misunderstanding about what “cohesive gel” breast implants are. In reality, all silicone implants sold today use a more “cohesive” silicone gel than implants from the 80s and early 90s. 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.
As you would expect because these implants have only been on the market for five years, there aren’t a ton of long-term studies on their durability. Sientra cites five years of study with its gummy bear implants. Here are some statistics.
- Low rate (3.9%) of capsular contracture
- Over 98% rupture-free through five years
- Zero reported incidences of implant rotation
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.
Now you know about another alternative when it comes to implant choices for breast augmentation with Dr. Kearney. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please call us at (858) 677-9352.