In recent blogs on Dr. Kearney’s site we’ve discussed the various decisions a patient will need to make should she choose to have breast augmentation. Of course, one of the first decisions will be the implant type, and there is a relatively new option that, while technically silicone, is different enough to merit its own blog — the gummy bear implant.
Here’s some information on these newer implants.
What is a gummy bear implant?
These implants are relatively new, first coming to the market in mid-2012. They are known by a variety of terms: cohesive, form-stable, highly cohesive, and gummy bear. The “gummy bear” moniker came from surgeons. These terms denote the attributes of these implants made by three companies: Sientra, Allergan, and Mentor. These implants retain their shape, unlike other implant choices, because the gel is thicker than traditional silicone implants.
When compared to silicone gels used in implants during the 80s and 90s, all of today’s implant gels are more “cohesive.” The cohesiveness describes the density of the gel. Gummy bear implants are highly cohesive — if you cut one in half the gel will not move out of the implant and the implant retains its shape.
Two shapes available
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.
Unlike other types of silicone implants, gummy bear implants have only about seven years of history in wide usage. Of course, there was rigorous testing required to gain FDA approval, but this is relatively limited. Prior to debuting these new implants, Sientra conducted five years of study and these are those findings:
- Over 98% rupture-free through five years
- Zero reported incidences of implant rotation
- Low rate (3.9%) of capsular contracture