If you’ve been considering having breast augmentation, you know you 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. Herte likes her 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. Currently, Sientra has stopped production as it is being investigated by the FDA for overseas manufacturing practices.
Cohesive silicone gel
There is some misunderstanding about what “cohesive gel” breast implants really 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.
Although their production has been halted, 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
It must be noted, however, that gummy bear implants are new, so there are no 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. Herte at 702-732-9600 to schedule your consultation or with any questions you may have.