Gummy Bears Beyond the Candy Jar

Breast AugmentationIf you’ve been considering having breast augmentation with Dr. Saltz, you know that making the initial decision to move forward is just one of many decisions you’ll need to make. One of those choices will be the type of implants. Until recently, that choice was limited to two basic implants: saline or silicone. But in 2012 a new type of implant entered your realm of options — the gummy bear implant.

Because Dr. Saltz likes his patients to be as informed as possible about their options, here is some of the latest information on this relatively new implant option.

Gummy bears? Really?

What separates this new implant type from other silicone implants is the gel. It’s thicker, hence the name “gummy bear.” These implants retain their shape, unlike other implant choices, because the gel is thicker than traditional silicone implants. In addition to “gummy bear” this type of implant is 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, due to an investigation by the FDA for the company’s overseas manufacturing practices.

Cohesive silicone gel

The term “cohesive gel” is somewhat misunderstood. All of today’s silicone implants 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.

Teardrop 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. While this shape could be a problem with a more liquid-behaving silicone, because of its highly cohesive silicone this shape maintains itself.

All gummy bear implants are textured; this 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.

Safety

Because they are relatively new to the market, there isn’t long-term data on gummy bear implants. Sientra has displayed five years of study with its gummy bear implants. Here are some of the company’s 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 within 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. If you have further questions, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Saltz, call either our Salt Lake City or Park City office locations.

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