When you hear the term gummy bear breast implants, you might be left a little puzzled. The silhouette of a gummy bear is quite obviously the last thing on any of my patients’ minds when they’re considering breast augmentation surgery. So what does it mean, anyway?
The so-called gummy bear breast implant actually refers to a particular type of cohesive gel silicone implant. These implants are made from a soft solid gel that maintains its shape and behaves more like a solid than a liquid. This means that when the implant is cut in half, its form remains stable and it retains its original shape – the result is similar to what happens when a gummy bear candy is cut in half (hence the name). These are sometimes also referred to as form stable or highly cohesive silicone implants.
Some of my patients are interested in gummy bear implants because they offer particular advantages for particular body shapes. Because they maintain their shape so well, these implants are more customizable and come in round and anatomical shapes. Cohesive gel doesn’t move around in the implant shell, which helps prevent problems like rippling and shell collapse. But there are also some disadvantages to form stable implants. For one thing, cohesive gel implants are significantly more expensive than their saline counterparts. The shape retention of a teardrop shaped form stable implant can cause problems in rare cases of rotation because it can distort the shape of the breast. Some women dislike the consistency of gummy bear implants, while others prefer it. There are a number of pros and cons that are affected by the needs of each individual patient.
It used to be true that cohesive gel breast implants were at a disadvantage because, as a pre-filled, solid implant, they required a longer incision for insertion. But thanks to a great new surgical device we use at The Plastic Surgery Clinic called the Keller Funnel, we can place cohesive gel implants through tiny incisions around the nipple, under the breast, or even in the armpit. It has really revolutionized the insertion of cohesive gel implants, and even better, it reduces risk of capsular contracture, or hardening of the breast due to scar tissue formation. I’m pleased to be able to offer the innovative Keller Funnel to all my patients who choose cohesive gel implants because it has really made a difference.
At the end of the day, each woman who comes to our clinic for breast augmentation has a different body type, a different lifestyle, and a different goal. My primary objective is to give each patient a natural-looking breast that best suits her body. I just never would have predicted I might end up relying on a gummy bear to do the job.