Many people are confused about what the gummy bear implant is. Gummy bear implants are form stable silicone gel implants. They are shaped, textured implants that retain their shape even if the implant shell is broken. The gel is so firm it actually feels solid – like a gummy bear. These were FDA approved in 2013. This is different from the cohesive gel silicone implants which became FDA approved in 2006. Both have the same type of silicone gel but the gummy bear is more cross linked so it is more solid.
So what are the advantages and disadvantages? The advantage of the gummy bear implant is that the capsular contracture rate and shell tear rate is less than the cohesive gel implant (which is still quite low). Because it is more solid, there is less rippling. The disadvantage is that it definitely feels more firm, so most women prefer the feel of the cohesive gel implant which feels very similar to breast tissue. Also because it is textured, many women feel the implant shell more. Because the gummy bear implant can shatter if bent or compressed, the incision must be much longer than that for a cohesive gel implant. Also, the implants stick in place on the chest in its constant teardrop shape – the gel doesn’t move around or flatten like normal breasts when sitting up or lying down the way the cohesive gel does. Also because it is shaped – there is a chance for rotation of the implant creating an abnormal shape and you also must have drains in post-op. Therefore success with placement of gummy bear implants is very surgeon dependent – the pocket must be tight and precise and the implant placed with meticulous accuracy since they will stay exactly where they are placed. It is also extremely important that the surgeon has experience and feels comfortable using them.
As a woman with implants, I personally prefer the feel of the soft cohesive gel implants and the way the gel moves naturally with the body and the majority of the time, use these for a primary (never had surgery before) breast augmentation. I use the gummy bear implants for special cases such as particular patient anatomy which requires more lower pole projection, when implants are placed over the muscle and patients want a more natural teardrop look, revision breast implant cases where patients have had recurrent capsular contracture, or for breast reconstruction (post mastectomy).
To determine the best implant for you as well as the other decisions such as implant size, pocket placement and incision, it is important to have a comprehensive breast implant consultation. There are many factors including patient anatomy, lifestyle consideration, and personal aesthetic goals and concerns that must be taken into consideration. Communication and having insight to what each woman visualizes as their ideal result is critical.
– Dr. Cat
Follow me on Instagram + tune into my Snapchat @BeautyByDrCat for a peak inside my everyday life & surgery cases.