The 2012 approval of ultra-cohesive silicone gel breast implants by the Food and Drug Administration represented a significant victory for women who were interested in breast augmentation. Now, women have three excellent options available to them in terms of the filler material used in their breast implants: saline, silicone gel, and stable, ultra-cohesive silicone gel.
You may be more familiar with ultra-cohesive silicone gel breast implants by their nickname: “gummy bear” implants. Gummy bear implants were used in breast augmentation in many other countries around the world before they were approved by the U.S. FDA, with remarkable success. That said, these implants offer both advantages and disadvantages compared to saline and traditional silicone implants. At the plastic surgery practice of Dr. Kimberly Henry, MD in San Francisco, gummy bear breast implants and their pros and cons are discussed extensively during consultations with prospective breast augmentation patients. Dr. Henry believes that patients should be fully aware of both the positive and potentially negative aspects of any procedure before committing to undergo life-changing surgery.
Are gummy bear breast implants right for you? The surest way to find out is to meet with Dr. Henry at her state-of-the-art office. Until then, here are some of the pros and cons of gummy bear implants.
Gummy Bear Breast Implants: Pros
Gummy bear breast implants offer several advantages over their more traditional counterparts, including:
- They retain their shape: Unlike saline and standard silicone, ultra-cohesive silicone gel retains its shape over time. Breast implants filled with this gel have a consistency similar to gummy bears, which is why they have earned their nickname.
- They do not leak: If the implant shell breaks – as it probably will eventually – the ultra-cohesive silicone gel is the only filler that will not leak out.
- They are less likely to result in capsular contracture: Capsular contracture, in which a stiff layer of scar tissue forms around the implant, is a risk of any breast augmentation procedure. However, the data collected on gummy bear breast implants so far suggests that they are less likely to result in capsular contracture than alternative types of breast implants.
- They are less likely to fold or ripple
Gummy Bear Breast Implants: Cons
Although gummy bear breast implants have become increasingly popular since being approved by the FDA, many women continue to prefer traditional silicone gel implants for various reasons. Some of the cons associated with gummy bear breast implants include:
- They are more expensive than standard silicone gel implants: While we do whatever we can to offer competitive pricing on all of our procedures, gummy bear implants are more expensive than standard silicone gel implants, with saline-filled implants being the least expensive option.
- They do not shift like natural breast tissue: Because gummy bear implants retain their shape incredibly well, they do not shift or move as natural breast tissue would. While natural breast tissue will shift when a woman lies down, for example, gummy bear implants will have the same shape they have when a woman is standing up.
- They require a longer incision: They must be placed through a slightly longer incision than standard silicone gel implants, with saline-filled implants requiring the smallest incision.
- They are available only in anatomical, “teardrop” shapes: Unlike standard silicone gel implants, gummy bear implants are only available in anatomical shapes – that is, they project more toward the bottom of the implant than the top. In the rare instance that a gummy bear implant rotates, it can only be corrected through further surgery.
Learn More about the Pros and Cons of Gummy Bear Breast Implants
To learn more about the pros and cons of gummy bear breast implants, please contact our plastic surgery practice today.