If you’re considering breast surgery, you’ll have heard of gummy bear implants. It’s one of the hottest new buzzwords in plastic surgery. But what does it mean? What can a gummy bear possibly have in common with breast surgery?
Choosing the right implant is one of the most important decisions you will make, so it’s important to know what your choices are. We are here to help you clear up some of the confusion.
What are Gummy Bear Implants?
Gummy bear implants are a relatively new generation of breast implants. They are the most recent type of implant to come on the market and are sometimes referred to as “fifth-generation” implants. They are a type of silicone implant, but they are denser and retain their shape better than earlier versions. Made from highly cohesive silicone gel, they are more form stable than the softer silicone implants. Don’t fear – they’re not called gummy bear implants due to their shape but rather their degree of firmness.
Are Gummy Bear Implants Different from Silicone Implants?
Gummy bear implants are essentially silicone implants. However, they differ enough from what we typically refer to as silicone implants that they have become their own category. Regular, or round silicone implants are made from a softer gel that is more elastic. (Mentor’s MemoryGel is an example of a regular silicone implant.) Since we’re already talking candy, you might imagine them more like Jello-O. Gummy bear implants are made from a denser version of silicone that allows them to hold their shape in any position.
What are Highly-Cohesive Breast Implants?
Highly-cohesive breast implant is simply the official name for gummy bear implants. Earlier generations of silicone implants use cohesive silicone gel, meaning they do not contain a liquid and therefore cannot leak. Highly-cohesive silicone takes this to the next level for implants that are firmer and retain their shape even better, like a, well, gummy bear! You might also think of it as comparable to memory foam. They still feel natural to the touch, but are teardrop-shaped rather than round. (Mentor’s MemoryShape is a popular gummy bear implant.)
Which Breast Implants Look Most Natural?
Saline implants have several benefits, for instance their cost. But if you surveyed a number of plastic surgeons, most would probably agree that they – and their patients – prefer silicone. Why? Because it better reflects the natural shape of the breast. And gummy bear implants are particularly well-suited to the task. Their teardrop shape (thin at the top and sloping down to a fuller projection near the base) very closely mimics the shape of a natural breast.
What are the Advantages of Gummy Bear Implants?
Not only do gummy bear implants look the most natural, they also defy the laws of gravity other implants succumb to. Therefore, they retain their shape for a much longer time period than any other implants. Another advantage of the highly-cohesive gel is that the implants are not prone to “rippling” like other implants might. There is no risk of rupturing or leaking, and in general these implants have shown the lowest incidence of complications.
Are Gummy Bear Implants Safer than Other Implants?
All breast implants are entirely safe, whether saline, silicone, or gummy bear. Gummy bear implants were approved by the FDA in 2012. Silicone implants in general are among the most researched devices in the history of medicine. There is no need to choose one type of implant over another for safety reasons. However, many plastic surgeons prefer gummy bear implants because of their superior texture and shape, and the high rate of patient satisfaction.
Are Gummy Bear Breast Implants Smooth or Textured?
This may get a little bit too technical, but textured implants are believed to be less likely to cause a condition called capsular contraction (a type of thick scar) than smooth implants. Most gummy bear implants are textured because it helps keep them from rotating (which is less important for round implants). Whether textured or smooth is best for you will depend on your body type and what your plastic surgeon advises. This is definitely a topic to discuss during your consultation.
In the end, which implant you choose will depend on a number of factors. For instance, what cup size are you looking for? Are you more interested in a breast enlargement or changing the shape of your breast? Are you looking for the lowest possible cost? Will the implants be placed under or over the muscle, which in turn depends on your size and frame, width of shoulders, etc.? Which type of implant is your plastic surgeon most comfortable and experienced with?
The best way to find answers to all of these questions is the schedule a personal consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
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