Gummy Bear Breast Implants
Form-stable, High-Strenth, Highly Cohesive Silicone
What are gummy bear breast implants?
Gummy bear breast implants are high strength, or "highly cohesive," silicone breast implants. The term "form-stable" is also used for gummy bear breast implants. They are commonly referred to as "gummy bear" breast implants because of how they react when cut into. The video below shows how the silicone reacts when the implant is cut in half and squeezed. As you will see, the gel stays in place. While it is still soft and pliable, it does not spill out.
Semi-solid breast implants? Does that mean the implants are hard?
No. While they are indeed firmer than lesser cohesive, or "liquid" silicone breast implants, they are by no means "hard." It may be difficult to believe that a semi-solid breast implant can be soft, but it is true.
Do gummy bear silicone breast implants cost more than "regular" cohesive gel breast implants?
Yes, they do cost a little more than regular silicone breast implants, which run about $2,000 per pair.
What types of gummy bear breast implants are FDA approved in the United States?
Sientra offers both round and anatomical gummy bear breast implants. Sientra is the only manufacturer to offer these high-strength silicone implants in smooth and textured round shapes. Allergan received approval for their Style 410 (anatomical) gummy bear breast implant in February 2013, and Mentor received FDA approval for their MemoryShape (anatomical) gummy bear breast implant in June 2013. Allergan and Mentor do not currently have round gummy bear implants available in the United States.
What are my gummy bear breast implant options if I live in Canada?
If you live in Canada, you have several options. Mentor offers a line of CPG (Contour Profile Gel) gummy bear breast implants, while Allergan offers their Style 410 gummy bear breast implants. Lastly, Sientra offers the same breast implants in Canada as they do in the United States.
Will I need a longer incision if I get gummy bear breast implants?
For any type of silicone (gummy bear or not), the incision will be longer than what is required for a saline breast implant. Saline breast implants can be rolled up into a cigar shape and inserted into the pocket, then filled, requiring a much smaller incision. Since silicone breast implants are prefilled, it isn't possible to fold and insert them.
Since most high-strength silicone breast implants have a textured surface, with the exception of Sientra's smooth round high-strength silicone implants, many surgeons agree that they do require a slightly longer incision so that the implant doesn't rub up against the skin too much during insertion. Even microscopic particles of skin (flakes) can wind up on the implant shell and in the pocket, and this could cause an inflammatory response, which in turn could result in capsular contracture.
The bottom line is that yes, all silicone requires a slightly large incision than saline. However, one should not assume that silicone implants need extremely large incisions, as they do not. Implant size does play a role, however. Obviously, a 300cc silicone implant will not need an incision as large as an 800cc silicone implant. That said, silicone is very pliable across all cohesivity levels.
Can I get gummy bear breast implants using the armpit or TUBA (navel) incision?
You cannot get ANY silicone breast implant inserted via the TUBA (navel) incision. This is because all silicone breast implants are prefilled. Round gummy bear breast implants can be inserted via the armpit, as well as the crease and areola incisions.
Shaped implants (anatomicals), whether they're gummy bear implants or not, are not usually inserted via the armpit. It is very difficult, even for a plastic surgeon, to create the precise pocket needed for an anatomical implant when going through the armpit. The areola and crease incisions offer much better visibility to the surgeon, and these are the most common incisions used for gummy bear anatomicals.
Are high-strength silicone breast implants safe?
Yes, they are safe. As mentioned before, Sientra, Mentor, and Allergan received FDA approval for their "gummy bear" breast implants. Form-stable silicone gel breast implants have been used in other countries for almost 20 years.
Are gummy bear breast implants prone to silicone gel bleed?
Yes, but only to a very small degree. The days of massive gel bleed are long gone. Back in the 1970's, silicone implants bled quite a bit. These older implants feel slimy when held in hand, and this is due to silicone oil bleeding through the implant shell. Silicone gel breast implants, all types of them, have come a remarkably long way in the decades past three decades.
Mentor performed a laboratory test to analyze the silicones and platinum (used in the manufacturing process), which may bleed out of intact implants into the body. The test method was developed to represent, as closely as possible, conditions in the body surrounding an intact implant. The results indicate that only the LMW silicones and platinum bled into the serum in measurable quantities. In total, 4.7 micrograms of these three low-molecular weight (LMW) silicones were detected. Platinum levels measured at 4.1 micrograms by 60 days, by which time an equilibrium level was reached and no more platinum was extracted from the device. Over 99% of the LMW silicones and platinum stayed in the implant. The overall body of available evidence supports that the extremely low level of gel bleed is of no clinical consequence.
Since form-stable silicone gel breast implants don't ripple, I am guaranteed to have no visible ripping or wrinkling of the implant, correct?
With Sientra's smooth round gummy bear breast implants, there should be little chance of rippling. However, with all textured breast implants, regardless of whether they are silicone or saline, there is a risk of rippling. There are two types of rippling, one of which is "traction rippling". This particular type of rippling applies only to textured breast implants. You can read more about traction rippling here.