Everything You Need To Know About Gummy Bear Breast Implants

Nickie Dobison Saucedo

by Nickie Dobison Saucedo | August 16, 2010 @ 10:00AM

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Cohesive gel breast implants, or as they are more commonly known, gummy bear breast implants, have been generating lots of buzz lately. Dr. Steven Teitelbaum of Santa Monica, California has been using these cohesive gel implants in clinical trials. "I far [more] prefer these in most situations," says Dr. Teitelbaum. "The shape is better, predictable, and seems to be longer lasting, but these claims remain to be proved." Gummy bear breast implants have been used outside of the United States for about a decade with positive results.

They are nicknamed gummy bear beast implants because they have the feel and consistency of a gummy bear when you cut into one. The advantages of this type of breast implant would be that it doesn't leak like traditional silicone and saline implants if ruptured. As mentioned, these cohesive gel breast implants seem to hold their shape for a much longer time than the other implants do. Gummy bear implants are composed of "exactly the same ingredients as standard [silicone] gel. They just put more 'cross-linker' into it, so the molecules bond to each other more and it creates a more form-stable shape," according to Dr. Teitelbaum. The gel is so thick that it won't run or slosh around inside the implant. The durability of cohesive gel breast implants looks promising. The folds and rippling associated with saline and silicone implants is less likely to occur with this stable-form implant. The folds become weak spots on the implant shell, making them more susceptible to rupture. And, even if these cohesive gel implants do rupture, the silicone will not leak out. More research is needed to see if silicone being in contact with the body will cause harm to the patient in any way. All breast implants including saline have a silicone shell. It may be possible that silicone can diffuse into the body over time, but the long-term effects are unknown.

One downside to the gummy bear's ability to hold its shape is it cannot be inserted through the belly button via a transumbilical breast augmentation. Transumbilical breast augmentation (TUBA) is a popular procedure because there are no noticeable scars since the incision is hidden in the navel. This type of breast augmentation "requires that an implant be folded and placed through a long hollow tube," says Dr. Teitelbaum. He goes on to explain that "even a regular silicone implant cannot be placed through that method, and it would be even more impossible for the more form-stable cohesive or gummy bear implant." Another issue to consider is since gummy bear implants hold their shape well, they require a longer incision than saline and silicone breast implants. Gummy bear breast implants can be inserted through incisions in the armpit, underneath the breasts, or through the areola. Dr. Teitelbaum cautions that insertion through the areola is "more difficult if the areola is small or there is a large amount of breast tissue to push the implant through." Inserting the gummy bear breast implant through the crease under the breast is the most popular method.

Anatomical, or teardrop-shaped, implants must be placed in exactly the right position and leave less room for error. If an anatomically-shaped implant moves around, it will cause a very unnatural profile. Dr. Teitelbaum tells us "the only form-stable implants that are under consideration by the FDA have an anatomical shape. In order to prevent rotation, a pocket that precisely fits the implant must be developed." He goes on to say that "the surgeon must ensure that the pocket is made to fit the implant, which is a very different approach than most surgeons use with a round smooth implant...in which [they] make an overly large pocket to allow the implant to move around. One must be cautious in patients with loose, empty, or floppy types of breasts, as loose tissue may allow the implant to move around." Dr. Teitelbaum says another concern would be patients requiring "revisions in which there is already a pocket that either may be too big for the new implant, or is already lined with smooth tissue, thereby preventing the textured surface in the teardrop implant from adhering and preventing rotation." If a patient is getting old implants replaced and the pocket is just too loose, a round gummy bear implant may be used. However, the round ones are not available in the United States at the moment. You will definitely need a skilled plastic surgeon to insert your cohesive gel implants. You can search for plastic surgeons that perform breast augmentation procedures on iEnhance.com . So far The news on gummy bear breast implants has been quite positive, but only a consultation with a plastic surgeon can determine if you would be a candidate for receiving this type of implant. 

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