Silicone gel breast implants are without question the most popular choice for women getting breast augmentation, both in Toronto and throughout Canada and the U.S. Statistics kept by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) show that in 2017 nearly 90% of breast augmentation patients preferred silicone gel implants to saline implants.
However, you’ll find an array of choices within the category of silicone implants. At my plastic surgery practice in Toronto, I offer the entire family of breast implants from Mentor® (Johnson & Johnson), Natrelle® (by Allergan) and the IDEAL® implant, a saline-type of implants made to feel almost as a silicone implant. This means patients can find the perfect implant to suit their needs and cosmetic goals.
One of the most popular cohesive silicone gel implant styles is the “gummy bear” implant, which came on the market several years ago. The cute nickname generated attention, of course, but the implant’s popularity goes beyond clever marketing. In this blog post, I’ll explain what separates gummy bear implants from other silicone gel options and why they can be ideal for some patients.
What Are Gummy Bear Implants?
Implants referred to as gummy bears are silicone shells filled with what’s called form-stable, highly cohesive silicone gel. Gummy bear implants get their name because the consistency of the gel feels similar to that of gummy bear candy. This type of gel is soft but holds its shape even when cut in half. Anatomically shaped gummy bear implants are an option, but most patients choose the round, smooth implants in USA and Canada.
Most patients prefer round implants because the roundness provides more upper pole fullness, which is where women with smaller breasts usually lack volume. Thanks to gravity, round implants still create a natural-looking, teardrop shape. Additionally, teardrop-shaped gummy bear implants are usually selected for breast reconstruction patients when all breast tissues were excised.
Why Choose Gummy Bear Implants
Most patients believe that cohesive silicone gel implants look and feel more like natural breasts than saline implants. These patients also believe that getting better results from gummy bear implants is worth their slightly higher cost.
Gummy bear implants offer additional benefits, including:
More durable and hold their shape longer. The form-stable, highly cohesive gel material used in gummy bear implants is more durable than traditional silicone gel, so it’s rare that they change shape over time.
Less likely to fold or ripple. Visible rippling is one of the main drawbacks of saline and older generations of silicone implants. The technology used to create the highly cohesive silicone gel used in gummy bears helps ensure the shell won’t easily collapse.
Sturdier and less likely to leak. Implant ruptures occur much less frequently with cohesive silicone gel implants than with saline. In rare cases when a silicone gel implant leaks, the gel remains in place bound by the capsule around your implants.
The durability of gummy bear implants also means that it’s highly unlikely you’ll need breast revision surgery after 10 years, which you may have read is the “rule of thumb” for how long implants last. This 10-year replacement time frame is simply a misconception with regard to cohesive silicone gel implants as this average was obtained in the 1990s for the saline implants which tend to deflate and rupture over time. That being said, a woman may elect to exchange her implants if she has a child after her breast surgery and now requires a lift, develops a contracture, gets a new partner, or is no longer interested in a D cup at age 65, etc.
Making the Choice
The choice of implants is a highly personal decision, and it’s best to consult with a Royal College-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options before having your mind made up on the implants you want. Various factors need to be considered about which implants are best for you. An experienced surgeon can recommend the implants best-suited to address your cosmetic goals and to ensure the results look proportional with your body.
I am happy to answer your questions about the differences between breast implants and help you choose the type that’s right for you. Contact us to request a consultation using the online form or call Visage Cosmetic Plastic Surgery at (416) 929-9800 (Yorkville).