Gummy Bear Vs. Regular Silicone Implants: A Conversation With Dr. Steven Teitelbaum

VVartanian on 31 Jul 2013 at 9:00am

On the day of your breast augmentation surgery -- you want to stride (or roll) into that OR knowing exactly what you're getting.

So, we thought we'd give you a jump start and asked your most pressing pre-op questions in our new video series with Dr. Steven Teitelbaum, Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at UCLA. Check out the below highlights from our very first sit-down -- wherein Dr. Teitelbaum demystifies the difference between a regular silicone implant and the newer gummy bear (a.k.a. teardrop-shaped).  

1. First Off, Forget Saline

"I have a lot of experience with saline, with silicone and all the various teardrop gummy bear implants.  I never recommend saline anymore – I don’t see any situation in which saline has any advantage.  So it's between regular silicone and gummy bear..."

2. Is The Gummy Bear Your Best Bet?

"The gummy bear candy is soft – yet it holds its shape. The classic gummy bear implant – it holds its shape.  It’s full on the bottom and tapered on the top. The gel doesn’t redistribute within it.  Let’s say a patient ... [doesn't] have a feminine breast-like shape – it’s just a relatively straight breast. This [gummy bear implant] – it shapes the breast..."

3. Or Should You Consider Regular Silicone?

"This implant [made of regular silicone] is shaped by the breast.  This implant is an adder of volume. If you put in an implant like this, there will be a redistribution of gel [to the bottom] so that it does take on a relatively natural appearance.  So, in a looser and emptier breast this is fine. In a tighter breast... you want to better control the breast shape – that’s when I think the teardrop is better."

4. But There's a Trade-Off ... One May Be At Risk for Rippling

"The reason that a round implant can have a teardrop shape is that the gel falls down to the bottom – but when it does that – you have to have a little bit of wrinkling.  So, in a thin-tissued patient– this [gummy bear implant] has a substantial improvement in avoiding rippling.  But if the [patient's] tissue is thick enough- then you don’t have a ripple problem with [a regular silicone] implant." 

5.  And The Other May Feel Slightly Firm Or Have a Small Chance of Flipping

"The gummy bear is firmer – but that is the price you pay for having something that’s ripple-free and able to confer a shape upon the breast.  If it’s too soft, it won't shape the breast. The last tradeoff...is the risk of rotation. If [this gummy bear implant] turns [upside down] you get a distortion. So, if [the implant is] in a loose space, the pocket is too big or the implant is too small -- it can move. It happens very infrequently – less than 3% of time.  But it’s something to be aware of."

Like what you're reading?  Watch the full video here:

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