Is my Doctor Referring to Gummy Bear Silicone Implants?

During my first consultation, I told the doctor I want silicone breast implants because I am very small-framed and have little existing tissue. The doctor went into explaining the difference between silicone and saline implants, and the risks and safety variables with each one. He said that silicone implants, if cut, would remain in place and not leak if there were a rupture of some sort, and it would take a 20-foot fall or higher from a building and landing on my chest for anything to leak/squirt out. Is he referring to the "gummy bear implant?" Is this what he plans to use, based on his statement?

Doctor Answers 6

Confusion is semantics, but best to talk to your doctor

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Many patients are, unfortunately, confused by the words being used, both in the media and the plastic surgery community. It is best to think in terms of the cohesivity of the gel within the implant. Implants available now have level 2 cohesivity. This essentially means that even with a rupture, or tear in the silicone shell, the gel material will tend to stay within the shell, making it easier to remove and less likely to disperse within the breast tissue. The form-stable, or "gummy bear" implant would be considered level 3 cohesivity, the gel is thicker, or more cohesive, than in current implants. The trade-off is that these implants are much firmer. I think it is always best to make sure you are completely comfortable with your decision prior to surgery, so if you were my patient, I would hope that you would be sure and cover any concerns you have with me personally prior to surgery, and I would recommend that you discuss these things with the surgeon you mentioned. Hope this helps.

Differences between silicone implants

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Dear mailmommy:

You have obviously done some research on silicone implants. I do not know if the surgeon you saw was referring to the "gummy bear" implants or the cohesive gel implants however, let me explain the difference.

Cohesive gel implants are what is currently being used by most plastic surgeons. These implants are viscous in nature, malleable, soft and look and feel more natural than saline implants. If there is a leak, the silicone (which is in a thick liquid form) will slowly leak from the implant shell. Most often if this occurs, the silicone remains contained w/in the breast and does not migrate outside the capsule.

Form stable ("gummy bear "implants) are the newest generation of implants however, they are not yet available for general use as they are awaiting final approval from the FDA. These implants will not leak and will maintain their form when cut (much like cutting a piece of jello).

Each implant has their advantages and appropriate indications. I would advise you to discuss this with your board certified plastic surgeon at your next consultation.

I hope this answers your question. Good luck.

Breast Implants

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Dear Mailmommy03

Silicone implants may give a better result in someone who is thin. Ther Term "Gummy Bear" was used to described the gel inside the implant- if you cut a Mentor CPG it will not leak or travel in the tissues- they may have an outer coating that is textured or smooth. These implants have a good texture and feel more like Breast tissue. The Allergan implants are a little more firm and may be slightly more detectable. The "Form Stable" implants from Allergan are much more firm- they are not as good in someone who is very thin. They only have the texttured exterior- they can rotate- but this is unusual. in some studies the capsule contracture rate of the "Form Stable " implant is slightly higher than the Mentor CPG.

Saline implants can give excellent results as well.

Good Luck!

With Warm Regards,

Trevor M Born MD

No, he is referring to cohesive gel implants

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Currently approved silicone gel implants are referred to as cohesive because of their semi-solid consistency. The form stable implants, aka gummy bear implants, are hopefully soon to be approved, they are not available to plastic surgeons for use at this time. Although I would not use the visual of falling 20 feet onto your breast to cause the implant to rupture or displace, it would take more pressure than would be exherted from most every day life activities.

Dr Edwards

Gummy bears are a specific implant not yet cleared in this country.

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All of us have cohesive silicone gel implants available. Cohesive means that it is more likely to stay put if there is a tear in the implant. Patients with small frames and small breasts benefit from silicone implants as there is less of their own tissue to cover any implant imperfections (like the wrinkling you hear about).

Gummy bears are a specific implant developed by Allergan that is not yet available for general use. The silicone implants that are widely available are cohesive and give a great result, so I would not necessarily recommend waiting for possible FDA approval of gummy bears (it could take a year or it could take another 10 years).

Best of luck.

All silicone implants have cohesive gel

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This is one of the most confusing issues, but it needn't be. When the "gummy bear" implants were first developed, they were called "cohesive gel" because the gel is a semi-solid, meaning that it won't go any where if the shell is opened. However, all gels used in silicone implants are cohesive, it's just that the "gummy bear" implants are firmer. So the correct term for the implants people call "gummy bear" is "form-stable" because they can be shaped, like gelatin, while the round silicone implants may feel more natural because they are softer, more like natural tissue. At the present time the form-stable implants (Allergan style 410, Mentor CPG) are not available as the FDA hasn't cleared them, although this is expected soon.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.