Mastectomy and Reconstruction w/ Memory Gel Implants

I am going to have prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction. The plastic surgeon that I've consulted told me that he uses gummy bear implants. He uses Mentor silicone gel smooth round high profile. Are those implants considered gummy bear implants and can they leak? I am really unsure as to what to pick and I'm told that I can only get that type of implant through my insurance. Also, I'm 5.0" and 102 lbs. What size would you recommend? I'm currently a small b cup. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Best implant type for immediate breast reconstruction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A lot of confusion about what the terms that describe silicone implants mean. "Memory gel" is a Mentor term that describes their version of cohesive gel; all gels used in implants now are cohesive, meaning that they hold together in a single mass. In other words, they are not a liquid that leaks out if there is a hole in the shell. Mentor CPG and Allergan Style 410 are known as "form-stable" or shaped implants, commonly called "gummy bear." Smooth round high profile are not this type but might be a good choice for you. Your insurance should cover whatever type of implant your surgeon deems best.

Mastectomy reconstruction with memory gels

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Most silicone implants (from Mentor and Allergan) are Memory gels.  "Gummy Bear Implants" are still waiting on FDA approval.  In terms of your breast reconstructive options, given your height and weight, your plastic surgeon is right.  You seem petite; I don't think your plastic surgeon was just thinking about cost or insurance company when he has recommended implant reconstruction.  You probably do not have enough tissue in your abdomen (belly) to get autologous reconstruction.  Implant -base reconstruction is safe and commonly done for patients who 1) want implants, 2) want quick surgery and recovery, 3) do not have enough belly tissue.  Depends on how big you want your reconstructive breasts to be, your body can probably tolerate 300cc-400cc implants.  Best of luck to you.

Breast Reconstruction and Gummy Bear Implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Allergan  and Mentor companies manufacture cohesive gel or memory gel implants.  These implants are the newer generation silicone  gel implants available for use since 11/06.  some women refer to these as gummy bear implants,  The silicone gel is more viscous or cohesive.  The round shape have been approved for use by the FDA.  The tear drop shape are not available for general use yet.  These are good implants and may be especially useful in a thin women with less soft tissue coverage providing a more natural feel with less rippling and wrinkling. 

Size is a function of remaining tissue and technique of the mastectomy.  This is difficult to answer and you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon.  Sometimes this may even be done in a two -stage fashion with initial temporary tissue expanders and subsequent permanent implants.

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Implant choices

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Gummy bear implants are cohesive gel implants that are terdrop shaped and textured. He can only use them if he is part of the study group.  They are not the same as the Memory gel round smooth implants.

Mentor high profile silicone implants are not "gummy bear" implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The Mentor high profile silicone implants are a cohesive silicone gel implant but they are not the "gummy bear" implants. These latter implants are firmer, form stable implants that have not been FDA approved and are therefore not available for implantation in this country. Only a very limited number of plastic surgeons are involved in a clinical study involving these implants and according to what you state, this physician does not appear to be one of those.

Implant size can't be determined by your present cup size, weight and height alone and even with pictures. A comprehensive examination would be needed to better determine what is appropriate for you.

IMMediate Breast Reconstruction Breast Implant Choices

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
With all due respect you SHOULD have had all of these questions answered by your surgeon. Your surgery is an important event and you DESERVE all your questions answered before you proceed. "Gummy Bear " implants - are super cohesive gel implants which are form stable. Even when the implant shell breaks, the gel contents stay in place. The problem with these implants is that they are stiffer than ALL other implants in the market and that they are no longer in use pending formal approval by the FDA. The Mentor implant your surgeon suggested is a very good implant which IS cohesive and does not leak either, however, it is NOT form stable and has a more natural feel. It is NOT the only implant approved by insurers for breast reconstruction.Finally, the size of the implant chosen should be based on your opposite breast. If it is left intact, its shape and size should dictate the style of the breast implant you choose. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Gummy bear breast implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The real gummy bear breast implants are generation 4-5. They are available on limited basis as a part of study group. To my knowledge the study is over and awaiting FDA approval.

Cohesive gell is available to all.

You need to discuss the reconstruction options with your surgeon and exactly what is being used and why.

The pros and cons and risks and alternatives

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Mentor Memory Gel Implants versus Gummy Bear Implatns

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Nearly all silicone gel implants are cohesive. Mentor calls these "Memory Gel" implants. However, there are varying degrees of thickness or viscosity among these implants. The firmest style is called the CPG (Contour Profile Gel) and represents the "gummy bear" implant you describe which is available only to a limited number of physicians.

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.