I read some information about gummy bear implants. Is this true? What is your opinion?

I read something that was shocking to me because I never read it on any other website post by a doctor. It said that if your gummy bear implant ruptures it is not necessary to replace it as it will keep its shape and women tend to replace only because they think they need to.  Yet another site said gummy bear implants only stay together for so long after a rupture and will eventually leak just like silicone is this true? I am interested in the new Ideal Implants but still going over other options as not to many doctors do the ideal implants. Thanks

Doctor Answers 12

Silicone cohesive gel

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Yes, the cohesive, "gummy bear" implants often do not cause any problems if the shell is compromised because the contents do not flow like a liquid. Saline implants show rupture immediately as they shrink noticeably when the silicone shell is breached and can cause some discomfort or distortion of the breast pocket which should be addressed fairly quickly. Your body will naturally create a thin scar capsule around the implant and this further serves to keep gel contents- whether shell is breached or not, in one place. The rupture of a gummy bear implant therefore is not considered an emergency or health risk and patients have time to discuss considerations with their Plastic Surgeon and determine the best approach. I recommend that you discuss these concerns with your Plastic Surgeon. Though rupture of Silicone cohesive gel implants is relatively rare, it is important that you understand all the pros and cons for different surgeries and implant types you consider. 

Be sure to seek a board certified Plastic Surgeon

All the best

Gummy Bear Breast Implants

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The cohesiveness of today's silicone breast implants, all of which fall under the moniker of 'gummy bear', prevents the traditional concerns of leakage and silicone migration. If one should discover that they have a disruption of the implant shell, they certainly have time to consider whether to replace it or not. Some gummy bear silicone breast implant shell disruptions are completely asymptomatic while others may be associated with some discomfort and a strange feeling or 'bubble' of the implant. 

'Gummy Bear' implants and leakage complications

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The "Gummy Bear" or form stable implant got its nickname because that is what the implant feels like: a compressible gummy bear-like consistency.  It poses an interesting question regarding implant rupture because even if the shell of the implant were to be sliced open, the material inside doesn't go anywhere.  Another fact to be aware of: the body naturally forms what is called a "capsule" around any foreign body. This capsule is basically scar tissue that is desirable as long as it remains soft.  The capsule helps support the implant and also may contain any material that leaks from the older softer gel implants.  The development of capsular contracture- where the capsule becomes hard and tight- is a worry with rupture of the older silicone gel implants whose material could infiltrate local tissues.  Now that there is a device that theoretically does not "go anywhere" even if ruptured, it's a tricky thing to recommend replacement or not.  The conservative and manufacturer answer is that any implant with a ruptured shell should be replaced. The more liberal answer is that if the rupture of the gummy bear implant is an "incidental finding" - meaning on routine surveillance MRI without report of an issue by the patient - it can be closely observed as long as the patient does not note changes in the breast.  You would probably be hard-pressed to have a surgeon go on record to advocate that, however, as it simply isn't well-researched.  However, it is established that, in comparison to the softer gel implants, the complication profile of the form stable "gummy bear" implants is superior.

Whitney A. Burrell, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Gummy Bear Implants

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Gummy bear implants use a more cohesive gel than other forms of silicone implants, but the shell is basically the same.If the shell ruptures, the gel could potentially leak and the implant become misshapen.An imaging study should be performed if a leak is suspected, and if a leak is confirmed, I would recommend revision surgery to replace the implant.Because the Ideal Implants are still pretty new, it is still unclear how they will perform over time.

Burton M. Sundin, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Gummy Bear Implants

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Thanks for the question.Well, the gummy bear implant uses a more cohesive gel than silicone implants, but it is still in the same type of shell.So, if that shell ruptures, the gel could still potentially get out and become misshapen.If there is the possibility of a rupture, an imaging study should be performed.If the rupture is believed to be true, I would recommend replacement of the implant.As for the Ideal Implants, they are still pretty new, so the jury is still out on how they will perform over time.I hope this is helpful.

Reps B. Sundin, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Gummy bear implants

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Hello, if the newer cohesive silicone gel (gummy bear) implants rupture the silicone will stay in place within the implant pocket.

Breast Augmentation

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The high cohesive breast implants in the case of a rupture of the shell the gel should not migrate.The gel is cohesive and will stay in place.The fact that there will not be gel migration is different than saying the implant should not be replaced.There is some disagreement on the subject presently however replacement in the case of these implants with a rupture in the outer shell is not an emergent procedure.

Gummy bear implants

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Gummy bear implants refer to the form stable implants. I have not seen any studies in the literature showing rupture rates for these implants at this point in time. So your thoughts are interesting.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Misconception about gummy bear implants

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Excellent and insightful question.  Although they hold together more, the reality is that gummy bear implants still leak and run - I know because I've cut them with a knife as a demonstration in my surgical suite.  They don't have the actual consistency of a gummy bear candy.  This term is obviously a marketing gimmick.  If any type of silicone implant leaks, it can lead to problems of silicone granulomas or capsular contracture and I'm not sure what the long term effects are.  On top of that, some of these ruptures can be "silent" meaning they're clinically undetectable.  This is why the FDA recommends that you get an MRI every couple of years if you have a silicone implant.  Please note, the implant makers recommend that you remove an implant if it's ruptured.  You've mentioned the new IDEAL saline implants - these feel more natural yet have the reassurance of being saline implants, an interesting new option for breast augmentation.  At the end of the day, please realize that you're placing a foreign object in your body, potentially for the rest of your life.  My first priority would be to optimize safety in addition to achieving an excellent result.  By understanding the pros, cons and risks of each option, hopefully you will obtain peace of mind when making your selection.  Best of luck to you!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Confusion over "Gummy Bear" Breast Implants

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"Gummy Bear" is a term invented by a plastic surgeon in California who is a marketing genius at a time when he was using the new cohesive gel implants in a study after the older more liquid silicone implants had been taken off the market in order to distinguish the two. There is now (and was not been since 2006) any reason to use the term since every silicone implant approved for use in the US is made of cohesive gel. Therefore, ALL doctors in the US using approved implants are using "the ideal implants." As far as needing to replace a ruptured implant, it has never been necessary to replace a ruptured implant if it were not causing problems. I followed numerous women with known ruptured implants of the old style for years with only a few developing symptoms. The new cohesive gel implants can still "leak" and "run," but the likelihood of causing symptoms is even less than the older implants. If you are truly interested in a breast augmentation, quit reading and see an older, experienced board certified plastic surgeon where you can discuss your concerns and get real information.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

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.