Need Some Professional Advice- I'm Trying to Decide Between Silicone Gel Implants and Gummy Bear Implants?

I'm currently an A cup with little tissue above my nipples. i'm 5'7" and 130lbs and pear shaped so in my opinion, a BA would balance me out. my #1 concern is looking natural and am planning on doing around 300-350cc. How much firmer do the gummy bears feel after insertion? i'm a little worried about rippling with silicones, is this a valid concern?

Doctor Answers 6

Silicone Gel vs. Allergan 410 Implants

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There is definitely a difference between the newer ultra cohesive Allergan 410 implants and the Allergan silicone gel implants.  The 410 gummy bear implants are much firmer.  The 410s help shape your breast, where as the softer silicone gel implants conform to your current breast shape.  Sure the 410s may cause less rippling, but it does result in a firmer breast - that's the trade-off.  In terms of capsular contracture, the early data is showing that the 410 implants do have a lower rate of capsular contracture than the silicone gel implants, but more time is needed to see if this difference is true over a longer period of time.  In my experience, only less than 5% of my patients will benefit from the Mentor CPG/Allergan 410 implants. Please visit with a board certified PS to learn more about your options.

Best wishes.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Trade-offs between "gummy bear" implants and silicone gel implants.

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This is a really good question. You may well receive different opinions here, as there is no "right" answer, and especially without a photo or examination it is difficult to even advise you regarding our own individual surgical biases. Every patient is individually evaluated and our "best advice" tailored to that person's unique set of goals, anatomic issues, and concerns. That being said, I'll try to give you some general information that might be of help.

At 5'7" and 130 lbs you are slim with small (A-cup) breasts, but it's hard to visualize just how much tissue "coverage" your own muscle and breast tissue will provide, especially aound the "edges" where there is only skin and whatever fat layer you have. Most of the time, ("standard," smooth, round, cohesive) silicone gel implants have little rippling evident, even in quite thin individuals with little breast tissue. But visibility or palpability of implant edges or ripples is also dependent upon just how taut your own tissues will be over your implants after healing is complete, and whether or not you have capsular contracture (bad, but no ripples) or a capsule that is nearly translucent, gossamer thin, with thin, stretchy, and loose overlying tissues (soft and natural, but perhaps with ripples). The latter is as rare as bad capsular contracture, in my opinion, but both are at least theoretically possible and not selectable by patient or surgeon.

Teardrop-shaped "gummy-bear" implants are more firm (a more-crosslinked cohesive silicone gel), textured to maintain position (if this is not perfect, things are unattractively "wonky"), require a larger incision and scar, and cost more. And you might still feel an edge, but no ripples. These are less "natural" even if the surgery and placement is perfect, and you still have the potential for not-quite-perfect.

My own personal bias would be to recommend smooth round moderate profile 350cc silicone gel prostheses and avoid the gummy bears. But that's just my opinion based on the pros and cons listed above. For more information click on the web reference link below. You may also want to search for the question Did my Anatomical Implant Temporarily Displace? on this site. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 262 reviews

Gummy Bear Implants Versus Silicone Gel Implants

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The "gummy bear" breast implants are now approved by the FDA and available from all the US manufacturers. The "gummy bear" which is a highly cohesive gel implant is firmer giving a more youthful, perkier look. You don't say how old you are but note that more mature women prefer the standard gel implants due to their softer more natural feel. Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Gummy Bear breast implants

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Dear BA in waiting,

Yours is a question that can only be answered in theory without the benefit of, at least, photos.  Yes, the newer form stable ("gummy bear") implants are more firm than the cohesive gel implants.  Yes, the "looser" cohesive gel implants are more likely to show rippling.  How these concepts apply to your particular individual physical stature can only be determined in consultation with an American Board of Plastic Surgery board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Decide Between Silicone Gel Implants and Gummy Bear Implants?

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It's a little hard to answer without an exam, but in general the gummy bear implants are more firm and the standard gel are softer. The gummy bear may have a more sloped look on top although that is not for sure. If you want the most natural, that is still the smooth round moderate or moderate plus gel implant.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Difference between Silicone Gel and "Gummy Bear" Breast Implants

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This is one of the easiest questions I have ever had answer on this forearm.  That is because there is presently no difference whatsoever between a silicone gel implant and a "gummy bear" implant.  The term "gummy bear" was coined by a California plastic surgeon (who is a marketing genius) to describe the new cohesive gel implants (and to drive patients to his practice for them).  It, therefore, does not refer to a specific implant.  Presently, all round silicone implants by Mentor, Allergan, and Sientra and the shaped implants by Sientra contain the same cohesive gel.  The new shaped implants by Allergan do contain a firmer gel, though these are not what is generally meant by "gummy bear," as these implants have just hit the market and the term "gummy bear" has been around for many years.  In fact, no manufacturer uses the term "gummy bear."  Therefore, your only real choice is between smooth and textured, round and anatomic, and, if you choose anatomic, whether to go with standard cohesive gel or the new Allergan firmer gel (which is also cohesive).  If you have made the decision for a round smooth silicone implant (the most common one used) then you made a choice for silicone gel implants, otherwise known as "gummy bear implants by some people."

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.